Took police two days to act after sniffer dog 'picked up something'

Published: 20 Sep 2012 13:00

A PSNI Detective Sergeant has said police manpower was the reason why it took two days after a trained police dog "picked up something" for police action to be taken to find the body of a 16-year-old boy with learning difficulties.

Daniel Mohan whose inquest was held in Enniskillen on Thursday.

The body of Daniel Mohan, of Foxhill Close, Enniskillen was found in River Erne close to Willoughby Place in the town on Friday, April 30, 2010, five days after his mother had reported him missing. A Coroner's court in Enniskillen found that he died due to freshwater drowning.

The court heard that a PSNI dog handler had been briefed and attended the scene on Wednesday, April 28. "His trained police dog picked up something in the vicinity between Portora boathouse and the Round O Slipway. There was no immediate response. It does seem clear from the papers it was a day or two days later before action was taken," said solicitor for the Mohan family, Mr. Sean McHugh.

Detective Sergeant Keith Monaghan, who was not part of the initial investigation, responded: "I would say that police are on 24/7 call-out. It takes organisation. I believe that [the search with the dog] was the evening that day."

"Was it an issue of manpower?" asked Mr. McHugh. "As we always are, yes," Detective Sergeant Monaghan replied.

A Police Ombudsman's report conducted after Daniel's death led to nine police officers being disciplined after they failed in an effort to locate Daniel in an "expeditious and thorough manner".

Earlier during the hearing, Mrs. Tracey McMulkin, Daniel's mother told Coroner Mr. John Leckey that she was not reassured that a pathologist had found no evidence that her son had been assaulted before he went into the water.

Mr Leckey said to Mrs. McMulkin that he understood that the family was concerned her son, who had ADHD and challenging behaviour, had been attacked or thrown into the river prior to his death.

"All the evidence was carefully considered by the forensic pathologist . . he is satisfied nothing he found signifies that Daniel was subjected to being beaten up or assaulted. I hope that is reassuring," he told her.

"No, it is not," she replied.

The inquest heard that when he died, Daniel had two illicit drugs BZP and TFMPP in his body as well as a low level of the tranquilliser Diazepam. These drugs are taken for "stimulant and euphoric effects," Mr. Leckey said.

"I can't help but think that the drug dealer who sold these drugs to Daniel bears some responsibility for this tragedy," he said.

On questioning, Mrs. McMulkin told the court that she had provided money to pay off a drug dealer. "He was afraid of the drug dealer," she said.

Mrs. McMulkin said she last saw her son on April 23 when he left home to go to see Lee Williams. "Daniel was in Lee's house seven days a week and Lee would have come into my house. They were together all of the time. They were inseparable. They went to Erne Special School together," she said.

The inquest heard that Mark Convey had confessed to police that he, Daniel and two others had been involved in a burglary at Portora on the night. One of those named by Mark Convey, Robert Smith from Maguiresbridge, gave evidence and denied any involvement. He said: "Police told me I was meant to be at a house with Lee Williams, Mark Convey and Daniel Mohan. I had been told Convey claimed all four of us broke into Portora. That is all lies. I do not know any of those fellas. I heard about the body of Daniel Mohan being found in the lake. I never knew or met him".

He said that he had been on police curfew when he was arrested for a burglary at Portora. He said he had been at the Tippler's Brook pub in Enniskillen from 6pm, drinking with Mark Suttle, and left at 2am. He planned to go to his sister's house at Old Rossorry Terrace so he walked towards the Round O when he heard the "police blues and twos".

"I ran because I was under curfew," he said. He was arrested and interviewed by police.

Although he was called, there was no appearance at the inquest by Mark Convey.

Detective Sergeant Monaghan agreed that there was no evidence that Daniel was involved in a burglary at Portora other than Mark Convey's admission. He agreed that police would regard the contributions of Daniel's alleged accomplices with a "degree of scepticism",

The court heard the allegation that it was believed that Mr. Smith and Mr. Williams did know Daniel. "I believe both parties knew Daniel and possibly were with him on the evening," said Detective Sergeant Monaghan.

When asked what stage the police enquiry was at, he said there was no further evidence and agreed no further police action is to be taken unless something new emerged to reactivate the enquiry. This could be "an individual coming forward indicating they had seen Daniel elsewhere".

