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Regency trial adjourned for three months over investigation into death of lead investigator

Senior prosecuting counsel Sean Gillane SC told the court today that “considerable progress” had been made in the enquiry.

The sealed-off scene of the Regency Hotel, in the aftermath of the shooting.
The sealed-off scene of the Regency Hotel, in the aftermath of the shooting.
Image: Sasko Lazarov via Rolling News

THE REGENCY HOTEL shooting trial has been adjourned for a further three months to allow an enquiry into the death of Detective Superintendent Colm Fox, who had been the lead investigator into the fatal shooting over two years ago, to conclude.

Patrick Hutch, aged 25, of Champions Avenue, Dublin 1, is pleading not guilty to the murder of David Byrne, aged 34 at the Regency Hotel in Dublin on 5 February 2016.

He also denies possessing three AK47 assault rifles in connection with the shooting.

Senior prosecuting counsel Sean Gillane SC told the Special Criminal Court today that “considerable progress” had been made in the enquiry.

He said that a “number of separate themes” had been established to each different strand of the enquiry which included the examination of the documentary material, electronic data and the taking of relevant witness statements.

Michael O’Higgins SC, for Hutch, said that the adjournment was “inevitable”.

He asked for liberty to apply if the matter does not proceed quickly enough.

The defence was not resisting the adjournment, he said.

Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, said that the adjournment was “realistic” and the court would “see what happens in the interim”.

O’Higgins also noted a “potential difficulty” in the case which was that the credibility of witnesses is a “live issue” and that the defence should have had some material before the legal argument started.

He said he was “just flagging there is a live issue”.

Custody

Justice Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge Ann Ryan, remanded Hutch in custody until 9 July, when the case is listed for mention again.

This was the fifth adjournment in the case.

The trial had previously been adjourned last month after notes written by the late superintendent were handed to the court and read by the three judges.

Two weeks earlier, the trial had been adjourned when the defence had requested to be provided with copies of emails exchanged between four gardai involved in the case.

The court has previously heard that the shooting took place during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel, when a man dressed as a woman and another wearing a flat cap, armed with handguns, followed by three people dressed in tactical-style garda uniforms and carrying assault rifles, raided the venue.

It is the prosecution’s case that Hutch was the man dressed as a woman and that he did not shoot Byrne but was part of a “shared intention” to commit the offence.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing

Read: Regency trial adjourned for a month to allow for investigation into death of Det Superintendent Colm Fox

More: Regency trial adjourned, case material presents ‘unprecedented conundrums’

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Daniel Hickey

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