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Senior Garda gives evidence on timeline of Hutch-Kinahan feud at Regency murder trial

The court was told that the prosecution’s case against Gerard Hutch and his two co-accused should end on Thursday.

A SENIOR GARDA has given evidence to the Regency Hotel murder trial of four shootings that have taken place during the Hutch-Kinahan feud, including the still “open investigation” into an attack on Patrick Hutch Junior.

Detective Superintendent David Gallagher from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) told the Special Criminal Court today that the murder of Eddie ‘Neddie’ Hutch in 2016 is also still an open investigation but that he “would rather not say” if the suspects were within or outside the jurisdiction.

The three-judge court was further told today that the prosecution case against murder accused Gerard Hutch and his two co-accused should finish on Thursday.

Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch (59), last of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, denies the murder of Mr Byrne (33) during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel on 5 February, 2016.

Hutch’s two co-accused – Paul Murphy (61), of Cherry Avenue, Swords, Co Dublin and Jason Bonney (52), of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13 have pleaded not guilty to participating in or contributing to the murder of Mr Byrne by providing access to motor vehicles on 5 February 2016.

Last November, Det Supt Gallagher told the trial that the “Hutch Criminal Organisation” emanated from “intergenerational familial bonds and close family associations” in Dublin city centre and operated on a patriarchal system of loyalty based on monetary gains.

The first matter, Det Supt Gallagher told Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, concerned the shooting of UK national and former professional boxer Jamie Moore who was seriously injured in Estepona in Spain on 3 August 2014.

The Englishman, who was training boxers at the MGM gym in Marbella at the time, was the subject of five gunshots being fired and was hit twice.

“The gunman who fired the shots approached Mr Moore [after he was injured and on the ground] and was about to inflict further shots when there appeared to be a realisation that he was not the intended target,” said the officer.

Investigators were satisfied that Moore was an innocent man shot in a case of mistaken identity.

At the time, Det Supt Gallagher said Moore was training boxers within the boxing stable of MGM and that the gym was owned at the time by ex-professional boxer Matthew Macklin and Daniel Kinahan.

Moore was staying in a villa with Daniel Kinahan before the shooting, he said.

On the evening of shooting, both Kinahan and  Moore had been at a social event but they had travelled home separately.

Kinahan arrived first, entering through a side gate and Moore arrived later by taxi, entering through a front gate, where he was shot, the court heard.

Det Supt Gallagher also gave evidence today about Patrick Hutch Junior, the son of Patsy Hutch Senior and nephew of Gerry Hutch, being shot at an undisclosed location in Dublin on 15 August 2014.

Patrick presented at the Mater Hospital with a single gunshot wound to the leg that was described as serious but not life threatening.

He did not cooperate with the Garda investigation into the shooting and the matter is still an open investigation, said Det Supt Gallagher.

Dowdall testimony

Jonathan Dowdall told the court in his direct evidence last December that in 2015 he was told that Patrick Hutch Junior was accused of trying to kill Daniel Kinahan in Spain.

Dowdall said he was told Patrick did not do it, that he wasn’t involved, but the Kinahans demanded €200,000 from Patsy Hutch’s family.

Dowdall later found out that the €200,000 was compensation for a boxer who had been shot during the attempt on Kinahan’s life.

Dowdall told the court that at some point Gary Hutch was “more or less held hostage” and Patrick had to “hand himself up for a punishment shooting”.

Dowdall said he believed the shooting happened in Drumcondra.

He added: “Patrick went with a family member and was shot and was brought to the Mater hospital. I was told it was Daniel Kinahan himself who shot him.”

The €200,000 was also paid, Dowdall said, but Patsy Hutch told Dowdall that the Kinahans made more demands for money before Gary Hutch was shot dead in September 2015.

He said he was told that Gary was killed by the Kinahans.

Under cross-examination on 13 December, Hutch’s defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC put it to Jonathan Dowdall that the “real reason” the feud started was that Daniel Kinahan was supposed to give a punishment shooting to Patrick Hutch for his alleged role in trying to shoot Kinahan but instead of inflicting a flesh wound, he shot him in the bone.

Dowdall disagreed, saying that he found out while in Wheatfield Prison that Gary and Patrick had tried to take €4.5 million from Daniel Kinahan’s house.

“Patrick hid in the bush to shoot Daniel and he shot that boxer by mistake,” he said, referring to boxer Jamie Moore.

The ex-politician added that Patrick was shot by Kinahan “because he was blamed for what happened to that boxer”.

Gary Hutch shooting

Det Supt Gallagher also gave evidence today about the shooting of Gary Hutch, the eldest son of Patsy Hutch and nephew of Gerard Hutch.