Jump to first paragraph.

Get more stories from our Roundup section

24 Apr 2014 19:00 • Editorial Department

Churches come together to commemorate the sadness of Good Friday

The sadness and poignancy of Good Friday was commemorated by the congregations of The Graan and Rossorry Parish Church, who came together for “The Way of the Cross”.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 19:00 • Rodney Edwards

#fermanaghspake This Week is...

Led (as in ‘Lad’)

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 17:00 • Rodney Edwards

Villiers’ sums ‘don’t add up’

SINN Fein MLA Rosie McCorley used her Easter address in Fermanagh on Sunday to hit out at Secretary of State Theresa Villiers who last week said that any review into the past must have “proportionate focus on the wrongdoing of paramilitaries”.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 17:00 • Editorial Department

Tamboran expect to drill a well in Ireland in June or July, report says

FRACKING company Tamboran’s Chief Executive Officer Joel Riddle has said that it expects to drill a well in Ireland in June or July.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 16:00 • Rodney Edwards

Mass rule is ‘destroying the Orange Order’

A FERMANAGH Orangeman has spoken of how he has been on the verge of quitting the organisation over its “stupid rule” about members attending Catholic church services.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 16:00 • Rodney Edwards

Criticism of those who wear ‘convict uniform to toast Queen’

THE deaths of prominent Republicans Jim Murphy and Patrick McManus have been remembered during commemorative events in Derrylin and Swanlinbar, organised by the 1916 Sean MacDiarmada society.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Kilkenny man is new manager at Lough Erne

Kilkenny-man Andrew Phelan has been appointed as General Manager of the Lough Erne Resort.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Shareholder claims that Glanbia made £10,000 offer at meeting

FIVEMILETOWN Co-operative Society shareholders have been offered £10,000 each from Glanbia, a shareholder has claimed.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Lily Dane

Quinton family dealt another blow with death of Christopher

The Quinton family has been dealt another tragic blow with the news this week of the unexpected death of Christopher Quinton whose passing is being met with shock and sadness in the community.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Rodney Edwards

Call for ban on GAA jerseys at universities debated

SINN Fein’s Phil Flanagan has discussed Jim Allister’s call for a ban on GAA jerseys from universities in Northern Ireland with the Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards

'Nanny, nanny... he's dead, dead'

The call no mother wants - read Ruby Brown's moving interview following the death of her son Richard in a motorbike accident

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 13:00 • Julie Kenwell

Collegiate given chance of 11th hour appeal to WELB

PARENTS of Collegiate Grammar School are to make an 11th hour appeal to members of the Western Education Library Board (WELB) not to sign off on a development proposal which would see it merge with Portora Royal next year.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 10:15

3,000-year-old bogwood sculptures installed at SWAH garden

BOGWOOD sculptures over 3,000 years old have been installed at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) garden.


24 Apr 2014 10:00 • Editorial Department

Inside today's paper

Way of the Cross: Congregations walk together on Good Friday.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 09:30 • Editorial Department

In today's Impartial Reporter:

The phone call no mother wants as Ruby Brown tells of the moment she learned of the death of son Richard in a motorbike accident. Read her in-depth and moving interview.

Social: Comments0 comments

23 Apr 2014 21:30

Late Breen strike sends Town into final

Enniskillen Town Utd came from a goal down to book their place in the final of the Impartial Reporter Mulhern Cup with a 2-1 win over Kesh at Ferney Park tonight.


23 Apr 2014 15:35

Car stolen in "creeper burglary"

A car was stolen during a so-called “creeper burglary” at Raceview Court near the Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen.


23 Apr 2014 13:15

Castle Archdale hosts Dawn Chorus event

LOCAL people are invited to meet at Castle Archdale at 5am on Saturday, May 3, to listen to the birds welcome the new day in fine voice.


23 Apr 2014 11:30

Radio DJ includes Fermanagh stop in marathon challenge for charity

A radio DJ will bring her fundraising marathon challenge to Fermanagh this June in aid of Cancer Research UK.


23 Apr 2014 09:30

Arsonists responsible for 15 gorse fires since beginning of April

Arsonists are being blamed for starting around 15 gorse fires in the Garrison and Belcoo area since the beginning of April.