Man found guilty in Spanish court of murdering Irish woman


THE FORMER boyfriend of Irish bar worker Avril Flanagan was last night facing 20 years behind bars after being convicted of her murder.

A jury found Alan Daulby guilty of stabbing Ms Flanagan to death at his flat on Spain’s Costa Blanca after she begged him to stop stalking her.

Ms Flanagan, Swords, Co Dublin, was due to fly back to Ireland the day of her death, May 29th, 2009, with her mother to celebrate her 21st birthday.

Her family found her body hidden in plastic under a sofa after her killer spent more than three hours cleaning up the murder scene before going on the run.

Daulby (26), from Liverpool, hung his head and wept yesterday as the verdict was read out after a three-day trial at a court in Elche.

The jury of eight women and one man reached its unanimous verdict in just under two hours.The jurors also ruled by a seven to two majority he was conscious of what he was doing and that his mind was not befuddled by drink or drugs.

Judge Gracia Serrano reserved sentencing but Daulby was warned he could expect to get between 17½ and 20 years, the maximum under Spanish law.

Shortly before armed police led him away he made his second court apology in two days to Ms Flanagan’s family.

Daulby, who on Wednesday confessed to killing her but claimed he mistook her for an intruder, said: “I just want to say I’m very sorry to the family for everything’s that happened.” Her father, Gerry Flanagan, and her older brother Ger (28) sat at the back of court with one of their lawyers.

Her mother, who now lives in Ireland, gave evidence on Tuesday but was too upset to attend yesterday’s verdict.

Outside court Gerry Flanagan said: “It’s a relief that it’s all been proven because up to yesterday, Daulby hadn’t said anything. We just hope now he gets the full 20 years. Avril was a human being and my only daughter.”

Ms Flanagan, who moved to Spain with her family in 2006, went missing after going to Daulby’s flat in Cabo Roig near Alicante to pick up belongings and beg him to leave her alone. They had shared the apartment until Avril ended their 18-month-long relationship a week earlier.

The court heard Daulby rang her constantly through the week so she broke her phone SIM card to stop taking calls from him.

Daulby spent three hours after the brutal murder cleaning up the flat before fleeing after being disturbed by his father and her family. He also tried to burn the murder weapon and Ms Flanagan’s belongings before being arrested by armed police after a chase nearly 200km away.

Daulby claimed in court he woke up to find Avril dead next to him after a night of drink and drugs and that he remembered little except someone hitting him on the head.

However, witnesses including his father and his sister, told how he opened the door to them after he had killed her. He appeared lucid but anxious to get them away when they asked him where she was.

Daulby was last night at Foncalent prison in Alicante where he has been held since the murder. He will be sentenced within the next fortnight.