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Special Criminal Court convicts three people for murdering 'Monk' nephew Gareth Hutch

All three denied murdering Gareth Hutch outside Avondale House flats in 2016.

The funeral of Gareth Hutch in Dublin in June 2016.
The funeral of Gareth Hutch in Dublin in June 2016.
Image: Sam Boal

Updated Nov 2nd 2018, 3:00 PM

THREE PEOPLE HAVE been found guilty at the Special Criminal Court of murdering Gareth Hutch over two years ago.

Jonathan Keogh (33), his sister Regina Keogh (41) and Thomas Fox (31) have all been found guilty of the 24 May 2016 murder. 

All three had denied murdering Mr Hutch (36), who was shot dead as he was getting into his car outside Avondale House flats on North Cumberland Street in Dublin on the morning of May 24, 2016.

Earlier this morning, Jonathan Keogh was found guilty of Hutch’s murder. The court found that Keogh fired the fatal shots that killed Hutch in a “cold-blooded manner” and “had a hand in almost every aspect” of the planning of the murder.

A second Dubliner, Thomas Fox, was also found guilty. 

 The three-judge court said it accepted the prosecution’s case that Thomas Fox (31) made a “probable” contribution to Gareth Hutch’s (36) murder. Fox was a subordinate of Jonathan Keogh (33) and appeared to act under his general influence and direction, the court found.

Fox was also convicted of unlawfully possessing a Makarov 9 mm handgun on May 23, 2016 at the same place.

Mother-of-five Regina Keogh (41) was found to have “colluded” with her brother to cause serious injury to Hutch, the three-judge court heard. 

‘Cold-blooded’

Gareth Hutch, nephew of Gerry “the monk” Hutch, died as a result of four gunshot injuries; two to the back of the neck, one to the lower back and one to the right of the upper chest.

During the nine-week trial which ended in July, the prosecution contended that Thomas Fox was “instrumental” in planning the murder of Hutch as well as being the getaway driver for the shooters.

It was the State’s case that Fox was parked near Avondale House in a white Transit van on the morning of the shooting, but due to a change of plans the white van was not required.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge Michael Walsh at the non-jury court, spent an hour reviewing the evidence that led to Fox’s guilty verdicts.

Wearing a black jacket, Fox kept his head down as the judge reviewed the evidence against him.

The court is awaiting a verdict for Regina Keogh (41) from Avondale House, Cumberland Street North, Dublin 1 who also denied murdering Mr Hutch. It is expected her verdict will be delivered after lunch.

Jonathan Keogh

Earlier today, the Special Criminal Court found that Jonathan Keogh (33) fired the fatal shots that killed Gareth Hutch (36) in “a cold-blooded manner” and “had a hand in almost every aspect” of the planning of this murder.

Keogh, with an address at Gloucester Place, Dublin 1 had denied murdering Hutch, who was shot dead as he was getting into his car outside Avondale House flats on North Cumberland Street in Dublin on the morning of 24 May 2016 in what the court said was not a “spontaneous or reactive killing”.

Hutch, nephew of Gerry “the monk” Hutch, died as a result of four gunshot injuries; two to the back of the neck, one to the lower back and one to the right of the upper chest.

It was the State’s case that a heated exchange took place between Jonathan Keogh and Gareth Hutch on the day prior to the shooting, that Keogh was heard expressing his intention to kill Hutch later that evening and that he was one of the two gunmen responsible for the murder.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge Michael Walsh at the non-jury court, spent seven hours over two days reviewing the evidence that led to the guilty verdict.

Delivering the lengthy judgement following a nine-week trial which ended in July, Mr Justice Hunt said the court accepted the prosecution’s case that a considerable amount of planning and coordination had gone into this killing. “All those that are involved in planning are guilty of the crime of murder,” he added.

Keogh wore a grey t-shirt and kept his head down as the judgment was delivered to a packed courtroom.

There was a heavy presence from the Garda Public Order Unit in the three-judge court for today’s verdict.

It was the State’s case that Fox was parked near Avondale House in a white Transit van on the morning of the shooting, but due to a change of plans the white van was not required.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge Michael Walsh at the non-jury court, spent less than an hour reviewing the evidence that led to Fox’s guilty verdicts.

Prosecution witness

Key prosecution witness Mary McDonnell (45) identified Thomas Fox and Jonathan Keogh in her evidence as the men who came into her flat the night before the shooting and wiped down two handguns.

Mary McDonnell was initially arrested on suspicion of murdering Hutch and later charged with withholding information. However, that charge was subsequently withdrawn and she has been given immunity from prosecution.

