Inquest told man died from multiple stab wounds

Fri, Sep 14, 2012, 01:00

THE MURDER of a man whose skeletal remains were found four months after he went missing is still unsolved, an inquest heard yesterday.

The remains of Ken Fetherston (26), Tallaght, Dublin, were found on the Military Road at the foot of the Dublin mountains in Rathfarnham on January 31st, 2010.

The father of one was last seen at 10am on September 22nd, 2009, at a garage on Landy’s Industrial Estate, Knocklyon, Dublin, where he worked on commission.

Garage owner William Smith told Dublin Coroner’s Court that he and Mr Fetherston had discussed money owed to Mr Fetherston but which he was not in a position to pay.

He denied that the debt had caused tension.

Mr Smith and his father Patrick Smith said that when they last saw Mr Fetherston, he was leaving to buy new brake pads for his car.

Mr Fetherston’s family reported him missing at 10pm the following night, having already conducted an extensive search.

His car was found abandoned at a slip road near Gorey, Co Wexford, three days later.

Gardaí were able to recover 35 to 40 per cent of his remains after his skull was discovered by walkers on January 31st. The recovery operation took three weeks. The body was identified using dental records.

Deputy State pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said Mr Fetherston was stabbed multiple times, with injuries evident in the skull and the neck.

A murder inquiry was launched following the postmortem result and five people were arrested and released without charge. A file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions who directed that there was insufficient evidence to press charges.

Det Garda Insp John Walsh said gardaí did not believe Mr Fetherston died in the place where he was found.

The file remains open.

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by persons unknown.

After the inquest, Mr Fetherston’s father Brian said the family wanted gardaí to continue their investigation.

“Until charges are brought we will not feel as if there has been justice done,” he said.

“It has been very tough for our family. Time just helps you deal with the situation but it actually gets worse. The loss gets greater. It is still an open case and we hope the gardaí will be able to move on it.”

He said his son had been “dead sound” and that he was the kind of person who would do anything for anybody. His daughter Nicole was three years old when her father died but she still remembered him, he said.

“She will never forget her Dad. She talks about him all the time,” Mr Fetherston added.