June 18, 2021

Garda who shot dead Mark Hennessy thought he was going to slit Jastine Valdez’s throat

Mark Hennessey “looked like a man possessed”, the Garda who shot him dead told the inquest into the killer’s death today.

Garda A, who cannot  be named for legal reasons, said he had ‘feared the worst’ during the search for the Filipino student.

He added that he had not been on official duty on the day Hennessy was killed and had told colleagues he would be available if needed to assist with the search for Jastine Valdez.

Garda A said he and two other gardaí were at the scene when Mark Hennessy’s car was discovered, and he “recalled thinking that Jastine Valdez was still alive”.

The Garda said the window of the car was rolled down and he could see that Hennessy “looked uneasy and agitated” and he believed 24-year-old Ms Valdez was in the car and in imminent danger.

He saw that the suspect was holding a Stanley knife and and shouted at  him that he was armed and demanded that he drop the blade several times.

He said he also shouted to his two Garda colleagues that the suspect was going to slash Ms Valdez’s throat. He asked the Gardai to open the vehicle but they were unable to.

Garda A said Hennessy was “non-compliant with all demands and directions” so he withdrew his firearm and discharged a single round into the car “to try to stop him”.

He told the inquest that his actions had been proportionate as he firmly believed Ms Valdez was in the car and at imminent risk of death.

Garda A’s evidence was given via deposition which was read to the jury.

meanwhile Dr Linda Mulligan, the Acting State Pathologist, told the jury that Hennessy died from a single gunshot wound and that the 40-year-old also sustained other injuries, including wounds to his arms, scratches to his forehead and shoulders and bruising to his neck and legs.

Mr Hennessy’s right shoulder was also dislocated due to a gunshot entry wound, and his lungs had collapsed.

Dr Mulligan said some of the man’s injuries were consistent with having walked through bushes or a forest.

The inquest was also told that there’d been evidence in his system of recent alcohol and cocaine use.

The Coroner’s Court is holding an inquest into the death of Mr Hennessy, who was shot by a garda as he sat in a car at Cherrywood Business Park in May 2018.

He’d earlier abducted and killed Jastine, a 24-year-old Filipino student, from Enniskerry, Co Wicklow the day before he died.


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