herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

I wish it was me who had been killed - Mahon told gardai

Dave Mahon and his wife Audrey entering court (Courtpix)
Dave Mahon and his wife Audrey entering court (Courtpix)

A 45-year-old man accused of killing his stepson told gardai "I wish it was me", a jury has heard.

David Mahon (45) also told gardai he did not mean to kill his stepson, Dean Fitzpatrick, "not in a million years".

When asked by gardai if he thought the force used had been excessive, he responded: "Obviously I do, he's dead, isn't he?"

He said he grabbed a kitchen knife from his stepson in his apartment and put it in his back pocket because he thought "it would be safe there".

He told gardai he then took the knife from his back pocket, showed it to Mr Fitzpatrick, and asked him "why are you pulling a knife on your auld fella".

He said Mr Fitzpatrick "walked into the knife", and he thought he had just been nicked.

Mr Mahon also told gardai during interview "I wish it was me", referring to his stepson's death.

The jury heard that Dean Fitzpatrick's medical notes revealed he had self-harmed on three occasions and had previously expressed a death wish in terms of feeling guilty about his missing sister, Amy, and had gained psychological release by cutting himself.

Worried

Mr Mahon, of Ongar Village in Clonsilla, has denied murdering 23-year-old Dean Fitzpatrick on May 26, 2013.

Mr Fitzpatrick was the brother of Amy Fitzpatrick, who went missing in Spain in 2008.

The father-of-one was stabbed to death outside Mr Mahon's apartment at Burnell Square, Northern Cross in Malahide.

The Central Criminal Court heard that gardai conducted a total of five interviews with Mr Mahon.

During the interviews, he told officers he was worried about his partner, Audrey, Dean Fitzpatrick's mother, telling them her son's death was going to kill her.

"I thought that when Amy went missing [it] was the worst thing in the world, and now this. How am I going to face Audrey?"

Mr Mahon told gardai his stepdaughter Amy was "an angel, but Dean was no angel".

He said Dean was always pulling knives on him, and he once pulled a gun on him, but he was never afraid.

Mr Mahon admitted he once hit Dean, but that was "in Spain years ago".

He told gardai that he and his partner Audrey were "millionaires in Spain" and owned eight or nine houses and bars, but that they spent all their money looking for Amy.

Mr Mahon said that when he and Audrey returned to Ireland, he had to ask his dad for the money for the flights home.

Mr Mahon told gardai that Mr Fitzpatrick had called up to his apartment on May 25 and the pair had argued, and Dean said "you don't care about your grandson".

He said Mr Fitzpatrick pulled a knife on him in the kitchen, but he grabbed it off him and put it in his back pocket.

Mr Mahon said Dean then told him "I'll f*ck you up", and he was embarrassed that his friend John McCormack had heard this.

He said Mr McCormack took Dean out of his apartment onto the hallway, and he followed them.

Dean was roaring and shouting, he told gardai.

Mr Mahon said he asked Dean "why are you pulling a knife on your auld fella".

He said he thought Mr Fitzpatrick was going to "loaf" him, but no punches were thrown.

He said Dean walked into the knife, and he knew he had nicked him.

He heard Dean say "ah" and he ran off down the stairs. He said he "didn't think it was that serious".

Mr Mahon added: "I can't believe he's dead. This will kill Audrey. She took an overdose before."

The jury heard Mr Mahon previously said he'd kill Mr Fitzpatrick, that he'd stab him, but "that's the language he uses. I've never stabbed anyone. I'm not a violent man".

He also told gardai Mr Fitzpatrick "walked into the knife", and said "I'm starting to doubt myself, did I push him?"

He added: "Is it an accident or murder? I don't know, but it's my fault".

The accused also told gardai: "He's a little b*****d but I wish it were me dead".

He said that "part of him thinks he [Mr Fitzpatrick] wanted it", adding that Dean "walked into the knife".

Mr Mahon said he "never thought he'd killed him" and if he'd realised how serious it was he would have called an ambulance.

The jury heard Mr Mahon then left the apartment and he got into a taxi with his friend Karl O'Toole.

Denied

He said he threw away the knife, "don't ask me, I don't know why".

On Tuesday, the jury had heard from Dean Fitzpatrick's former girlfriend Sarah Rourke, who claimed that Mr Mahon rang her on May 25, 2013, and threatened to come out to her home and stick a knife in her neck.

This allegation was put by gardai to Mr Mahon during interviews and he denied screaming at her.

He said it was "bullsh*t", and he had not been in contact with her.

Mr Fitzpatrick's medical notes were also opened to the court, and they revealed he had had problems with cannabis, cocaine and tablets from the age of 11, and had self-harmed on at least three occasions to "relieve tension".

The medical notes further revealed that Mr Fitzpatrick told professionals he had a conviction for attempted murder of a police man in Spain.

The prosecution case has now closed.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan.

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