Missing Amy's stepdad spared jail for drink-driving
THE stepfather of missing teenager Amy Fitzpatrick, who vanished in Spain five years ago, has been given a suspended sentence on appeal for a dangerous drink-driving incident in Dublin.
Amy Fitzpatrick was 15 when she vanished on January 1, 2008. She had left a friend's house on the Costa del Sol to walk to her own home but she did not arrive.
Her mother, Audrey Fitzpatrick, and her stepfather, David Mahon, have continued an appeal for information leading to the discovery of Amy, who is originally from Donaghmede in Dublin.
A Dublin court heard that Mr Mahon had been seen driving dangerously by an off-duty garda who followed him in north Dublin on January 1, last, the fifth anniversary of his step-daughter's disappearance.
On March 12 last, at Dublin District Court, Mahon (42) was given a four-month jail term and a five-year road ban but appealed the severity of the sentence.
Yesterday, at the Circuit Court in Dublin, Judge James O'Donohue suspended the jail sentence on condition Mr Mahon keeps the peace for 12 months. He also reduced the road ban to three years, the minimum for the level of alcohol that was in Mahon's system.
Garda Ciaran Kennedy told the appeal court that an off-duty garda had been travelling on the Swords Road when he noticed Mahon overtake him and caused on-coming traffic "to take avoidance action".
He almost lost control and nearly collided with the garda's car. The garda followed him to Dublin Airport but Mahon then drove off and almost hit other cars after he broke red lights.
When he got to Lorcan Drive, near his home in Santry, he was taking corners at speed and drove around the estate twice.
Garda Kennedy arrived and noticed that Mahon was drunk.
He was arrested and a drink-driving test was carried out which gave a reading of 99mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.
Defence counsel Rory Staines asked the judge to note that the offence happened on the fifth anniversary of the disappearance of Mahon's stepdaughter.
The judge said the lack of prior criminal convictions and Mahon's co-operation with gardai was to his credit.
"I am very sorry to hear about your personal tragedy, I can understand how this whole thing happened," he told Mahon.
Outside court, Mahon said he was delighted with the sympathy shown to him.