Monday 25 March 2019

'It feels like he died all over again' - family of Charlie McCarthy says 'justice hasn't been served'

Charlie McCarthy's family described him as the
Charlie McCarthy's family described him as the "most beautiful, amazing father"
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

THE FAMILY of father-of-two Charlie McCarthy says it feels like "he has died all over again" after a man accused of killing him was found not guilty.

Andrew Doan (35) was accused of fatally stabbing the Corkman in the head with a screwdriver during a fight next to Perth's Swan River in 2017.

Jurors found Mr Doan not guilty of both murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter following a trial in the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Speaking to about the verdict, Charlie's heartbroken sister Karina Dolan said Australia is "operating a legal system, not a justice system".

Karina Dolan pictured with her brother Charlie McCarthy
Karina Dolan pictured with her brother Charlie McCarthy

"We're just in shock. My mother is in pieces... it's like he has died all over again. Charlie was so loved, not only by us, but by the whole Aghada community here in Cork," she said.

"The whole family is devastated by the verdict as we feel nobody will ever be brought to justice over his death.

"It was the rarest night out, Charlie was only out as it was a Christmas do. He would normally only go out two to three times a year, max. It's just so tragic as he was so amazing, so genuine and had such love for his family and friends.

"He was constantly in contact with us at home, he was in a stable job, had a beautiful family... he had everything going for him."

Ms Dolan said the last year has been a "horrible time" for the family.

Her sister Michelle was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

Charlie came from a family of seven and many of his siblings flew over to be with his wife Nicole and their two children for the trial.

"I stayed at home to be with mam, dad, John and Michelle and we have been struggling to come to terms with it over the past few days. In the court, nobody was allowed to be Charlie's voice or give evidence about what an incredible person he was," she said.

Ms Dolan criticised how Mr Doan interpreted a comment by Charlie's friend as "racist".

"It just sounded like such a throwaway comment... I don't see how it could be interpreted as racist," Ms Dolan said.

The court heard how how Mr Doan had been fishing with his friend Tien Vu Huynh in East Fremantle in the early hours of December 23, 2017, when Mr McCarthy, his wife Nicole, and friend Jason Mikel Curran walked by.

Mr Doan said that when the men saw him and Mr Huynh emerging from the water, they asked: "Have you caught much?"

He mumbled "Not much" in reply and they shot back "Bit of s*** luck", according to Doan.

Their next comment - along the lines of "Fisheries are going to come and get you" - upset him and Mr Huynh, who are both Asian and interpreted it as racist.

The trio walked off but Mr Doan pursued them and a verbal argument erupted.

Mr Doan reached into his hoodie pocket, pulled out a screwdriver he had been carrying for crabbing and held it above his head, saying: "Get back or I'll stab you."

The court was told that Mr McCarthy then impaled himself on the screwdriver, which Mr Doan was still holding.

He remained at the scene until emergency services arrived, telling police "it was me", and claiming self-defence.

Ms Dolan said while the family has been left heartbroken by the ordeal, the support of their local community has offered some comfort.

"The GAA hall here was full of his pictures and his memories when we held a special walk for him back in December and the boys in the local club sang Caldonia, which was his favourite song," she said.

"I just want to emphasise what an amazing man Charlie was, he was the golden boy of the family. We're not going to give up, he was part of our family chain and we are his voice now.

"We want justice for Charlie and we're not going to give up."

In a statement released through their solicitor, the family said: “The McCarthy family’s lives have been torn apart since the horrific death of Charlie on December 23rd 2017.

“Charlie was one of seven children to Margaret and Charles McCarthy. Charlie was a very hardworking, gentle, fun loving, even tempered and a real family man. He lived for his family both in Ireland and Australia.

“He was very close with his entire family and would ring his mother on a daily basis, despite the time difference. He was a very keen GAA follower especially of his beloved Aghada GAA Club. He had a special interest in his twin sister’s football matches and would contact regularly for updates.

“On the unfortunate night of the 23rd of December 2017 Charlie was on a very rare night out with his wife, Nicole, which resulted in him being the victim of a fatal stabbing. Charlie has left behind two beautiful children, a wonderful wife, mother, father and six siblings.”

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