Friday 27 April 2018

'Seven years not enough for Mahon' - slain Dean's dad

Christopher Fitzpatrick, father of Dean Fitzpatrick, speaks to reporters yesterday. Pic Collins Courts
Christopher Fitzpatrick, father of Dean Fitzpatrick, speaks to reporters yesterday. Pic Collins Courts

Eimear Cotter and Conor Feehan

The seven-year sentence handed to Dave Mahon for the manslaughter of Dean Fitzpatrick is not long enough, his father has said.

However, Christopher Fitzpatrick and his sister Christine Kenny said the sentencing brought closure to the case and gives them a chance to refocus their efforts in searching for Dean's missing sister Amy who vanished in Spain on January 1, 2008.

Dave Mahon and Audrey Mahon during his trial. Pic Collins Courts
Dave Mahon and Audrey Mahon during his trial. Pic Collins Courts

Mahon (45) was found guilty of the manslaughter of Dean Fitzpatrick last month. He had denied murdering the father of one on May 26, 2013. Yesterday he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with three suspended, at the Central Criminal Court.

Read more: 'I wouldn't accept his apology under any circumstances' - Dean Fitzpatrick's dad reacts to sentence for Dave Mahon

Dean (23) received a single stab wound to the stomach outside the apartment his mother Audrey shared with Mahon at Burnell Square, Northern Cross in Malahide. When Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan handed down her sentence, Mahon, dressed in a navy suit with an open-necked pink shirt, glanced over at his wife Audrey who battled back tears.

The Central Criminal Court previously heard that Mahon accepted the jury's decision, and would not be appealing the verdict.

However, Mahon's legal team now looks likely to "take the matter upstairs" and appeal the severity of his seven-year jail term to the Court of Appeal, the Irish Independent understands.

Mahon's lawyers are expected to study the sentence in the next few weeks, but sources have already indicated that Mahon will appeal the severity of it.

Ms Justice Heneghan noted that even a long sentence will end at some point while the "suffering and deprivation of the victim's family will sadly be permanent".

Afterwards, Dean's aunt Christine said: "A life for a life. I know that sounds bad but that's the way I feel about it."

"We are relieved that this process is over as it has been a long road to get here. Today has given us some closure but we still have a long road ahead of us in the search for Amy.

"We have some hope now for Amy with this person coming forward in this other case," she added in reference to recent developments in the search for missing Dublin schoolboy Philip Cairns.

"We will fight to the bitter end to get truth for Amy. Hopefully somebody will come forward with information of where Amy was that night and pleased God we find her."

Christopher Fitzpatrick added: "I just thought it would have been a longer sentence than what he got. "Dean was a nice young man, only growing up. He was a young man when he died, far too young to die."

Christopher said he would never accept the apology offered by Mahon in court.

"I wouldn't accept his apology under any circumstances. He done what he done. We know what he done, and everybody is aware of what he done."

In May, a jury took eight hours and 16 minutes to reach a verdict that Mahon was not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Mahon had claimed that Mr Fitzpatrick's death was an accident.

Read more: 'I've forgiven Dave but not forgotten,' says Audrey

Irish Independent

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