Charges over fatal stabbing hinge on witness evidence, gardaí say
Man held over Dean Fitzpatrick killing released without charge
Members of the Garda near the scene where the scene where Dean Fitzpatrick was fatally stabbed in Northen Cross, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins
Gardaí believe the evidence of people who witnessed the fatal stabbing of Dean Fitzpatrick will be key to determining the nature of the criminal charges the chief suspect will face, if any.
The 42-year-old man arrested in connection with the stabbing of the 23-year-old Dubliner in the city last Saturday night was yesterday released without charge and a file on the case is being prepared for the DPP.
The Irish Times understands the suspect has given gardaí a comprehensive account of the events that led to Mr Fitzpatrick being stabbed at 11.20pm at a gathering in an apartment at the Burnell Square Northern Cross, Malahide Road, north Dublin.
The victim staggered out of the apartment block after he had been stabbed and was rushed to nearby Beaumont Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The chief suspect was in the apartment with Mr Fitzpatrick and three other people but left the scene before gardaí arrived. However, he handed himself in to gardaí late on Sunday morning.
He was spoken to by gardaí for a number of hours before being arrested just before 2pm and questioned by investigating detectives at Coolock.
He could have been detained without charge for up to 24 hours and because he declined the offer of taking a break from questioning overnight to sleep at the Garda station, his period of detention expired before 2pm yesterday.
Gardaí contacted the DPP’s office and relayed the evidence they had gathered and the statement taken from the suspect.
The DPP’s office decided there was insufficient evidence to charge the suspect with any crime, leading to his release without charge. However, the Garda investigation is continuing and, as more evidence emerges, it is open to the gardaí in Coolock to provide additional evidence to the DPP.
Her office can re-evaluate the case at any time for the purposes of considering criminal charges against the suspect, or deciding there is no case to answer.
The suspect has accepted he was in the apartment but has denied he murdered Mr Fitzpatrick.
The testimony of the witnesses who were in the apartment at the time of the incident will now be crucial and a forensic examination of the scene continued throughout yesterday.
Mr Fitzpatrick’s death marks the second high-profile tragedy to have struck the family within the past number of years. In 2008 his 15-year-old sister Amy Fitzpatrick went missing in Spain four years after she and her brother went to live there with their mother, Audrey Fitzpatrick, and her partner, Dave Mahon.
Amy Fitzpatrick was last seen alive walking home from a friend’s house near Mijas on the Costa del Sol on New Year’s Day 2008.