CALLOUS killer and rapist Jonathan Byrne tried to frame another teenager for the sick murder of schoolgirl Michaela Davis, the Herald can reveal.
Byrne was jailed for life yesterday for murdering and raping tragic Michaela (12) on August 28, 2010 at playing fields on Porterstown Road, Clonsilla in west Dublin.
Before he came clean about the murder, Byrne “made suggestions” to gardai that another local teenager carried out the evil crime.
Byrne (19) suggested they speak to the boy she had dated before him. They did but learned this boy had not been in the area that week.
At another point, gardai were “seriously considering” questioning a separate completely innocent teenager who was one of three people that Michaela had met earlier on the night.
However just minutes after going into garda custody, Byrne admitted that he had killed the 12-year-old who he had been in an illegal two-month sexual ‘relationship’ with.
The paedophile killer is now locked up in a special unit of Wheatfield Prison.
A jail source: “Because of what he did, Byrne is facing the prospect of being on protection for the full duration of his sentence. He is hated by the other prisoners.”
Det Sgt Daniel O’Callaghan told the Central Criminal Court yesterday that Friday, August 27 last year was Michaela's first day in secondary school.
Michaela was still wearing her new school uniform when she left home at 9.30pm to meet friends. She was home by 11pm as agreed and was allowed out for another half hour later.
She returned home at 11.30pm and begged to be allowed out for another 15 minutes. Her mother reluctantly agreed. Michaela never returned and was reported missing about 2am.
Her parents told gardai she had been in a relationship with Byrne, who was jealous and texted her a lot.
Her parents had thought he was 14 and instructed her to end the relationship when they learned that he was 18. She did this, but told her parents that he had been reluctant.
Mr Davis said he had seen Byrne hanging around their home weeks before the murder.
At 3.45am, gardai went to Byrne’s home, where his mother woke him. They noticed scratches on his forearms.
He said he was an alcoholic and had self-harmed and this was why he had scratches on his arms. He said he had seen Michaela that night but had left her at 10pm. He said he had just discovered she was only 12.
However sources say that Byrne had known about her age for some months after female relative of his was approached in a local shop and informed what age the child was.
A walker found Michaela’s body the following afternoon near the Royal Canal next to St Mochta’s playing field. She had died of asphyxia due to strangulation. State Pathologist Marie Cassidy suspected it would have been manual and quick.
A relative of Michaela sobbed in court while details of her extensive and severe rape injuries were read out.
A bloodstained shirt and Michaela’s mobile phone were found near her body and these led gardai back to Byrne. His DNA was found on her rape injuries and on a T-shirt found near her body. Her blood was found on his jeans.
Some hours later, Byrne's dad who is considered “a very decent man” brought his killer son to Blanchardstown Garda Station after he told him: “I was p*****. There was a row . . I can’t remember much.”
At the garda station Byrne admitted he’d been in a fight with Michaela. He said he’d broken it off when he found out she was aged 12, she took it badly and continued to text him.
He said he was drunk that night and texted her to sort out the break-up. He said they met and he told her it was over, they fought and he hit her on the head. When his father left the room, he told gardai he hit her a few slaps and strangled her.
Later he said he’d been very drunk, they had a fight, and that he raped her, beat her and strangled her.
He said he then dragged her body around the field, before dumping her body in the undergrowth.