A woman who helped raise a homeless disabled man who was brutally stabbed to death in a Dublin park has said he finally has got justice, but added that the murder verdict will not bring him back.
Philip Dunbar (20) was yesterday at the Central Criminal Court found guilty of the murder of Adam 'Floater' Muldoon (23).
Dunbar was aged 17 when he lured Adam into Butler Park in Jobstown Park in Tallaght on June 22 or 23 2018 and attacked him with a fold-up knife, stabbing him 183 times.
He stormed from the court yesterday as the guilty verdict was read out following just under three hours of deliberation by the jury. The murder happened just six weeks before Dunbar turned 18.
There were indications that Dunbar's life was starting to spiral out of control in the months leading up to the killing.
However, none of the previous interactions that the killer had with gardaí as a 17-year-old indicated he was capable of the level of violence he inflicted on tragic Adam.
The Herald can reveal that just weeks before the savage murder, Dunbar was given the benefit of the Probation Act at the Children's Court for criminal damage of a car.
At around the same time he was caught by gardaí with a small amount of cannabis herb and MDMA at a music festival in Mullingar, Co Westmeath - an offence for which he was later fined €105.
He was also aged 17 when he was twice busted by gardaí for stealing petrol on two occasions to the value of €45 and €35 from a service station in Blessington, Co Wicklow.
He was given eight months in prison last October for these offences but he had already been remanded in custody at this stage after being charged with Adam's murder.
The killer has also been summoned to court on a number of occasions for driving offences.
Last night, Tallaght mother Marian Lawlor, who helped raise Adam, told the Herald: "We are happy that Adam has got justice now, but it's devastating too because he's not coming back.
"I was confident it would be a murder verdict and not manslaughter.
"What he did to Adam was horrific. To claim he had a blackout and didn't remember was never going to change what he did. Adam always had a smile, and would go where he was called to in the hope he would fit in.
"I also feel some sense of pity for Dunbar, because he is a human being too, but he brought all this on himself and he is the one who had to face that," she added.
"It's a weight off our minds. Adam's murder really affected my own children badly."
During the murder trial, the defendant's friend told the court that Dunbar had boasted about the murder and told him he had put Mr Muldoon "out of his misery".
The witness said Mr Dunbar told him that he knew Mr Muldoon was dead "the second I got him in the neck".
But he said he "kept going and kept going" changing the hand that he was holding the knife in so he could keep going.
The following morning at about 9am the witness said Mr Dunbar called to his home again and they went together to the Square in Tallaght and then to nearby Sean Walsh Park where the accused threw the knife into a lake.
Dunbar's defence suggested to the jury that this witness, who cannot be named, was present when the stabbing took place, a suggestion the witness strongly denied.
Mr Muldoon's body was found early the following morning and pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster identified 183 stab wounds.
Wounds to the carotid artery in the neck and to the liver and lungs were fatal and she further noted defensive wounds to his hands. About 24 hours after the stabbing, Dunbar went with his grandmother and other relatives to a garda station.
He revealed he had gone to the park with Mr Muldoon and had a "blackout" but he knew he had stabbed Mr Muldoon.
He would also tell gardaí and psychiatrists that he was addicted to pills including benzodiazepines and had been drinking and smoking cannabis.
His defence argued he was so intoxicated that he was not able to form the necessary intent for murder.
He also said he had been seeing things and hearing voices in his head for months in the lead-up to the attack.
Prosecution counsel Pauline Walley SC described Dunbar's claims of intoxication as "self-serving" and pointed out that the list of substances he said he was abusing grew over time as he spoke to gardaí and later to psychiatrists.
The jury of six men and five women rejected his defence, returning a unanimous guilty verdict after just under three hours of deliberations.
Dunbar immediately stood up to leave court when the verdict was revealed.
As members of Mr Muldoon's family left the court in tears, one of them shouting towards Dunbar: "Who's laughing now?" Dunbar replied: "Shut your mouth, you," as prison officers ushered him into the cell area.
He will be sentenced to the mandatory term of life imprisonment for murder this Friday.
In his summary to the jury Mr Justice Paul McDermott asked the jury to consider the evidence of Dr Brenda Wright who had concluded that while Dunbar did not have a mental condition, he was intoxicated at the time and had he not been he would not have behaved as he did.
Mr McDermott said that if Dunbar's intoxication was such that he was unable to form an intent then he should be found guilty of manslaughter.
He added that if they were satisfied he killed him and that he intended to kill or cause serious injury then they should find him guilty of murder.