By on December 28, 2019

first_imgDean Lafferty.INQUEST: Family members of the late Dean Lafferty walked out of a heated inquest this afternoon, after the coroner returned an Open Verdict into his untimely death on the February 17th, 2014. Dean Lafferty, who was 18, died at his home at Admiran Park, Stranorlar. His death was caused by a blow he had received to his head. At today’s emotionally charged inquest, the coroner’s court heard how Dean had been socialising with friends the night before his death, and heard how he had been the victim of a alleged head-butting incident at the popular Barcelona Bar in the town of Ballybofey.The deposition of Seamus Brown was read out at the inquest and he revealed that Mr Lafferty had been drinking the night before he tragically died.“Dean had only just moved into a new apartment, I think he was only in it for five days,” he said.“None of us had been out on the Saturday night, but we decided to have a few drinks and Dean and Mark Patton went to McGuigan’s Bar to get a carry out.“They returned about half an hour later and they had a bottle of Sambuca and had a bottle of Apple Jacks, they began drinking both, and were mixing both drinks.“They then headed off to Barcelona Bar in Ballybofey, Dean was half full at that stage, and was joking about the women he was going to bring back to the house that night.“Later I got a call saying Dean had been involved in a fight from a girl that had witnessed it, she said Dean had got into a row with a bouncer, she was asking was he OK?“He hadn’t returned to the flat, so I got a friend to take me into the town to see if we could find him, but we couldn’t see him or find him anywhere.”The court then heard a deposition from Chloe McGee who said that she saw Mr Lafferty in the Barcelona Bar, and that he appeared to be quite drunk.Her statement read: “I saw Dean and he looked quite drunk, he waved over at me, but I didn’t know the people he was with, there was then a commotion at the door, and I didn’t see what happened, but Dean was put out.“We went outside to get a bus to The Grill, and Dean seemed very drunk..and he was leaning against the wall, he could barely stand.“The bus then arrived and he sat on the seat beside the driver, he then asked me to sit beside him, and I kept having to hold onto him, as he swaying all over the seat.“When we arrived in Letterkenny, he fell as he get off the bus and then started getting sick.”The coroner’s court then heard from Damien Foy, who was the partner of Dean Lafferty’s mum, he said he received a phone call at 1.15am from Dean asking him to collect him from The Grill.Mr Foy said he jumped in the car and headed to Letterkenny along with Dean’s brother Travis and sister Samantha.“I got a call around 1.15am, I was up anyway because the baby needed a feed, but I answered the phone and at first it was a girl, and then Dean came on the phone to me and asked me would I come get in,” said Mr Foy.“He said he was standing beside the chip van outside The Grill, so I jumped in the car and I took Travis and Samantha with me and we headed for Letterkenny.“I drove into the car park at The Grill and I saw Dean standing beside the chipper, there was a few about, and I noticed one fella down the alleyway and he was crouched over.“He seemed like he was out of breath, I then had the owner of The Grill tell me to get the f**king car out of here, and that it’s not supposed to be parked here.“I asked him why the f**k he cared more about the car, than he did about people who were in his place lying about the street drunk and others fighting.“I told Dean to get in the car, as I pulled out I spotted the owner again, and I got out and again asked him why he cared more about the car than his own patrons, at the moment I heard a bang, and as I turned around I could see Dean with his arms outstretched, he had just hit somebody I think, but I didn’t see it.“Again I told him get into the car and then we left, he then got sick on the way home, he had been drinking shots, he apologised to me for getting sick.“When we got home he offered to help me clean up the vomit, but I said it was OK and I told him to go inside.“I went upstairs to Tina, and asked Travis to check on him, he was lying on one of the beds and he had wet himself, he was getting up and he went to go down stairs I could hear this bang, I looked around and he was at the bottom of the staircase.“He seemed to be getting worse and worse, he then sat on the armchair and fell asleep, I was heading to Castlederg the next morning, and he woke up from the armchair, he went to the toilet and got sick, I told him to get something to eat and I gave him a cup of water.“I was away all day, and when I was on my way back that evening Tina rang me saying Dean wasn’t breathing, I was home within a few minutes of that call.“I went upstairs, I could see he was dead, I attempted chest compressions and CPR on Dean for about fifteen minutes, but he was gone.”Sergeant Maurice McCole said that Dean Lafferty had not died from falling down the stairs.Sgt McCole said that during his examination of the crime scene could see no evidence whatsoever that anybody had fallen down the stairs, he said if he had fallen down the stairs and fractured his skull there would have been some evidence, but there wasn’t any.State Pathologist Marie Cassidy carried out a post mortem examination and she determined that Dean Lafferty had suffered a fracture to the left side of his skull.She said it was likely the head injury sustained was the result of a punch, kick, a fall or perhaps even a head butt.She also said that if he had fallen down the stairs and fractured his skull he would have had other injuries, but he didn’t.In summarising his verdict, Coroner Denis McCauley said any number of incidents given in evidence could’ve caused the head injury, but also admitted he could’ve been the victim of an assault in Letterkenny.Dr McCauley said: “We know that Dean died from a blow to his head, which blow it was can’t be established, no amount of forensic digging will make that any clearer.“There are a number of incidents recorded in statements that could point to his death, but we can’t establish which one. There’s a mystery that we can’t resolve.“The cause of death was due to head trauma, but because we can’t determine when he received the blow and what blow caused it, I’ve got to record an Open Verdict into his death.”The decision sparked some anger in the room, with a number of family members making remarks before leaving the room visibly upset.Dr McCauley was asked by a relative to explain the head injury and the Coroner responded by saying that a small brain trauma could occur many days before someone could die from it.The Coroner said the injury which eventually killed Dean led to behaviour which would mimic that of someone being drunk and that it was almost impossible to detect such an injury without carrying out a brain scan. He said it would not be visible to someone else.Another relative asked why two witnesses summonsed to the hearing had not turned up.Dr McCauley said one of the witnesses had since suffered a brain injury himself and could not be called to give evidence.However he said the other witness had failed to answer the summons and he was now passing that to the Superintendent.Dr McCauley concluded the case by saying, “This was a tragic incident, it’s tragic that such a young life has been taken from us, and it’s difficult for everybody involved.“I want to offer my sincere condolences to the family of Dean Lafferty, this really was a tragic event, and it’s just a tragedy, but we can’t determine the exact circumstances of his death and that’s why I’ll record an Open Verdict.”Sup David Kelly offered his sympathies to the relatives of Mr Lafferty, saying they had suffered deep distress in their lives.FAMILY MEMBERS WALK OUT OF INQUEST AFTER CORONER RETURNS OPEN VERDICT was last modified: June 9th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Dean LaffertyHome-page Newsinquestopen verdicttragiclast_img read more

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