Murder accused wins appeal to go to Spain for two weeks

Gardaí objected to David Mahon, charged with murder of Dean Fitzpatrick, travelling

Northern Cross on the Malahide Road where the body of Dean Fitzpatrick was found on May 16th, 2013. Photograph: Alan Betson

Northern Cross on the Malahide Road where the body of Dean Fitzpatrick was found on May 16th, 2013. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

A 44-year-old Dublin man accused of murdering his partner’s son has been granted a bail application to go to Spain for a fortnight in September, despite the objections of gardaí.

David Mahon is charged with murdering 23-year-old Dean Fitzpatrick on May 26th, 2013 at Northern Cross on Dublin’s Malahide Road.

Mr Mahon of Ongar Village, Clonsilla was in the Central Criminal Court on Wednesday seeking a bail application to vary his signing on conditions in order to travel to Spain from September 1st to 15th, 2015 before his trial which commences on April 25th next year.

The court heard that Mr Mahon currently signs on three times a week and the gardaí are in possession of his passport.

The registrar had previously scheduled July 20th of this year for the trial to begin but it was previously adjourned upon application by Mr Mahon’s defence team as it wouldn’t finish by the end of court term.

The court on Wednesday heard from Detective Sergeant Edward Carroll of Coolock garda station who said the previous bail conditions for Mr Mahon was that he signed on on a daily basis, provided his passport to gardaí and informed them of any change of address but there had been been an application in the interim period for a relaxation of these bail conditions.

Det Sgt Carroll then told Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy he opposed the bail application for Mr Mahon to go to Spain on the grounds of the seriousness of the charge as he believed Mr Mahon was a flight risk, as his only tie to this jurisdiction was his father.

The court heard Mr Mahon previously visited Spain for the anniversary of his partner’s daughter last September. Det Sgt Carroll said since then his bail conditions were relaxed to three times a week.

Outlining the extent of his objections to the bail application Det Sgt Carroll said: “Any time he hasn’t signed on, I have got informed by his solicitor and have accepted the reason.

“On March 6th I got correspondence he was travelling to Dublin for surgery, it was indicated to me he was having a hip operation. I’ve no doubt he did have a hip operation but he failed to sign on from March 9th, 2015 to May 25th, 2015.

“He has also changed addresses so many times and given various excuses for not signing on. Everything has been about mobility issues and his home is half a mile from the Garda station and he has got a car he can drive so I don’t think mobility is an issue.”

Det Sgt Carroll then told the judge he was to be provided with a mobile phone number for Mr Mahon, a specific bail condition but it was not currently operational.

Defence counsel Mr John Fitzgerald BL put it to Det Sgt Carroll that Mr Mahon did live in Spain for a period of time, knowing these charges were hanging over him but he still returned to Ireland to face the charges which he agreed with.

Mr Justice McCarthy then permitted Mr Mahon to go to Spain in three months’ time but outlined to the court that it was a “very serious breach” and “wholly unsatisfactory” not to sign on for two months.

“Should there be a breach in the future please bring it to the attention of the State and the accused will face the consequences. I don’t care how sick he was, an application should be brought before the court.

“Mr Mahon should be permitted to go on this occasion as his trial is not until April of this year but he must now obey all the terms of his bail,” Mr Justice McCarthy put it to defence counsel Mr Fitzgerald.

The judge then told the court Mr Mahon was permitted to go to Spain from September 1st to 15th, 2015 on condition he furnish his address in Spain to gardaí within seven days, provide his own mobile number which he is required to keep and maintain until not earlier than September 16th, sign on on August 31st and obtain his passport from gardaí that day and finally sign on again upon his return from Spain on September 16th and return his passport to gardaí that day.