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THE ACCUSED; MICHAELA DEATH NATION IN SHOCK.

Byline: DARREN BOYLE

THIS is the teenager accused of murdering 12-year-old Michaela Davis whose body was found dumped beside a canal at the weekend.

Jonathan Byrne, 18, appeared at the Criminal Courts of Justice yesterday morning.

Judge Patrick Clyne heard Byrne, of Lohunda Downs, Clonsilla, West Dublin, made no reply when charged by Sgt Joe Delaney at Blanchardstown Garda station shortly after 11.30pm on Sunday.

The teenager, who was wearing a grey hoodie, blue jeans and white runners, remained seated and silent during the brief hearing.

His solicitor made an application for legal aid and medical assistance and Byrne was then remanded in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on Friday.

The short legal process was in stark contrast to the traumatic events which began when Michaela left her home in Porterstown, West Dublin, at midnight on Friday.

Within two hours her deeply worried parents Brendan and Deirdre alerted gardai and a massive search was launched. Their worst fears were realised when a man walking along the Royal Canal spotted Michaela's semi-naked body near Porterstown Gate at 3.40pm on Saturday. She had been dumped in thick undergrowth less than half a mile from her home.

The agony continued on Sunday morning when State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy conducted a postmortem on their daughter.

It showed Michaela had been sexually assaulted, beaten and strangled.

More than 80 detectives worked on the case and the Garda Sub Aqua Squad searched the canal for evidence.

Michaela's funeral is expected to take place later this week at St Mochta's Church in Porterstown where she was confirmed in May.

Local Fine Gael Councillor Kieran Dennison said the community have been providing great support to Michaela's parents and her older brother Brendan.

Michaela had been a pupil at St Mochta's National School and principal Terry Allen said: "She was a lovely child who had so much to live for.

"The thoughts and prayers of our whole school community are with Michaela's family, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy."

SCHOOL FACES TRAUMA

By DARREN BOYLE

A SPECIAL counselling service has been made available for schoolchildren traumatised by Michaela Davis' killing.

Michaela finished primary school in June and last week enrolled as a first-year student at Luttrellstown Community College in Blanchardstown, West Dublin. She spent a half-day in the school last Wednesday to collect her timetable and meet some of her teachers.

A school official said "a critical management team" has been established to help any students who have been traumatised by the killing.

One local said: "This is going to be very hard for the children to cope with.

"Every day there will be an empty seat in the classroom. It's such an awful tragedy."

CAPTION(S):

CRIME SCENE Royal Canal bank TRIAL FOR MURDER Jonathan Byrne leaving Blanchardstown Garda station yesterday KILLED Michaela Davis COLLEGE Michaela's new school
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 31, 2010
Words:476
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