Wife of David Mahon risked being thrown out of murder trial
A judge warned Audrey Mahon about her behaviour during her husband's murder trial, threatening to ban her from the courtroom if she could not control herself.
Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan gave the stark warning to Mrs Mahon on the second day of the trial, following her outburst in the middle of the evidence of taxi driver Karl O'Toole.
Mrs Mahon became visibly upset when Mr O'Toole told the Central Criminal Court that he did not know her 23-year-old son Dean, apart from what he had seen in the newspapers.
Mr O'Toole gave evidence that he had known David Mahon (45) since the pair were 18 years old, and that around 10pm on May 25, 2013, he got a call from Mahon saying he was having a bit of trouble and he and Audrey had split up for good.
Mr O'Toole said Mahon asked him to come down to his apartment at Burnell Square, off the Malahide Road.
Mr O'Toole said when he arrived at Mahon's apartment, the defendant was drunk and agitated, and was trying to contact Dean Fitzpatrick.
Asked by prosecution counsel Remy Farrell SC if he knew Mr Fitzpatrick, Mr O'Toole replied that he "never met Dean Fitzpatrick".
Upon hearing this, Audrey shook her head, tutted loudly and - quite obviously and audibly - got up from her seat and stormed out of court.
Every head in the room turned to look at her as she made her way out of the courtroom.
Ms Justice Heneghan sent the jury for an early lunch, and ordered gardai to immediately bring Audrey back to court.
When she was brought back to court, Audrey told the judge that Mr O'Toole was lying about not knowing Dean, saying he had been on holidays with them.
In the absence of the jury, Ms Justice Heneghan warned Mrs Mahon, telling her to "behave yourself" and threatening that she would exclude her from the courtroom if she could not control herself.
Ms Justice Heneghan told Mrs Mahon that the trial must be conducted in a fair manner, and she would not tolerate any inappropriate behaviour or inappropriate outbursts.
The judge told Mrs Mahon that she did not want to ban her from the courtroom but she would if she was forced to do so.
For the remainder of the nine-day trial, Audrey sat quietly in the body of the courtroom. There wasn't another word out of her.
Mrs Mahon also declined to comment on the outcome of the trial when questioned by the media.
There was little reaction too from Dean's father, Christopher Fitzpatrick, and his family.
A quietly exclaimed "yes" was the simple yet powerful word let out by Mr Fitzpatrick after David Mahon was convicted of killing his son Dean.
The family and loved ones of Dean Fitzpatrick, including his father, aunt and girlfriend, politely declined to comment until the sentencing date on May 30.
Eimear Cotter/Robin Schiller