THE step-father of missing Irish girl Amy Fitzpatrick has been found guilty of the manslaughter of her brother Dean Fitzpatrick, who died of a single stab wound to the stomach following an argument between the two in 2013.
David Mahon, aged 45, pleaded not guilty to the charge of murdering his 23-year-old stepson on May 26 of that year, but the prosecution had alleged that he had maliciously stabbed the father of one with intent to cause serious harm.
The jury, composed of six men and six women, had begun deliberating on Wednesday May 4 before finally reaching their verdict on Friday.
The difficulty in reaching a decision largely rested on the fact that the pathologist had accepted that Mr Fitzpatrick’s death could have been a result of “accidental self-impalement” or a deliberate attack, and that there was no inherent conflict between the evidence and Mr Mahon’s account of the fateful encounter.
During the dispute Mr Mahon alleged that he had taken a knife out stupidly but without intent, when Mr Fitzpatrick charged at him, to his fatal injury. The jury has evidently decided that they could not prove malice or premeditation beyond a reasonable doubt and the court will now reconvene on May 30 for sentencing.
The case has drawn attention across the Costa del Sol as Audrey Fitzpatrick, Mr Mahon’s wife, continues her search for her daughter Amy who went missing, aged just 15, after visiting a friend’s house near Mijas Costa on New Year’s Day 2008.