Thursday 22 March 2018

David Mahon trial: Jury to continue deliberations after lunch

Dave Mahon.
Dave Mahon.
Dave Mahon and his wife Audrey Fitzpatrick outside court. Pic Collins Courts

Eimear Cotter

A jury in the trial of a 45-year-old man accused of murdering his stepson will continue their deliberations after lunch.

David Mahon (45) denies murdering father-of-one, Dean Fitzpatrick, on May 26, 2013, a day after the deceased interfered with a water bottle on his bicycle to annoy him.

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.

So far the jury has been deliberating for more than seven hours over three days.

Just before the jury retired for lunch, they were asked by the court clerk if they had reached a verdict on which they had all agreed. The jury foreman told the court that they had not.

It is the prosecution case that Mr Mahon was drunk, angry and agitated and he intentionally stabbed Mr Fitzpatrick, before fleeing the scene, and leaving him to die on the street.

Mr Mahon has claimed that it was an accident, or what his barrister, Sean Guerin SC, described as "accidental self-impalement".

Mr Mahon told gardai that after a confrontation, he took a knife from Mr Fitzpatrick, and was showing it to him and asking him what he was doing "pulling a knife on his auld fella" when Mr Fitzpatrick walked into it.

His lawyers have argued that Mr Mahon's account of what happened has not been contradicted by the scientific evidence.

The jury began their deliberations shortly before lunch on Wednesday and they continued yesterday and this morning. So far they have been deliberating for seven hours and 30 minutes.

The jury has returned with a number of questions for Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan during their deliberations.

Yesterday, they asked for a knife block from Mr Mahon's apartment at Burnell Square, as well as a knife which gardai found on the balcony of the apartment.

They were provided with CCTV footage from Mr Mahon's Burnell Square apartment complex on the night Mr Fitzpatrick died.

The jury also asked the judge for the legal definition of the three verdicts open to them - guilty of murder, not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter and not guilty.

They then sought further clarification on the legal definitions of manslaughter, assault and recklessness.

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