NewsCrime Desk

Friend of Amy Fitzpatrick reveals chilling warning letter sent to Irish Embassy before disappearance

Audrey Fitzpatrick and Dave Mahon hold a missing poster for Amy
Audrey Fitzpatrick and Dave Mahon hold a missing poster for Amy

A CHILLING letter sent to the Irish embassy in Spain in 2005 warned that Amy Fitzpatrick would "disap­pear" if she was picked up on the street by her stepfa­ther, convicted killer Dave Mahon.

Mahon (45), was sentenced to seven years in prison for the manslaughter of his stepson Dean Fitzpatrick in the Cen­tral Criminal Court last month.

Dean’s savage killing was the second tragedy to strike the Fitz­patrick family after his teenage sister, Amy, went missing from her home in Spain in 2008.

The Sunday World can reveal for the first time that an Englishwoman, who Amy had been staying with, wrote to the Irish embassy saying Mahon had threatened the teenager and she claimed he could abduct her.

The explosive letter from Pearl Cantlie pleaded with the authorities, both in Spain and Ireland, to intervene and was written two-and-a-half years before her disappearance. It also contained claims that Mahon had tried to strangle Dean on two occasions.

Pearl Cantlie

“If Amy is picked up on the street by [Mahon] is probable that she will disappear,” she chillingly predicts.

She adds: “Amy is scared for her own safety in terms of possible violence. My family are also at risk of threats and violence.”

Amy (then 15), disappeared on New Year’s Day 2008. She was last seen by Debbie Rose and her daughter Ashley, who had put her up over the holiday period.

Both Debbie and Ashley claim that Amy had her phone with her when she left their house, never to be seen again.

Dad-of-one Dean (23) was knifed to death three years ago by a drunken Dave Mahon at the Dublin apartment which the killer shared with partner Audrey.

Dean’s paternal family believe he had been haunted by what had happened to Amy back in Spain but was too afraid to confide in authorities about what he knew.

Dean and Amy’s father, Christopher, told the Sunday World: “In light of Mahon’s conviction, and also the fact that Pearl Cantlie names him as possibly doing harm to her in a letter nearly three years before she went missing, I would like to see him formally questioned.”

Pearl – who is now back living in England – was too fearful to speak further when contacted by the Sunday World. She sent her explosive letter to the Irish embassy in Madrid and a copy to Christopher’s family on May 9, 2005.

In the letter, she claims Amy was initially tricked into moving to Spain on the pretence she was going on holiday.

“Amie (sic) was tricked into staying in Spain,” holistic expert Pearl wrote. “She was brought over on ‘holiday’, then her mum ripped up the return tickets. This cut her off from her father’s support and care.

“When Amie was locked out of her mum’s house in Ireland or unfed, she would go to her father. Here in Spain she and her brother had no address to go to, and no food or money when locked out.

“Amie is very underweight and eats huge portions and often when at our house, she is hungry. The exception to this is the last two days when she is too anxious to eat.”

Killer Mahon and his partner Audrey displaying Audrey's book on her missing daughter

Pearl wrote that on another occasion, and despite the obvious threat, another family member told the teenage girl “to go to Audrey’s boyfriend, David [Mahon], who had previously strangled her brother in front of Audrey and Amie”.

“Dean, her brother, has since run away, works and stays at a friend’s house. This strangulation happened twice. Not a safe place for Amie and why should the boyfriend take on the responsibility of someone else’s child.”

Family insiders claim that in one of Dean’s last admissions, he recalled Mahon trying to break down a bathroom door with a hammer, where Amy had tried to barricade herself for her own safety.

Pearl’s daughter, Kim, was one of Amy’s best friends in Spain, and when she was locked out of her mother’s house or having bust-ups with Mahon she would find refuge with the Cantlies.

Pearl said in her letter that she had telephoned two named individuals at the Irish embassy in Madrid, and she had been told by them they would contact social services in Spain to talk to Amy and Audrey.

A spokesperson for the embassy confirmed to the Sunday World they did indeed receive the letter back in 2005.

“Amie has no passport, clothes of her own, money or permanent home,” added Pearl. “She wants to live with her father.

“We are in a difficult position of having a ‘minor’, whose mother is now trying to find Amie, staying at our home.”

Amy’s diary, previously published by the Sunday World, once revealed how she was left to forage in bins for food, while her mother and Mahon went on drinking binges.

“Amie was not in a safe environment and declares neglect, threats and physical violence to her brother, as well as permanent abandonment and previous abandonment,” Pearl wrote.

Pearl continued in her letter that she had “pleaded with the embassy” to confirm Amy would not be allowed home until “these allegations are properly investigated” and maintained the Spanish police would have to be involved.

Pearl then asked in relation to Amy’s treatment in Spain: “Does abandonment (permanent or otherwise) in a foreign country carry a prison sentence in Ireland?”

Pearl concluded her letter by revealing Amy’s friends had made a pact not to tell her mother where she was hiding.

“I want the mother to understand that she has to leave Amie (and us!) alone.

As yet she hasn’t been able to find Amie. My daughter (in Amie’s class at school) has told everyone to tell the mother nothing and explained what the mother and her boyfriend have done.

Amy’s mum spent years campaigning to find her daughter with Mahon at her side. They told how they spent all their life savings in the hunt but no trace of the teenager was ever found.