David Mahon trial: Jury to resume deliberations in morning

Dubliner pleaded not guilty to murdering stepson Dean Fitzpatrick (23)

The jury in the trial of David Mahon for the alleged murder of his stepson Dean Fitzpatrick in Dublin three years ago will resume its deliberations at 11am on Thursday morning.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan recalled the jury at 4pm after it had been deliberating for a total of two hours and 21 minutes without reaching a verdict.

The judge told the six men and six women of the jury not to discuss the case with anyone and not to look at media coverage.

Ms Justice Heneghan concluded her charge to the jury shortly before lunchtime on Wednesday and the jury retired at 12.43pm.


The jury returned to the court after lunch at 2pm and retired again. The judge told them she would not call them back before 4pm unless she heard from theme beforehand.

Before they retired before lunch, judge told the jury there were three possible verdicts open to them: murder, not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter, or not guilty. The first thing they had to be satisfied of beyond a reasonable doubt to convict was that Dean Fitzpatrick was unlawfully killed.

At fault

She told them to note that while Mr Mahon had told gardaí in his interview he was “at fault” that they should not confuse fault and causation. They were “two different things”, the judge said.

Someone could be “at fault” but not cause the incident.

For the offence of murder to be proven, the jury must be satisfied it was Mr Mahon’s intent to cause death or serious injury to Mr Fitzpatrick.

In this case, Mr Mahon had said that what happened to Mr Fitzpatrick was an accident.

If the prosecution had failed to satisfy the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that it was not an accident, what had happened to Dean could not be a lawful killing If the prosecution had not proven its case for murder beyond a reasonable doubt, they should go on to consider an offence of manslaughter.

Explaining the concept of recklessness, the judge said it was the conscious taking of an unjustified or substantial risk of which the person was aware but then decided to ignore.

Recklessness meant “taking a risk and not giving a damn”.

In those circumstances risk was looked at subjectively “from the eyes of the accused man”.

It was a risk the person saw and decided to ignore.

Ms Justice Heneghan also told the jury they should give a lie its “ordinary meaning”. People lied out of panic, people lied out of confusion and for many reasons. There might be a “discredited” account of something for reasons other than a lie, she said.