Man found guilty of murder of teenager in Blanchardstown

Richard Dekker had pleaded not guilty to murder of Daniel McAnaspie

 

There were roars of “Justice for Daniel” after a man was found guilty of the murder of Daniel McAnaspie at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin on Tuesday.

Richard Dekker (30), from the Blanchardstown area of Dublin, was found guilty by a unanimous jury verdict of the teenager’s murder at Tolka Valley Park on February 26th, 2010.

Trevor Noone (28), also from Blanchardstown, pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month for his role in the youth’s death.

The 17-year-old victim was in the care of the HSE at the time of the killing, and his decomposed body was discovered by a farmer in a 7ft drainage ditch in Rathfeigh, Co Meath, 30km from where he was killed.

Dekker’s conviction came after a week-long trial and more than eight hours of deliberation by the jury.

When the foreman confirmed that the verdict was unanimous, at least one of Daniel’s family could be heard whispering “Well done, well done”.

And, as Justice Patrick McCarthy announced he was remanding Dekker in custody until a sentencing hearing on April 3rd they cheered and clapped. One shouted: “Well done, judge; well done, jury” while others shouted “Justice for Daniel”, a slogan that has been emblazoned on T-shirts worn by the victim’s family during the trial.

Legal history

The conviction made legal history as it is the first time a person has been retried under the Criminal Justice Procedure Act 2010, which allows the State to retry a person even after they have been acquitted.

Dekker faced trial in 2013, but was acquitted by the trial judge on the grounds that there was not enough evidence. The State went to the Supreme Court and used the 2010 Act to overturn that decision and try Dekker again.

Prosecuting counsel Brendan Grehan SC said McAnaspie’s family will prepare a statement for the court which will be read out at the sentencing hearing.

Having been convicted of murder, Dekker faces a mandatory life sentence.

Outside the court, Det Sup Colm Fox, the senior investigating officer, said McAnaspie’s murder was a “heinous act of violence against a child. Justice has been done.”