Took police two days to act after sniffer dog 'picked up something'
Published: 20 Sep 2012 13:00
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".
Get more stories from our Roundup section
13 Dec 2013 19:00
After three consecutive league defeats Ballinamallard manager Whitey Anderson admitted he would settle for “a scrappy 1-0 win” as he looked forward to Saturday’s match against Ards, and that is exactly what he got.
13 Dec 2013 17:00 • Editorial Department
A 60-year-old driving instructor convicted of a “road rage” attack on an elderly motorist has been sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years.
13 Dec 2013 14:00 • Editorial Department
“Mums are so concerned about the potential health impact of fracking on their children that they are threatening to move away from Fermanagh,” Marilyn Trimble tells The Impartial Reporter.
13 Dec 2013 11:00 • Meadhbh Monahan
Fermanagh land owners have offered their fields and countryside to fracking company Tamboran, it has been claimed.
13 Dec 2013 09:30 • Editorial Department
A 19-year-old butcher’s assistant found lying in the street with his trousers around his ankles was trying to eat a burger.
12 Dec 2013 19:11
The powerful images following the death at the age of 95 of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, has evoked many memories of those fortunate enough to have met the statesman.
12 Dec 2013 18:03
Outgoing SDLP Councillor John O’Kane who will receive over £24,000 when he exits Fermanagh District Council in 2015 has described his severance package as “pittance”.
12 Dec 2013 17:11
THE leader of the SDLP was vowed to win back an Assembly seat for Fermanagh-south Tyrone at the next election but has ruled out taking his party into opposition, saying it would be “counter-productive”.
12 Dec 2013 16:11
Planning applications for an extra 14 wind turbines on three different locations around Fermanagh have been received by the Planning Service.
12 Dec 2013 15:56
ULSTER Unionist MLA Tom Elliott has told Sinn Fein during the Haass talks in Belfast that there is “absolutely no difference” between the IRA and Al-Qaeda, the Islamic terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
12 Dec 2013 15:01
Two local boat owners have been prosecuted for leaving their motor cruisers moored at the Round ‘O’ public jetty in Enniskillen for longer than 48 hours.
12 Dec 2013 15:00 • Rodney Edwards
SINN Fein’s Gerry Kelly who bombed the Old Bailey in 1973 has said he is “proud” of escaping the Maze prison a decade later with Seamus McElwaine, the man leading the IRA in Fermanagh.
12 Dec 2013 14:01
Some Christmas shoppers are getting caught out with the new discounted car parking ticket scheme introduced by the DRD Minister, Danny Kennedy.
12 Dec 2013 14:00
A number of birds have been seized after police carried out three search operations in the South Fermanagh area yesterday (December 10th) into alleged animal cruelty.
12 Dec 2013 13:03 • Rodney Edwards
THE most senior detective in the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) investigating the Enniskillen bombing was taken off the case several months ago, The Impartial Reporter can reveal.
12 Dec 2013 13:02 • Rodney Edwards
THE mother of an Enniskillen man who fell to his death at a disused quarry nearly a year ago has won a prestigious award for a moving poem she wrote about her son and her grief.
12 Dec 2013 13:00 • Rodney Edwards
THE family of a 51-year-old car mechanic who died in a freak accident in Lisnaskea at the weekend are facing a heartbreaking Christmas without him.
12 Dec 2013 11:45 • Sarah Saunderson
Police in Fermanagh are investigating an incident where a fuel tanker was reversed into the front of the former Quinn premises in the Ballyconnell Road area of Derrylin last night and set alight.
12 Dec 2013 11:30
Police are investigating the theft of a cylinder and copper pipes from a property in the Meenatully Road area of Enniskillen.
12 Dec 2013 08:30
A 27-year-old taxi driver thought he would just “batter on” rather than lose business while waiting for his operator’s licence to arrive, Fermanagh Court has been told.