Dubliner David Mahon has been found guilty of killing Dean Fitzpatrick, the son of his partner and the older brother of missing teenager Amy Fitzpatrick.
He was cleared of murdering the father of one but was found guilty of manslaughter. He had pleaded not guilty.
The 23-year-old bled to death from a single stab wound to the abdomen on May 26th, 2013 following a late-night row over a bicycle water bottle.
Following eight hours and 16 minutes of deliberation over three days, the jury returned on Friday afternoon with a majority verdict of 10 to two. It was less than 20 minutes after the jury had been given the option to reach a majority verdict.
Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan had told the jury of six women and six men that three possible verdicts would be open to them: guilty, not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter, or not guilty.
The foreman’s hand was shaking as he gave the issue paper to the registrar. She read aloud: “You say the accused is not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.”
Mr Guerin applied for bail for his client, pointing out that he had lived in Spain after the incident, but had returned home to be charged. The State objected and the judge remanded him in custody for sentencing on May 30th. David Mahon was taken to jail on Friday after prison officers led him from court.
Mahon had been in a relationship with Audrey Fitzpatrick for 12 years by the time her son died. The court heard that the couple has married since.
They had moved to Spain’s Costa del Sol with her children, Dean and Amy, in 2004. Amy went missing without trace on New Year’s Day 2008 . The deceased was 17 when his sister vanished. He moved home to Dublin soon after turning 18.
During the trial the State argued that the 45-year-old accused was drunk, angry and agitated when he thrust a knife into Fitzpatrick 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
The jury heard that the accused told gardai that he and Mr Fitzpatrick had ‘an up and down’ relationship. The deceased saw Mahon’s bicycle parked outside the gym and took the plastic water bottle off it to annoy him.
Mahon spent much of the next day drinking and phoning Mr Fitzpatrick. He eventually convinced him to come to his apartment on Burnell Square, Northern Cross, Dublin. CCTV showed Dean enter the building at 11.06pm and Mahon leave seven minutes later.
Mahon said that Dean had pulled a knife on him in the apartment and that he had wrestled it from him and put it into his pocket.
He said he then took the knife out to show it to him and that Fitzpatrick had walked onto it. The trial heard that Fitzpatrick then ran downstairs, but collapsed outside and bled to death.
The trial heard that Mr Fitzpatrick had run downstairs, but collapsed outside and bled to death internally. The knife had damaged a number of organs as well as the aorta.