Man cleared of teen murder over 'lack of evidence'
A MAN has been cleared of murdering a teenager who was in care after the judge decided there was not enough evidence against him.
Richard Dekker (27) was acquitted of murdering Daniel McAnaspie (17), pictured, who was in the care of the State when he was stabbed to death with a garden shears three years ago.
But another man accused of murdering the teenager, who had been on trial alongside Mr Dekker for the past two weeks, will face a new trial.
Mr Dekker (27), of Whitestown Avenue in Blanchardstown, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Daniel at Tolka Valley Park, Blanchardstown, on February 26, 2010.
Trevor Noone (25), also of Whitestown Avenue, had pleaded not guilty to the same offence and had been on trial alongside Mr Dekker.
The Central Criminal Court heard that each man blamed the other for killing the boy, pictured, whose badly decomposed body was found three months later in a ditch on a farm in Meath. The trial heard that both of the victim's parents were dead.
Mr Noone claimed that Mr Dekker was planning to stab the teenager when the three of them walked into the park.
Meanwhile, Mr Dekker said that he believed Mr Noone was going to give him "a few digs".
The prosecution closed its case on Monday and Mr Justice Paul Butler yesterday told the jury of seven men and five women to acquit Mr Dekker.
"There was an application before me," he said, explaining that he decided that there was not enough evidence against Mr Dekker to go to a jury.
"I'm directing you, because of a lack of evidence in Mr Dekker's case, to find him not guilty by direction of the trial judge," he said.
The foreman of the jury then signed the issue paper containing this verdict.
Mr Justice Butler extended his deepest sympathy to the family of the deceased, who he said was brutally killed.
The judge said that, given all that had been said in the trial, he did not think it was appropriate for the jury to continue to sit in Mr Noone's case, and a new trial date would now be set for him.