Tuesday 16 January 2018

'I have forgiven Dave but not forgotten' - Audrey Mahon tells court as husband awaits sentence for killing her son

David Mahon to be sentenced for manslaughter of stepson next month

Audrey Fitzpatrick and David Mahon (inset Dean Fitzpatrick)
Audrey Fitzpatrick and David Mahon (inset Dean Fitzpatrick)

Eimear Cotter

Audrey Mahon said she has "forgiven" her husband who has been found guilty of killing her son, but "has not forgotten" what happened.

Dublin man David Mahon (45) was found guilty of the manslaughter of his stepson by a jury at the Central Criminal Court earlier this month. He will be sentenced on Monday week.

In her victim impact statement today, Audrey Mahon said, that like all mothers, she had a "special bond" with her son Dean, recalling his "cheeky grin" and "heart of gold".

She said that nothing can compare with the tragedy of Dean's loss, and she cannot disagree with the jury's decision.

Mrs Mahon also said she has "forgiven Dave but has not forgotten" what happened, adding that Mr Mahon will "always be my husband and best friend".

David Mahon had denied murdering his stepson Dean Fitzpatrick on May 26, 2013, a day after the deceased interfered with his bicycle to annoy him.

He claimed father-of-one Mr Fitzpatrick walked into the knife he was holding and his death was an accident.

His legal team argued that Mahon's account of what happened was not contradicted by the scientific evidence.

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

Dean Fitzpatrick was the older brother of 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 Mahon at Burnell Square, Northern Cross in Malahide.

Earlier this month, a jury of six men and six women took eight hours and 16 minutes to reach a verdict that Mahon was guilty of manslaughter.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan said she will impose sentencing on Monday, June 13.

During the sentence hearing, defence barrister, Sean Guerin SC, said Mr Mahon accepted the jury's decision and there would not be an appeal against conviction.

Mr Guerin said he had also been instructed by his client to apologise to all those who knew Mr Fitzpatrick.

In his victim impact statement, Dean's father Christopher Fitzpatrick said his son took his first breath into the world in March 1990, and he was "so small and precious" and he was so "full of joy" to have a son.

Mr Fitzpatrick said his daughter went missing in 2008 and his "world came crashing down again" in May 2013 when he had to identify his son's body in Beaumont Hospital.

He said Dean's death has taken its toll on him, and he has been hospitalised due to stress.

Mr Fitzpatrick also said that all he now has of Dean is "visits to his resting place".

Dean's partner Sarah O'Rourke said, in her victim impact statement, that her "world fell apart" when gardai told her that Dean had died, and while the couple had their "ups and downs", she "loved him as he loved me".

Ms O'Rourke said Dean was so proud of the couple's young son, and she will "never forget him and what they had".

The court heard that the couple's son was only 18 months old when Mr Fitzpatrick was killed.

In her victim impact statement, Ms O'Rourke said it "broke her heart" to hear their young son calling "da, da" following his death.

When her son picks up Dean's picture and asks "where's my daddy", Ms O'Rourke said that she tells him he is "a star in the sky and angels took him to heaven".

Ms O'Rourke said Mr Fitzpatrick was "cruelly taken away from his son". She said he talks about Dean all the time, and is missing out on things that other children can do with their fathers.

Defence barrister Sean Guerin SC said Mahon's circumstances have changed greatly since he lived in Spain and ran a successful property business.

Mr Guerin said the defendant had always worked since leaving school, but he is currently on disability after undergoing two hip operations. The court also heard that Mahon is urgently waiting on a second operation on one of his hips and this is causing him pain.

Mr Guerin also said this case was "truly an involuntary manslaughter case" and "a lenient approach to sentencing is a just approach".

Online Editors

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