Friday 19 October 2018

Garda fired one shot and killer Hennessy was dead 'almost instantly'

New details emerge about knife-wielding killer's last moments

Jastine Valdez (right) who was abducted and murdered by Mark Hennessy (left)
Jastine Valdez (right) who was abducted and murdered by Mark Hennessy (left)

Ken Foy

A DETECTIVE who shot knife-wielding killer Mark Hennessy discharged a single bullet from his official firearm, Independent.ie can reveal.

New details have emerged about Hennessy’s last moments before he was shot dead by a highly respected south Dublin based officer.

Hennessy (40) was shot after he threatened an unarmed traffic garda in Cherrywood Business Park on Sunday evening.

“The entry of the single bullet was between Hennessy’s scapula and shoulder blade – the bullet then exited from there and into his head. The blood came out the exit wound which was his mouth and he died pretty much instantly,” a source said.

Hennessy’s killing is the subject of an official investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman but senior sources say the actions of the south Dublin officer were “completely appropriate and justified”.

A post-mortem carried out yesterday revealed Hennessy strangled the Filipino student to death.

It is believed he killed Ms Valdez shortly after he abducted her as she walked home after work in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow on Saturday evening.

A handgun was used to shoot Hennessy as an armed detective made a split-second judgement the killer might attack his unarmed colleague in the business estate.

Members of the civil defence had earlier blocked in Hennessy’s car after they spent hours searching for his tragic victim (24).

It is also believed Hennessy bent into the footwell of the passenger side of his Nissan Qashqai in what was believed to be an effort to retrieve a potential weapon seconds before he was shot dead. The experienced detective, who is originally from Wexford, has been described as a highly respected officer who has never faced any disciplinary issues.

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 would have been due to appear again in Bray district court again on June 11 in relation to this matter.

The father of two, who only had a second child last September, was not known to gardaí in recent years for any serious criminal behaviour.

However, he had three previous convictions dating back to his early 20s.

In 1999, he was convicted of drugs possession after being found with £100 worth of cannabis in St Stephens Green.

A year later, in September 2000, he was charged with a public order offence in Rathmines, Dublin.

During that incident he head-butted another customer at a pub.

He was later convicted of threatening and abusing behaviour as well as being drunk and disorderly and fined €250.

The remains of Ms Valdez were discovered at around 3.30pm on Monday following a massive focused search in the Rathmichael area of south Dublin. 

Members of the Garda divisional search team, assisted by 60 troops from the Defence Forces, carried out a significant operation along the Puck’s Castle Lane and nearby golf course in an attempt to locate Ms Valdez.

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