A CONVICTED killer has launched a High Court challenge against his transfer to a maximum security prison.
Derek ‘Del Boy’ Hutch (28), who is a nephew of former gang boss Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, is challenging his move from Mountjoy Prison to the Segregation Unit in Portlaoise prison, a maximum security prison.
He is locked up for 23 hours a day and is allowed just one hour of exercise, his counsel told the High Court.
Hutch, with an address at Chapel Farm Avenue, Lusk, North Co Dublin, was jailed for 16 years in July of last year for an attempted armed robbery in gardai shot dead a raider.
Hutch had pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery of a G4S security employee and possession of a sawn-off shotgun at Foxborough Road in Lucan, in 2009.
He was already serving six years for manslaughter, possession of a Glock pistol and other offences.
Hutch is due for release in 2021.
Earlier today, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy heard that the decision to transfer Hutch had been carried out under regulations that allow Prison Governors take steps for the protection of prisoners and to maintain security and good order.
Hutch (28), who is originally from Dublin's inner city, claims his transfer is unlawful and amounts to a breach of his rights.
He also claims placing him in the segregation unit, where it is proposed he is to remain until the end of September, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment which was adversely affecting his mental and physical health.
Fergal Kavanagh SC, counsel for Hutch, said it was his client’s case he should be moved to a more suitable prison environment and was seeking to quash the transfer decision.
Mr Kavanagh said Hutch was seeking a declaration that his detention in the segregation unit was unlawful. He had not been given reasons for the transfer.
He told the court his client was currently under 23-hours-a-day lock-up with only an hour exercise in a small yard.
It was the equivalent of solitary confinement reserved for prisoners who had breached prison rules.
Judge Laffoy granted Hutch ex parte leave to bring his action on notice to the State authorities before a High Court judge next week.
By Aodhan O’Faolain & Ray Managh