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Manslaughter plea Man admits stabbing father in neck after watching All-Ireland final in his living room

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David Fortune

David Fortune

David Fortune

The trial of a Dublin man charged with murdering his father two years ago has ended after a plea of manslaughter was accepted by the DPP.

David Fortune (33) of Rutland Grove in Crumlin had pleaded not guilty to the murder of his father, Gerard (Gerry) on August 19, 2018.

At the start of the fifth day, Fortune was re-arraigned following legal discussions between the parties. When charged with the count of his father’s murder, Fortune replied: “Not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter”.

Counsel for the prosecution, Seán Gillane SC, told the trial judge, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon that such a plea was acceptable to the DPP.

The jury of eight women and four men were then discharged by Ms Justice Creedon. The judge ordered a probation report on Fortune to be prepared in advance of a sentence hearing on February 26, 2021.

The court heard victim impact statements will also be heard on that date. Fortune was remanded in custody.

During the trial, the jury heard that Gerry Fortune (62), who worked in St James’ Hospital, was stabbed in the neck with a knife by his son after watching the All-Ireland hurling final in his living room.

Mr Gillane outlined how the accused and a number of other people were in a granny flat at the rear of the house for “a day of drinking and drug taking” on the day of the fatal assault.

Counsel said some of those attending had described the accused as behaving in a paranoid way before he went into the house following a row with his half-brother, Gerard Lambe, who denied putting black-market diazepam tablets in the accused’s mouth earlier.

However, Gerard Lambe admitted that he had given the accused the tablets.

Witness Eddie Byrne told the trial that he saw Gerard Lambe physically putting a big, blue tablet into the accused man's mouth on the day before the stabbing.

He told Michael Bowman SC, defending, that Mr Lambe had given it to him to calm him down. "He didn't ask for it," he said of the accused, who he thought didn't know what he was taking.

Fortune’s half-sister, Laura Lambe, gave evidence that the accused had been hallucinating just before the stabbing, after consuming tablets.

“On and off, David was getting paranoid and he was arguing,” she recalled.

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Ms Lambe said her father had called the accused into the house for dinner and to try and calm him down.

She told the court she heard her father scream at Gerard to get out of the room before David hit him.

Ms Lambe broke down in tears as she recounted how the accused was shouting at her father: “Da, I’m going to die” and that her father replied: “You’re not going to die, son. Nobody is going to die today.”

The court heard that after the stabbing, Fortune jumped through the front window before hijacking a car from a woman on Rutland Grove and driving to Blanchardstown Hospital where he ran though the hospital building in a “frightened” state wearing only one shoe.

Several hospital staff gave evidence that Fortune claimed his father or family had been trying to stab him.

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