A Dublin man has been cleared of murdering teenager Daniel McAnaspie, who was in State care when he was stabbed to death with half a garden shears three years ago.
Richard Dekker (aged 27) of Whitestown Avenue in Blanchardstown had pleaded not guilty to murdering the 17-year-old at Tolka Valley Park, Blanchardstown on February 26, 2010.
Trevor Noone (aged 25), also of Whitestown Avenue, had pleaded not guilty to the same offence and had been on trial alongside Mr Dekker for the past two weeks.
The Central Criminal Court heard that both men blamed the other for killing the boy, whose badly decomposed body was found three months later in a ditch on a farm in Meath. The trial heard that both his parents were deceased.
Mr Noone claimed that Mr Dekker was planning to stab the teenager when the three of them walked into the park, and that he (Mr Noone) knew that. Meanwhile Mr Dekker said that he believed Mr Noone was going to give him ‘a few digs’.
The prosecution closed its case yesterday and Mr Justice Paul Butler today told the jury of seven men and five women to acquit Mr Dekker.
“There was an application before me,” he said, explaining that he decided that there was not enough evidence against Mr Dekker to go to a jury.
“I’m directing you, because of a lack of evidence in Mr Dekker’s case, to find him not guilty by direction of the trial judge,” he said.
The foreman of the jury then signed the issue paper containing this verdict.
Mr Justice Butler extended his deepest sympathy to the family of the deceased, who he said was brutally killed.
The judge said that, given all that had been said in the trial, he did not think it appropriate for the jury to continue to sit in Mr Noone’s case and a new trial date will now be set for him.