The witness confirmed that Gary, who was originally from Champions Avenue in Dublin 1 but who had been living in Spain for eight years prior to his murder, was fatally shot at Angel De Miraflores apartments complex in Mijas in Malaga on 24 September 2015.

Irish national James Quinn, the court heard, was convicted after a trial in Malaga of being the getaway driver and was sentenced to 20 years for the murder and an additional two years for a weapons offence.

Det Supt Gallagher also testified about the shooting of Edward ‘Neddie’ Hutch, who was shot dead at his north-inner city home at Poplar Row, Fairview in Dublin 3 on 8 February 2016. This was believed to be a revenge attack for the Regency Hotel shooting three days earlier.

The witness said that Edward Hutch, a taxi driver and brother of Gerry Hutch and Patsy Hutch, was returning to his home on the night and as he exited his taxi and entered his house a number of males alighted from a BMW and fired a number of shots, before pursuing him into his house and shooting him.

“Concerning the shooting of Patrick Hutch Junior, [the investigation] it never progressed as he made no complaint, he presented with a gunshot wound and various hearsay sources as to how it came about?” asked Brendan Grehan SC, for Mr Hutch. The witness said Mountjoy Garda Station conducted the investigation, that a shell casing was recovered from a vehicle and that Gardai were satisfied that the shooting happened.

The witness further agreed with the barrister that no complaint was made about the shooting or information provided by Patrick Hutch Jnr as to how it came about.

Asked if his information in relation to the murder of Edward Hutch was “second hand”, Det Supt Gallagher disagreed saying he would have joined the GNDOCB in April 2016 so was fully aware of the facts of the case but that he had linked in with the investigation team in Store Street Garda Station.

He agreed with the lawyer that no one had been brought to justice for the murder of Edward Hutch and that the file remains open.

Asked if suspects were identified for the carrying out of that shooting, Det Supt Gallagher said a number of persons were interviewed and questioned in relation to it.

The witness told Grehan he “would rather not say” when asked if the suspects for the murder were within or outside the jurisdiction.

CCTV Evidence Ruling

Earlier, the Special Criminal Court ruled that CCTV footage concerning the movement of a silver Toyota Avensis taxi associated with Paul Murphy can be admitted as evidence against him.

Murphy is accused of helping a criminal gang murder Mr Byrne at the Regency Hotel in Dublin almost seven years ago.

Presiding judge Justice Tara Burns today delivered the judgement of the three-judge court saying that the challenge arose under the context of alleged breaches of the Data Protection Act.

She went on to say that the CCTV evidence depicted the silver saloon taxi travelling around various relevant locations including around Buckingham Street on the morning of the murder.

Murphy’s Toyota Avensis taxi is alleged to have been part of a convoy that parked up at St Vincent’s GAA club grounds before the shooting and then transported an assailant after a Ford transit van was abandoned.

It is the prosecution’s case that a silver Ford transit van containing six people left the Regency Hotel after the shooting, including three persons dressed in tactical garda clothing.

The raiders then made good their escape by using a number of parked vehicles at St Vincent’s GAA club.

Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, said in his opening address that “an integral part of the operation” which led to Mr Byrne’s death was the means by which the tactical team escaped, which is central to the case of Murphy and Bonney.

CCTV footage of the movements of a Toyota Avensis which the State says belongs to Murphy has previously been shown to the court.

Murphy’s legal team last week submitted an application for the CCTV footage to be excluded from the trial.

But this morning, Justice Burns sitting alongside Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Grainne Malone, rejected the application and said the court failed to see how a claim of privacy on the breach could arise and that it did not accept the defence’s interpretation that the processing of personal data occurred before any criminal offence was committed.

She added: “In any criminal investigation the onus is on the State to seek out any CCTV footage and the effect of a breach of the Data Protection Act can not have the effect of evidence becoming inadmissible. The court will not rule the footage inadmissible on that basis”.

In his submissions last Thursday, Bernard Condon SC, defending  Murphy, said that there were seven sources of CCTV footage in relation to his client and that the two requirements under the Data Protection Act 1993 are that the systems have to be registered with the Data Protection Commissioner and for notice to be given that there was a recording in place. “There is no evidence of that,” he added.

The barrister said the recording of data by an unregistered CCTV system was a criminal offence.

Condon said the CCTV breached the accused’s privacy rights.

He said the right to privacy had been identified in the Constitution and the European Court of Human Rights and that there was a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place.

Before the court rose for the day, Fiona Murphy SC, prosecuting, told the judges that Sarah Skedd, a crime and policing analyst with An Garda Siochana, would be called on Thursday and it was anticipated that she would be one of the last prosecution witnesses in the case. 

Fiona Murphy also told the court that the prosecution case should finish on Thursday and she would make enquiries as to whether Skedd could be called earlier in the week.

The trial continues tomorrow.