David Mahon accused of 'gutting' Dean Fitzpatrick with carving knife
A 46-year-old Dublin man has gone on trial, charged with murdering his stepson by ‘gutting’ him, after the deceased had interfered with his bicycle to annoy him.
David Mahon is charged with murdering father of one Dean Fitzpatrick on 26th May, 2013.
The 23-year-old was stabbed in the abdomen on the landing outside Mr Mahon’s apartment at Burnell Square, Northern Cross, on the Malahide Road in Dublin.
Dressed in a navy suit, Mr Mahon stood to be arraigned before the Central Criminal Court today and pleaded not guilty. A jury was then sworn in.
Remy Farrell SC opened the case for the prosecution, explaining that David Mahon was the partner, now husband, of the deceased man’s mother, Audrey Fitzpatrick.
He said that she also had a daughter, Amy Fitzpatrick, from a previous relationship. Mr Mahon, Ms Fitzpatrick and the two children moved to Spain in 2004, where the family had business interests.
“Tragically, Amy Fitzpatrick went missing in 2008,” said Mr Farrell, explaining that she had never been found. He said that Mr Mahon and Ms Fitzpatrick had been ‘much in the limelight’ since Amy went missing regarding her disappearance.
Mr Farrell said that Dean Fitzpatrick returned to Ireland shortly after his sister went missing, having turned 18. He said that by 2013, he was in a relationship and had a two-year-old child. He had mental health difficulties and also had a difficult relationship with Mr Mahon.
Mr Farrell said that both men were members of the Northwood Gym in Santry and that Mr Mahon’s bicycle was interfered with outside the gym on May 24th that year.
He said that CCTV footage suggested that it was the deceased who had done so, taking a part off the bicycle.
The jury was told that Mr Mahon was annoyed and sought to have his stepson barred from the gym. He also spent much of the following day trying to contact the deceased. Witnesses would say he was not in a good mood and had been drinking heavily.
The barrister said that Mr Mahon was in his apartment with two friends that night and phoned Mr Fitzpatrick to come over. The deceased arrived and there was a confrontation.
“Ultimately, he admitted doing it (interfering with the bicycle) to annoy him,” said Mr Farrell. “Both were agitated.”
One of Mr Mahon’s friends told the deceased to leave and he brought him outside. Mr Mahon then told the other friend he’d be back in a minute.
“It’s what happened when he walked out the door that’s the issue,” said the barrister.
“David Mahon arrived back in and had a carving knife,” he said. “The prosecution case is that David Mahon stabbed Dean Fitzpatrick in the abdomen.”
The jury heard that Mr Fitzpatrick ran off, collapsed nearby and was tended to by strangers. He died the following day.
Mr Farrell said that Mr Mahon tried to flee the scene. However, he told his friend and another witness what he had done and eventually went to the gardai.
“He suggested it’d been an accident, that he had taken the knife off Dean Fitzpatrick and that Mr Fitzpatrick had walked onto it, impaling himself,” he said. “At one point he muses that Dean Fitzpatrick was suicidal.”
Mr Farrell told the jurors that they would have great difficulty in reconciling that account with his injuries.
“There was a piece of intestine protruding,” he said. “In common terms, he had been gutted.”
He said the knife had gone through Mr Fitzpatrick’s clothes, muscles, duodenum, bowel, cut the aorta and left a 3cm groove on the spine in the back of the body. The track of the wound was 14cm long.
He told the jury to contrast that evidence with the account of Mr Fitzpatrick walking onto the knife.
“Or was it something more obvious?” he asked: “That, David Mahon, having sought to procure the attendance of Dean Fitzpatrick, drunk and angry, stabbed him through the belly, causing his death?”
The jury was later shown CCTV footage, which showed Mr Fitzpatrick arriving on his bicycle to Burnell Square at 11.06pm that night and Mr Mahon leaving the complex about seven minutes later.
The trial continues before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan and a jury of six women and six men. It’s expected to last a week.