Tuesday 22 October 2019

CCTV shows killer Hennessy in car park moments before he abducted tragic Jastine Valdez

Exclusive images show Hennessy on phone in car park 30 minutes before he abducted Jastine Valdez
Exclusive images show Hennessy on phone in car park 30 minutes before he abducted Jastine Valdez

Ken Foy

This is murderer Mark Hennessy strolling around a south Dublin car park around 30 minutes before he abducted Jastine Valdez.

Our exclusive photos show the killer in Ballybrack at 5.41pm on Saturday – just seconds after he drank pints in a nearby pub and watched the start of the FA Cup final before leaving to carry out his murderous plans.

Our images come from CCTV footage handed over to investigating officers yesterday.

Hennessy can be seen on his mobile phone deep in conversation with an unknown person.

This phone has since been seized by gardai, with senior sources describing it as “central to the investigation”.

Gardai believe that immediately after being caught on CCTV, Hennessy drove to Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, in his Nissan Qashqai where a 12-year-old boy saw him abduct Jastine (24), who he later strangled before dumping her body on a disused golf course in Rathmichael, south Dublin.

Our images match the description gardai put out in their appeal for information on the Dublin builder who, on a sunny summer evening, committed a crime that has shocked the nation .

“Hennessy is described as 176cm (5’9’’), slight build and balding and he was wearing a dark-coloured T-shirt, blue jeans and grey runners at the time,” the gardai said in an appeal on Tuesday.

Jastine Valdez
Jastine Valdez

“We would particularly like to speak with people who were in the Dalkey, Killiney, Ballybrack, Sallynoggin, Cherrywood, Rathmichael areas.

“The car may have stopped at restaurants, cafes, petrol station shops or bars in those areas.”

The Herald was in Ballybrack yesterday where a number of businesses confirmed that gardai had collected CCTV from them, which was being studied by officers last night.

Yesterday, we revealed that Hennessy had been on a cocaine and booze bender within hours of murdering Jastine on Saturday evening and is believed to have returned to Ballybrack in the aftermath of the shocking killing.

Hennessy was fatally shot once by a detective at Cherrywood Business Park in south Dublin on Sunday night after he threatened an unarmed garda with a knife.

This has led to an investigation by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) which released information about the shooting last night.

Hennessy’s death was caught on camera footage from a garda traffic car at the scene.

“A garda service weapon was recovered from the scene by GSOC. The remaining ammunition and one spent cartridge was located in the firearm,” GSOC said.

“A Stanley knife was subsequently recovered from the vehicle, the Nissan Qashqai, which had been the subject of a garda alert in the preceding hours.”

GSOC confirmed that a post- mortem showed what the Herald revealed yesterday – that Hennessy was, in fact, shot in the shoulder.

“The man identified as Mark Hennessy had been shot in the shoulder, and the bullet entered his torso causing fatal injuries,” the GSOC statement added.

“The deceased was in the driver’s seat at the time of the shooting. Other wounds consistent with self-harming were noted on his body.”

GSOC said it had appointed a family liaison officer to interact with Hennessy’s family.

GSOC investigators are collecting evidence including video footage of the incident.

In particular, they are studying a recording from the ANPR camera of the garda traffic car which was at the scene.

CCTV recordings from premises in the area have been provided to GSOC investigators, while witnesses are also being identified and contacted.

Gardai discovered a heavily bloodstained note in Hennessy’s car after he was shot dead in south Dublin, leading to the shocking discovery of Jastine’s body the following day.

In the note he apologised for his sickening crime, which resulted in the student’s body being found in dense gorse at a disused golf course in Rathmichael.

After the murder, Hennessy went to a pub in his native Ballybrack and spent the evening drinking.

Investigating officers have gathered CCTV footage of him in the pub.

That night, he also contacted a south Dublin drug dealer in a bid to buy cocaine.

This man has come forward and told investigators that he had no drugs to give Hennessy.

“It is highly unusual for a drug dealer to come forward to say someone was looking for drugs but then again this is a highly unusual case,” a source said last night.

“This shows how disgusted people, even criminals in the wider community, feel about this vile murder.”

Because of the seemingly random nature of the murder, gardai will investigate whether

Hennessy has been involved in previous unsolved crimes.

Officers will probe the DNA database in an attempt to find out what crimes, if any, he is linked to.

A database containing almost 15,000 DNA profiles of convicted offenders and unidentified suspects in criminal probes will be used.

The DNA database, introduced in 2014, is used to match crime scene profiles during garda investigations as well as identifying missing and unknown persons.

Gardai have not yet established a definite connection between Hennessy and any other serious crimes such as murders and sex assaults.

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