Jastine Valdez inquest returns unlawful killing verdict

by Rebecca Ryan

An inquest into the death of Jastine Valdez at Dublin Coroner’s Court has returned a verdict of unlawful killing.

On May 19, 2018, the 24-year-old had taken the 5.40pm bus from Bray to Enniskerry and arrived in Enniskerry village around 6pm. She was abducted at 6.20pm.

She was murdered shortly afterwards and her body was found two days later near Puck’s Castle Lane in Rathmichael, Co Dublin.

The court heard a statement from Susan Forsyth who told the inquest she saw Jastine being forced into the boot of a Nissan Qashqai and called 999.

Other witnesses spotted the car which helped the Gardai track down the man who killed her, Mark Hennessy, who was shot and killed by a garda in the Cherrywood Industrial Estate on May 20.

A statement was read on behalf of Nicola Hennessy, she said her husband Mark left the house on May 19 telling her he was going to get a bottle of wine. He never came home.

She could not get in touch with Mark but he eventually answered his phone at 8am the next morning. He said he had slept in his car at the seafront and would be home soon.

In a statement read to the court, Jastine Valdez’s mother Teresita said she last saw her daughter at 7.35am on the day she was abducted.

Teresita said she exchanged 63 messages with her daughter during the day, the last was at 4.20pm when Jastine said she was at the gym and would go to Bray to buy bread afterwards.

The inquest heard that Jastine died “not long after she was abducted”.

In a statement read on their behalf of her parents after the verdict, they said they “will never understand how such evil can exist in the world” and that “Jastine was our life and when she was taken away our world ended”.

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