Monday 23 October 2017

Mahon didn't have motive to kill his stepson, court told

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

Eimear Cotter

Dave Mahon had "no motive to kill" his stepson Dean Fitzpatrick, a jury was told in closing arguments at a murder trial.

"In fact, he had every reason not to kill Dean - his love for Audrey, the mother of the victim. He had every reason not to do harm", said Sean Guerin SC.

Mr Fitzpatrick was stabbed to death outside Mr Mahon's apartment at Burnell Square, Northern Cross, on the Malahide Road. Mr Mahon (45) has denied murdering the 23-year-old on May 26, 2013. The deceased was the brother of Amy Fitzpatrick who went missing in Spain in 2008.

In her charge to the jury last night, Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan said the prosecution case was that Mr Mahon murdered Mr Fitzpatrick by stabbing him in the abdomen.

The defence case is that it was accidental self-impalement. The judge said the jury must also consider suicide as a possibility.

Ms Justice Heneghan told the jury they must look at the evidence in a "cold, clear and dispassionate way" and the onus was on the prosecution to prove their case.

In his closing address to the jury yesterday, Mr Guerin said the prosecution claims Mr Mahon told a "tissue of lies" to gardaí during interviews.

He said the jury knew Mr Mahon left the scene and threw away the knife.

However, he said Mr Mahon rang Coolock Garda Station before 9.30am the next morning and was there 20 minutes later.

Mr Guerin said Mr Mahon "gave gardaí everything they wanted". He provided fingerprints and DNA, ignored the advice of a solicitor not to say anything and answered all the questions from gardaí.

Mr Guerin said Mr Mahon "speaks freely and speaks his mind" to gardaí.

He also said there was no attempt by him to give a "rose-tinted account of his relationship with Dean Fitzpatrick", telling officers 'he was a b****d but he did not deserve this'."

Mr Guerin told the jury Mr Mahon has always said Dean's death was an accident and he impaled himself on a knife.

Claims he "gutted" his stepson, which were made by the prosecution, were "a gross exaggeration" and were an attempt to portray Mr Mahon as a "butcher" or "savage", he said.

Mr Guerin said the prosecution case was full of "hyperbole, hysteria and hypocrisy".

The jury must 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.

Mr Guerin said the prosecution claims the biggest lie told by Mr Mahon was that he did not know how injured Dean was. He asked the jurors to put themselves in Mr Mahon's position, asking them: "Would you have known you had caused a serious injury?"

Mr Guerin said Mr Fitzpatrick ran away, down four flights of stairs, and there was only a small drop of blood on the knife.

Mr Guerin asked the jury to see what happened as a "tragic accident" and he asked them to find Mr Mahon not guilty.

Ms Justice Heneghan will finish charging the jury tomorrow morning and the jury will then begin its deliberations.

Irish Independent

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