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Tuesday 14 August 2018

Killer Hennessy 'shot dead in car after single bullet entered torso' - GSOC statement

  • GSOC issue statement saying Mark Hennessy was shot dead in his car
  • Abductor and killer Hennessy was on 'massive drinking session' for weeks before senseless murder
  • May have taken bag and iPad belonging to Jastine, which have not yet been located
  • Garda search teams, along with 60 members of the Defence Forces, are searching the Cherrywood Road
  • Community struggles to resume 'normal life' after horror weekend
The late Jastine Valdez
The late Jastine Valdez
Candles and flowers surround a photograph of Jastine Valdez at a vigil in Enniskerry. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Gardai and the Defence Forces launch a search in Enniskerry today Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Gardai and the Defence Forces launch a search in Enniskerry today Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Gardai and the Defence Forces launch a search in Enniskerry today Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Ken Foy, Robin Schiller, Ryan Nugent and Catherine Devine

The Garda Ombudsman (GSOC) has issued a statement saying that Mark Hennessy, the man who abducted and killed Jastine Valdez, was shot dead in his car and had wounds consistent with self harming.

Gardai launched the search for Hennessy after Jastine (24) was reported missing on Saturday evening.

Gardai and the Defence Forces launch a search in Enniskerry today Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Gardai and the Defence Forces launch a search in Enniskerry today Photo: Colin O'Riordan

It's believed that after abducting and murdering Jastine, Hennessy went drinking and had been driving around south Co Dublin in the car used to abduct the 24-year-old student.

He was located by gardai at 8pm on Sunday in the Cherrywood Business Park and he was shot dead.

Gardai and the Defence Forces launch a search in Enniskerry today Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Gardai and the Defence Forces launch a search in Enniskerry today Photo: Colin O'Riordan

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) were called to investigate the fatal shooting.

Hennessy’s death was caught on camera footage from a garda traffic car at the scene.

Jastine Valdez in a photo from her Facebook page
Jastine Valdez in a photo from her Facebook page

A spokesperson for GSOC tonight said: "A garda service weapon was recovered from the scene by GSOC.

"The remaining ammunition and one spent cartridge was located in the firearm.

Flowers left at the scene in Rathmichael where the body of Jastine Valdez was found yesterday. Photo: PA/Donall Farmer
Flowers left at the scene in Rathmichael where the body of Jastine Valdez was found yesterday. Photo: PA/Donall Farmer

"A Stanley knife was subsequently recovered from the vehicle, the Nissan Qashqai, which had been the subject of a garda alert in the preceding hours."

The spokesperson confirmed that a post-mortem showed Hennessy was in fact shot in the shoulder.

Jastine Valdez was enjoying life following her move from the Philippines
Jastine Valdez was enjoying life following her move from the Philippines

"The man identified as Mark Hennessy had been shot in the shoulder, and that the bullet entered his torso causing fatal injuries.

"The deceased was in the driver’s seat at the time of the shooting. Other wounds consistent with self-harming were noted on his body," the spokesperson added.

Investigation

Gardaí are continuing to look into the background of Hennessy.

They are investigating reports that Hennessy went on a cocaine and alcohol bender within hours of murdering the accountancy student on Saturday evening.

The Herald revealed today that Hennessy;

  • Had been on a "massive drinking session" for weeks and feared that his wife was going to leave him and bring their two children with her;
  • Contacted a south Dublin drug dealer in an attempt to buy cocaine on Saturday night. In an unusual development, the dealer came forward to gardaí and told them of the incident;
  • May have taken bag and iPad belonging to Jastine, which have not yet been located.
bagjastine.png
Gardai have issued a photograph of Jastine's bag in the hope of locating it

The development comes as gardaí have begun searching for Jastine's handbag this afternoon.

Garda search teams along with 60 members of the Defence Forces are searching the Cherrywood Road in Dublin.

They are also expected to search the Kilcrony Road in Enniskerry where Ms Valdez was abducted.

Abduction

Jastine Valdez was spotted being bundled into a black jeep in Enniskerry at approximately 6.15pm on Saturday.

A body, believed to be that of Ms Valdez, was found in a disused golf course in Rathmichael at 3.30pm on Monday.

A post-mortem yesterday revealed that Ms Valdez died of manual strangulation.

Gardai now believe that Ms Valdez' suspected abductor and killer, Mark Hennessy, may have killed her within an hour of the abduction before dumping the body in the remote location.

An eyewitness is reported to have seen a woman in a distressed state in a car on the M11 at approximately 7pm on Saturday.

Gardai are now investigating the possibility that Ms Valdez was murdered shortly after this sighting.

It has also emerged the murder suspect left a note covered in blood in his car in which he told gardaí he had dumped the Filipino woman's remains in the Puck's Castle Lane area of Rathmichael in south Dublin.

Following a large-scale search operation involving gardaí and the Defence Forces, her body was found in gorse in the Rathmichael area of south Dublin, almost 48 hours after being abducted.

Deputy State Pathologist Linda Mulligan was due at the scene last night to carry out a preliminary examination of the body and formal identification was due to take place.

Gardaí have not yet established a connection between Hennessy and Ms Valdez and investigators at this stage believe the abduction was a random attack.

Witnesses - who included a 12-year-boy - reported seeing a woman being punched by a male and then forced into a black Nissan Qashqai along the Kilcroney Road, Enniskerry, at 6.15pm on Saturday.

Later that evening, the family of Ms Valdez reported her missing and gardaí established a link between the reported abduction and the young woman's disappearance.

A number of appeals were issued on Sunday, and a Garda manhunt resulted in Hennessy being found at a car park in Cherrywood, south Dublin.

It can also be revealed that Hennessy appeared in court just last Monday to face a number of charges relating to drink driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

This related to an incident in Bray in September of last year, when he crashed into another motorist.

He was due to re-appear in Bray district court on June 11 in relation to the matter.

Anyone with information should contact Bray Garda Station on 01-6665300 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123  or text 087 260 90 90.

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