Dannielle Finlay-Jones: Mother of Ashley Gaddie’s son breaks silence

A mum who shares a son with a tradie accused of brutally bashing a teacher to death has spoken of her distress after he was charged with murder.

Ashley Gaddie, 33, was on Wednesday morning charged with the murder of Dannielle Finlay-Jones, who was found dead at her friend’s home in western Sydney on Sunday afternoon.

Gaddie has a son but has rarely been in touch with him since he was a toddler, his mother told the Daily Telegraph, adding that she was trying to shield him from the news.

“I’m shaken up and devastated for that poor girl and her family. And trying to ensure my son doesn’t see what his dad has allegedly done,” the mother said.

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Gaddie and Ms Finlay-Jones, 31, spent Saturday night at the Cranebrook home belonging to two of the woman’s friends before he left in the morning, according to police allegations.

Her friends, who thought the couple was enjoying a sleep in, only discovered she had been lying in bed alone with horrific head injuries when they checked in on her at 2.30pm on Sunday.

Emergency services were called to the scene, but the teacher was unable to be revived.

After three days of investigations by specialist officers, Gaddie was arrested just after midnight on Wednesday morning following a police operation in Wentworth Falls.

Police cornered him on Tuesday afternoon at Fletcher’s Lookout, where he was standing on the cliff edge.

“Police negotiators attended and engaged the man in conversation, before he was arrested about 12am (on Wednesday),” a statement from NSW Police said.

Gaddie was taken to Katoomba Police Station and charged with murder.

On Wednesday afternoon, Penrith Local Court heard the 33-year-old “was intent not to appear on screen” in the courtroom.

Police made an application for a forensic swab to be taken, which was opposed by Gaddie’s lawyer Declan Ormachea.

Although the tradie’s consent was not given, the court heard a DNA swab will be taken to preserve the “transient” nature of the sample.

The court heard it will be a matter of debate whether the forensic evidence will be admissible in court.

The matter will be heard in the new year during a defended argument.

Gaddie did not apply to be released from police custody.

He will remain behind bars on remand until his next court appearance on March 3.

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