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Wife of David Mahon says he is "forgiven but not forgotten" for killing her son

Audrey Mahon’s was one of three victim impact statements read out at a sentencing hearing today.

6/5/2016. Dave Mahon Court Cases Audrey Mahon Source: RollingNews.ie

DEAN FITZPATRICK’S FATHER has described how his “world came crashing down” after hearing that his son had been “brutally killed” by David Mahon.

Christopher Fitzpatrick’s victim impact statement was one of three read out in court today during Mahon’s sentencing hearing.

The Dubliner was found guilty earlier this month of killing his partner’s son, the older brother of missing teenager Amy Fitzpatrick. Mahon has said he will not appeal his manslaughter verdict.

The 45-year-old was cleared of murdering the father-of-one with whom he did not get along on 26 May 2013. He had pleaded not guilty.

The 23-year-old received a stab wound to the abdomen outside the apartment that his mother, Audrey Fitzpatrick, shared with Mahon at Burnell Square, Northern Cross.

His sentencing hearing heard that Mahon had been caught for dangerous, drunk and careless driving on New Year’s Day that year. He’d received a four-month sentence, which had been suspended for a year, and it was during this suspension that he killed Mr Fitzpatrick.

Remy Farrell SC, prosecuting, read three victim impact statements to the court. These were prepared by Mr Fitzpatrick’s father, Christopher Fitzpatrick; his partner and the mother of his son, Sarah O’Rourke; and his mother, who is now Audrey Mahon, having since married the accused.

30/05/2016. Dave Mahon case.Pictured today was Dea Dean Fitzpatrick's father Christopher Source: Leah Farrell

Christopher Fitzpatrick

“On the 9 March, 1990, Dean took his first breath into the world. I was full of joy, happiness and love to have a son so small and precious,” wrote Christopher Fitzpatrick in his report.

He mentioned his daughter, Amy’s, disappearance in 2008 “while in the care of her mother on the Costa Del Sol, after Audrey took my children on a two-week holiday to Spain in 2004 and didn’t return”.

“I thought Amy’s disappearance was the worst thing that would happen in my life,” he said. “In 2013, my world came crashing down once again.”

He wrote about being called to Beaumont Hospital and led to a room to identify his son, Dean. He said that the medics had done all they could but that the single stab wound was so deep that he could not survive.

“When Dean was brutally killed, I realised I was never going to see Dean see his son grow up,” he said.

He said that, following his death, he was faced with a High Court case over his funeral and he secured the right to bury his son in his own plot.

In the time since Dean’s death, I’ve been admitted to hospital because of the stress.

He said that it was upsetting that some of the media had portrayed Mahon as Dean and Amy’s stepdad. It was also upsetting to read about Mahon going on holidays to Spain following the killing.

5/5/2016. Dave Mahon Court Cases David Mahon Source: RollingNews.ie

He said he still had a hope that Amy would be found alive.

“I cannot have the same hope for Dean,” he said, adding that all he had now were visits to his resting place.

“There are no words to describe the pain, anger and despair,” he added. “Dean was a loving father son, brother, nephew, and cousin, who is sadly missed.”

Sarah O’Rourke

Sarah O’Rourke’s was the next statement read out.

“On the 25 May, 2013, my life changed forever,” she wrote. “This was the day Dean was killed. I cannot describe how it felt when two guards came to my home to tell me the most devastating news. My world fell apart.”

She said she struggled to take it in.

“It didn’t feel real,” she explained.

“Knowing I’d never see Dean again was soul destroying,” she said.

She explained that they had their “ups and downs like most couples but, no matter what, we made our relationship work”.

She said they were planning their future together.

“To think Dean won’t be here to share all those plans is devastating,” she said.

She said she had struggled after her partner died.

“Even now, three years later, I can’t fully accept that Dean is gone,” she added. “I’m moving on slowly with my life. I cannot forget Dean.”

She said she would cherish the memories of the three years they had together.

Ms O’Rourke then moved on to the impact her partner’s death had on their son, who was only 18 months old when his father died.

“He was a little young to understand why his Daddy wasn’t here,” she said, recalling that he was saying ‘Dada’ at that stage.

“That broke my heart, listening to my son looking for his Dad,” she said, adding that he had loved his father so much.

I had to tell him that his Daddy was a star in the sky and angels took him.

She said that it was only in the last year or so that her son had become aware that he did not have a father like other children. She said that he would start school in September, and that he would not have his father to see him off on that or any other day.

“He has a right to his Dad,” she said. “His only two male role models in his life are his grandads.”

Audrey Mahon

The final statement Mr Farrell read to the court was prepared by Audrey Mahon, the mother of the deceased and wife of the accused. She said her husband was “forgiven but not forgotten”.

“Since I received the tragic news of my son’s death, my life has been like a living nightmare,” she wrote.

Dean and I shared a special bond like only a mother and son can.

She said that despite her son’s difficulties, he had a cheeky grin and a heart of gold.

“I’ve lost everything,” she wrote. “This is not a single tragedy. It’s losing both of my children.”

She said that all of it had affected her physically, mentally and emotionally.

“Dave, too, has lost everything,” she wrote. “He did everything in his power to find his beloved stepdaughter, Amy, and he still does and will continue to do so.”

She said she had an ongoing illness.

“Dave has been there to literally pick me up off the floor,” she said, adding that he had been by her side during blood transfusions and being resuscitated twice. She noted that her son was also there for one of the resuscitations.

“I would not be here only for Dave,” she said.

“For my part, I cannot disagree with the jury’s verdict. David did produce a knife,” she said. “I have forgiven Dave but not forgotten. He will always be my husband, carer and best friend.”

Sean Guerin SC, defending, handed in some testimonials on behalf of his client, saying that they showed that this offence was out of character and that he had no history of violence.

“He accepts the verdict of the jury. There will not be an appeal against conviction in this case,” he said.

He apologised on behalf of his client to all who knew the deceased, especially those who had made victim impact statements.

He then made his case for a lenient sentence to Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan.

He said Mahon had offered a plea to manslaughter and was therefore entitled to be treated as a person who had pleaded guilty. He had also fully co-operated, he said.

“It’s my submission that this is an extremely unusual case, particularly in respect of the degree of culpability of the accused,” he said. “It’s a case of involuntary manslaughter.”

He said that the basis on which the manslaughter verdict was left open to the jury was that “in producing the knife in the way he did, David Mahon was reckless as to whether, by doing so, he put Dean Fitzpatrick in fear of immediate violence”.

He said it was very rare for the assault part of manslaughter to not involve violence.

He said it was at the bottom of the scale for manslaughter.

He said that, despite the recent Moriarty judgment in relation to suspended sentences, there remained a means of imposing one.

He said that his client would find prison more difficult due to problems with his hips; he has had two replacements and is awaiting a revision to one.

The State argued during his trial that Mahon was drunk, angry and agitated when he thrust a knife into his stepson with deadly intent. Mahon claimed his death was an accident or possible suicide and that Mr Fitzpatrick had “walked into the knife” while they had been arguing.

Ms Justice Heneghan said she would hand down sentence on 13 June and remanded Mahon in custody until then.

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Natasha Reid

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