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Jury begin deliberations in case of man accused of murdering stepson

Dave Mahon and Audrey Fitzpatrick
Dave Mahon and Audrey Fitzpatrick

THE JURY has begun its deliberations in the trial of a 45-year-old man accused of murdering his stepson.

David Mahon (45) has denied killing father-of-one, Dean Fitzpatrick, on May 23, 2013, a day after the deceased took his water bottle off his bicycle to annoy him.

The 23-year-old received a single stab wound to the stomach outside the apartment his mother Audrey shared with Mr Mahon at Burnell Square, Northern Cross in Malahide.

It is the prosecution case that Mr Mahon intentionally stabbed Mr Fitzpatrick after the pair argued.

However, Mr Mahon has claimed it was an accident or possibly suicide, telling gardai "I didn't stab him, he walked into the knife", and "part of me thinks he (Mr Fitzpatrick) wanted it.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan finished her charge to the jury this morning, giving them her summary of the evidence.

The judge said the jury must remember that the prosecution must always prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

She said Mr Mahon told gardai, during interview, that it was "his fault" Mr Fitzpatrick was dead.

The judge said the jury is not to confuse fault with causation, and they will have to consider if there was the "intent to cause death or serious injury".

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan told the jury that they had three possible verdicts open to them.

She said they could find Mr Mahon guilty of murder, not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter or not guilty.

The judge said that the jury must find Mr Mahon guilty of murder if they find Mr Fitzpatrick was unlawfully killed by Mr Mahon, and that he intended to kill or cause him serious harm.

She also said the jury must find Mr Mahon guilty of murder if the prosecution has proved that the stabbing wasn't an accident.

For a verdict of manslaughter, Ms Justice Heneghan said the jury must find Mr Mahon guilty of manslaughter if the prosecution has proved Mr Fitzpatrick was unlawfully killed by Mr Mahon but that they have failed to satisfy the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to kill or cause him serious harm.

Ms Justice Heneghan said that if the prosecution has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that what happened was not an accident then the jury must find Mr Mahon not guilty.

The jury retired to consider its verdict at 12.43pm.