| 9.5°C Dublin

I hope he gets full 20 years, says dad of murdered Avril

THE family of Avril Flanagan, brutally stabbed to death in Spain, have expressed relief that "this nightmare has come to an end."

Avril's father Gerry said they hoped her killer "gets the full 20 years" sentence.

"Avril was a human being and my only daughter."

Speaking outside the Spanish court after a jury found Alan Daulby guilty of her murder, the former Dublin Bus engineer said: "It's a relief that it's all been proven because up to yesterday Daulby hadn't said anything."

Daulby was found guilty of stabbing the 20-year-old Irish bar worker to death 47 times at his flat on Spain's Costa Blanca after she begged him to stop stalking her.

Avril, from Swords, Co Dublin, was due to fly back to Ireland the day of her death on May 29, 2009, with her mother Barbara to celebrate her 21st birthday. Barbara, who gave evidence in the trial, was too distraught to attend the verdict.

Her seven minutes of agony only ended when Daulby stabbed her for the 47th time about the head, neck, chest, arms and legs in a brutal attack with a kitchen knife.

Her family found her body hidden in plastic under a sofa after he spent more than three hours clinically cleaning up the murder scene before going on the run.

Family friend Greg Daly, who attended every day of the trial, added: " I think the whole community is going to be relieved that this nightmare has come to an end. At least now we can try and get some closure.


"Nothing can turn back time and bring Avril back to the arms of her family but we hope Daulby gets hit with the maximum, sentence.

"His apologies have been hollow and empty. He's shown no sincerity and not a trace of remorse."

Mr Daly slammed Irish diplomatic officials saying "no one from the Irish Embassy in Spain has ever contacted Avril's family. One of their nationals was butchered and there hasn't been a single phone call. It's appalling."

Daulby (26), from Liverpool, hung his head and wept yesterday as the verdict was read out after a three-day trial at a court in Elche.

The jury ruled by a majority verdict of seven to two he was conscious of what he was doing -- and his mind was not befuddled by drink or drugs.

Judge Gracia Serrano reserved sentencing to a later date -- but Daulby was warned he could expect to get between 17-and-a-half and 20 years.

Jose Carlos Munoz, a private prosecutor acting for Avril's family, revealed outside court that Daulby offered to do a deal before the trial, pleading guility for a lighter sentence, but this was rejected by her mum and dad.

He said: "I'm glad Avril's killer has been forced to see and hear over three days in court what he did to her. He'd invented his own story over the time he's been held in jail. Now he's seen with his own eyes the pain and suffering he's caused."