Lawyers for Fox argued that their client had withdrawn from the joint enterprise to kill Gareth Hutch, albeit late in the day. Seamus Clarke SC, defending, said Mary McDonnell gave evidence that Jonathan Keogh received phone calls from Fox in her flat on the morning of the shooting, telling him he wanted to leave.

Mary McDonnell also maintained Jonathan Keogh got annoyed at Fox and told another man Mr AB, who is not before the court, “that fucking eejit Tossy, he wants to go now, cause everyone is coming out looking at the van.” Clarke submitted to the court that this was evidence of Fox’s withdrawal from the joint enterprise and it “neutralised” any previous assistance he had given.

In relation to the firearm charge against Fox, Mr Clarke also submitted the defendant was acting under coercion and duress at the time. Fox told gardaí in his interviews that his co-accused Jonathan Keogh told him he would “get it” if he did not do as Keogh said and that a gun was “pushed into” his hand.

However, the prosecution submitted that Fox was “deeply involved” in the planning and was a “willing participant” in the murder.

Delivering judgement today, presiding judge Mr Justice Hunt, said that Fox had adopted a “more nuanced position” than Jonathan Keogh in that he maintained his involvement was brought about by coercion and had been “counteracted” by a later withdrawal. He commented that Fox was “somewhat detached” from the other men in CCTV footage.

However, the court did not accept that Fox withdrew from the joint enterprise to kill Mr Hutch, albeit late in the day.

Convicting Fox, Mr Justice Hunt said that there was no evidence in his garda interviews that supported his defences advanced in the trial. The judge said the prosecution had established that the defence of withdrawal was not available to Fox and this was accepted by the court.

 ”An intention to withdraw from a criminal enterprise must be unequivocal, to withdraw because of panic does not suffice. It should have been made clear that Mr Fox was actually leaving and not that he wished to leave,” the judge said, adding that his conduct fell “well short” of what was required for the withdrawal from a serious crime.

In relation to the firearm charge against Fox, the court said it did not accept that he was acting under coercion and duress at the time. “There is no evidence that his particular will was so overborne,” said Mr Justice Hunt.

A member of the public was heard shouting “you’re a fucking hypocrite” before she stormed out of the court.

It was the State’s case that Regina Keogh was “instrumental” in planning the murder of Gareth Hutch. 

The prosecution contended that key prosecution witness Mary McDonnell (45) was encouraged by Regina Keogh, her “best friend” and neighbour of 16 years, to allow Jonathan Keogh use her flat “as a base” to wait for Mr Hutch prior to the attack as her kitchen window had a view into his flat.

Mary McDonnell testified that Regina had said to her: “That’s the only way it is going to happen, if not Jonathan is going to be shot.”

It was also the State’s case that Regina Keogh went up to Mary McDonnell’s flat on the night prior to the shooting and gave her rubber gloves to be used by the attackers the following day. 

Patrick Gageby SC, defending Regina Keogh, said her case rested “entirely” in Mary McDonnell’s evidence and it would be dangerous to convict his client on Mary’s account. 

Key prosecution witness Mary McDonnell was initially arrested on suspicion of murdering Mr Hutch and later charged with withholding information. However, that charge was subsequently withdrawn and she has been given immunity from prosecution. 

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge Michael Walsh at the non-jury court, spent a half an hour reviewing the evidence that led to the guilty verdict. 

Delivering judgement today, Mr Justice Hunt, said the case against Regina Keogh depended substantially on the evidence of Mary McDonnell. 

Convicting Regina Keogh, the judge said she was guilty due to her involvement with her brother’s affairs. 

Mr Justice Hunt said the court was satisfied that when Regina brought the gloves to Mary McDonnell’s flat the night before the murder she had “specific knowledge that something was afoot in relation to Gareth Hutch”.

Belfast

Giving the court’s verdict today, Mr Justice Hunt said that Keogh fled to Belfast in the aftermath of the murder not because he was going to be wrongly accused of Mr Hutch’s murder but because he was involved in it all along.

Finding Keogh guilty, Mr Justice Hunt said the evidence showed that it was more probable than not that Keogh committed this offence and there was enough circumstantial evidence to incriminate him even without the evidence of key prosecution witness Mary McDonnell.

Convicting Jonathan Keogh, Mr Justice Hunt said the evidence pointed “firmly and unequivocally” in the direction of Keogh being involved in this killing. The judge said the plan to kill Gareth Hutch was “in gestation” perhaps as far back as April and was certainly in place by the following month when mobile phone handsets were acquired.

Keogh gave little reaction following the guilty verdict. The court is still to deliver its verdict for Regina Keogh (41) from Avondale House, Cumberland Street North, Dublin 1. She also denied murdering Gareth Hutch.

Comments are closed as parts of this case are before the courts.

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About the author:

Alison O'Riordan

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