JUSTICE has been won for Luke Fitzpatrick as three men were found guilty of killing the young Irishman just days before the anniversary of his brutal death.
As the Old Bailey trial wound to a close this week the jury took just two days to find Christopher Walters, 23, of Lovett Way, Neasden, and Loen Burton, 17, of Woodcote Avenue, Mill Hill, guilty of Luke’s murder.
Teenager Abdi Hassan, 17, of Warren Road, in Cricklewood, was found guilty of manslaughter.
All three were also found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to Luke’s 56-year-old father, Bernard Fitzpatrick, who was stabbed repeatedly as he tried to protect his son from the mob attack on May 19, 2012.
Bernard, who hails from Dublin, has made a full recovery since the attack and was in court with Luke’s mother Constance yesterday to hear the verdict.
“Finally some Justice has been done,” Mrs Fitzpatrick told the Irish Post this morning.
“But it won’t bring Luke back. It’s been a long year but now we can at least remember Luke on Sunday’s anniversary without this hanging over our heads.”
Luke, a 25-year-old roofer, and his father were set upon after a night spent watching the Champion’s League final at the Ox and Gate pub near their Dollis Hill homes, where a mob of hooded and armed men ‘stormed’ the pub, seeking revenge for an earlier incident involving Walters.
Neither were involved in the earlier incident, according to Brian Altman QC, prosecuting.
“Walters lost face in that earlier incident,” he explained.
“But he did not let matters rest there. He set about exacting his revenge by calling to arms his friends and associates.
“They stormed the pub. These were acts of cowardice, mob-handed and tooled up, to avenge Walters’ perceived loss of face.”
The three month trial also saw Burton and Hassan convicted of violent disorder for the storming of the pub, a charge Walters pleaded guilty to at a previous hearing.
Ali Abdullah, 20, Mustafa Bereima, 20 and Hamad Abdullah, 26 were also found guilty of violent disorder at the Old Bailey, where Rafael Dejesus, 25, was found guilty of assisting an offender.
Judge Rebecca Poulet, who lifted an anonymity order on 17-year-olds Burton and Hassan which restricted reporting on their identities throughout the trial, added: “It is difficult to think of a more grave case.”
All seven men have been remanded in custody, to be sentenced on June 7.
See next week’s Irish Post (out Wednesday, May 22) for our exclusive Interview with Constance Fitzpatrick on the verdicts and the anniversary of the 25-year-old roofer’s death.