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Friday 30 September 2016

Man accused of killing stepson 'threatened to stab his girlfriend in neck' - court is told

Dave Mahon and his wife Audrey Fitzpatrick outside court (Courtpix)
Dave Mahon and his wife Audrey Fitzpatrick outside court (Courtpix)

The girlfriend of Dean Fitzpatrick has told a court that his stepfather threatened to stab her in the neck hours before he is alleged to have stabbed Mr Fitzpatrick to death.

Sarah O'Rourke was giving evidence at the Central Criminal Court yesterday on the second day of the trial of 46-year-old David Mahon.

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

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

He was stabbed to death outside Mr Mahon's apartment at Burnell Square, Northern Cross, Malahide.

Ms O'Rourke said she last saw Dean on Saturday morning, May 25, 2013, as she was going to the shop.

She said he stopped his bicycle and spoke to them, and she saw he had a black eye.

Ms O'Rourke said she asked Dean about his black eye and he said he owed someone money.

She said she and Dean had been fighting around the time of his death and she had asked him to leave their home after she discovered he had been selling tablets.

Aggressive

The court heard Ms O'Rourke received a phone call from Mr Mahon that night.

She said he sounded aggressive and angry about something, and he told her to put Dean on the phone.

Ms O'Rourke said she explained to him the pair were fighting and Dean was probably in his dad's place.

She said Mr Mahon started getting really aggressive on the phone, saying "Sarah, put him on". She told him "He's not here, Davey".

Ms O'Rourke said Mr Mahon then threatened to "come to Lusk and stick a knife in her neck".

She told the court she thought Mr Mahon was under the influence of alcohol, and she hung up on him. She then rang her sister and told her Mr Mahon had threatened her and she was frightened.

Ms O'Rourke said she then texted Dean, and said Mr Mahon was looking for him, had been really rude to her and he needed to "go and sort it out".

In cross examination, Ms O'Rourke accepted she was "shocked and surprised" on the evening because "she had never seen a bad side" to Mr Mahon.

The Central Criminal Court also heard from a long-time friend of the accused, taxi driver Karl O'Toole, who said Mr Mahon called him on the Saturday night, May 25, and said he was in a bit of trouble and he and Audrey [Fitzpatrick, his now wife] had split up for good.

He said he went to Mr Mahon's apartment, and was there when Mr Fitzpatrick arrived.

Mr O'Toole said the accused was drunk.

He said Mr Mahon accused Dean of robbing a part of his bike and while he initially denied it, he later admitted he'd done it to annoy Mr Mahon.

Mr O'Toole said both men were agitated, but Dean said he'd return the part the following day and he got up and left.

He said Mr Mahon told him: "I'll be back in a minute" and went out on to the landing.

He said Mr Mahon wasn't gone for long, maybe one minute, and when he came back he was holding a knife.

Mr O'Toole said he got "such a fright".

He said the knife was "a large knife, a long knife".

He said Mr Mahon said to him: "You've to get me out of here. I have to go."

Mr Mahon was very agitated, so he grabbed his car keys and they left the apartment.

Mr O'Toole said they got into his taxi and he was "just driving".

He said Mr Mahon was not making any sense, and he was trying to talk to him to find out what had happened.

He said he drove on the back roads towards Swords, and recalled Mr Mahon asking him to stay off the motorways due to CCTV.

As they were coming off the M1 at Balbriggan, Mr O'Toole said Mr Mahon told him he thinks "Dean is dead" and "the knife went through him".

Abdomen

He said he advised Mr Mahon to go to the gardai but "Dave was not really making any sense at all".

The court heard the pair then drove back to Dublin to Mr Mahon's father's house, arriving at 3am or 4am. Mr O'Toole said Mr Mahon told his father that "Dean came at him with a knife and he ended up being stabbed".

Asked by Remy Farrell SC if Mr Mahon had said he'd stabbed him, Mr O'Toole replied "yeah".

Mr O'Toole said Mr Mahon also told his father that Dean had been sending him threatening text messages for the previous three or four days.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Mahon stabbed Mr Fitzpatrick in the abdomen.

In his opening address to the jury, Mr Farrell said the accused will claim it was an accident and may allege Mr Fitzpatrick had been suicidal, but he told the jurors they would have great difficulty in reconciling that account with Mr Fitzpatrick's injuries.

"There was a piece of intestine protruding," he said. "In common terms, he had been gutted."

The trial continues.

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