Thursday 23 November 2017

David Mahon found guilty of manslaughter of his stepson

David Mahon
David Mahon
Dave Mahon and his wife Audrey Fitzpatrick outside court. Pic Collins Courts
Victim Dean Fitzpatrick
Dean Fitzpatrick. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Audrey’s daughter, Amy Fitzpatrick, who went missing in Spain in 2008.
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

A 45-year-old Dublin man has been found guilty of the manslaughter of his stepson.

A jury of six men and six women in the David Mahon trial delivered the verdict at the Central Criminal Court today.

The case has been adjourned until May 30th and David Mahon has been remanded in custody.

The jury began deliberating at 12.43pm on Wednesday on whether Mr Mahon murdered his stepson, Dean Fitzpatrick (23), or whether his fatal stab wound was the result of an accident or possible suicide.

On Friday afternoon, the judge ruled that the court would accept a verdict of ten, rather than the unanimous twelve.

Mr Mahon had pleaded not guilty to murdering the father-of-one on May 26, 2013.

Dean Fitzpatrick was the older brother of missing teenager Amy Fitzpatrick who went missing in Spain in 2008.

The 23-year-old received a single stab wound to the stomach outside the apartment his mother Audrey shared with Mr Mahon at Burnell Square, Northern Cross in Malahide.

In his closing argument, Defence counsel, Sean Guerin SC said that Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis had accepted in his evidence that Mr Fitzpatrick's injury could have been "accidental self-impalement" or a deliberate stabbing.

Mr Guerin also said that Dr Curtis had "no difficulty in reconciling Mr Mahon's account of what happened with the science".

He told the jury that David Mahon was asked by gardaí if Mr Fitzpatrick's death was his fault, and he said that it was.

"If Mr Mahon had not taken the knife out of his pocket Dean Fitzpatrick wouldn't be dead, and he has admitted that", Mr Guerin said.

"Mr Mahon has admitted that taking the knife out was a very, very stupid thing to do and had tragic consequences", he added, saying "he and Audrey will have to live with the knowledge of knowing that he was at fault."

However, he said the jury had to decide "does Mr Mahon bear criminal responsibility for Mr Fitzpatrick's death", and the onus is on the prosecution to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt.

David Mahon and Dean’s mother Audrey Fitzpatrick were married last year, two years after his death.

The family had moved to Spain in 2004, where the family had business interests. But Amy went missing four years later.

The court heard that by 2013, Mr Fitzpatrick was in a relationship and had a two-year-old child. He had mental health difficulties and also had a difficult relationship with Mr Mahon.

Both men were members of the Northwood Gym in Santry and Mr Mahon’s bicycle was interfered with outside the gym on May 24 that year, the court heard.

CCTV footage suggested that it was the deceased who had done so, taking a part off it.

The jury was told that Mr Mahon was annoyed and sought to have his stepson barred from the gym. He also spent much of the following day trying to contact the deceased. Witnesses would say he was not in a good mood and had been drinking heavily.

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