Thursday 21 September 2017

Convicted killer is jailed for co-ordinating a botched cash van raid

Conor Gallagher

A convicted killer has been sentenced to an extra five years in jail for co-ordinating a botched cash van raid during which gardai shot dead his co-accused.

Derek Hutch (27) was sentenced to 16 years for his role in the raid but this was backdated to 2009 and is to run alongside his current jail sentence. This means his previous 2020 release date has been delayed by five years.

The court heard Hutch also has previous convictions for weapons possession and assault causing serious harm. Last year he was sentenced to ten years with four suspended for the manslaughter of Barry Maguire. He and an accomplice stabbed the 27-year old death on St Stephens Day 2007.

He is also serving a ten year term for handgun possession.

Today Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Hutch was the “organiser and orchestrator” of the raid. He fled after the shots were fired and was caught after a two mile high speed chase.

Hutch of Chapel Farm Avenue, Lusk pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a sawn-off shotgun at Foxborough Road, Lucan on May 15, 2009.

Judge Martin Nolan noted that a huge amount of violence was used and it was “by any standards” a very serious armed robbery. He noted Nolan was already in jail until at least 2020 and said that he had to take this into account when sentencing him.

Another accused, Keith Murtagh (28) of Lower Sherriff Street was jailed for ten years in 2010. He was injured during the shootout with gardai and later pleaded guilty to his role in the raid. Two other men were arrested in connection with the offence but acquitted earlier this year.

Inspector Richard McDonnell told prosecuting counsel, Alexander Owens SC, that Hutch travelled in convoy with the other men to the shop where the G4S cash van was due to refill an ATM.

Hutch was seen by waiting detectives getting out of the car wearing sunglasses and a hood. He started walking in front of the shop while on the phone. He returned to his car when the cash van arrived and was again seen talking on the phone.

The two masked raiders got out of their car. One armed with a shotgun grabbed cash van worker Tim McDonald. They severely assaulted him and pointed a sawn-off shotgun at his head while demanding his colleagues release cash from the van.

The other cash van workers released a cash box. One of the raiders, Gareth Molloy, fired a shot in the air. At this point armed gardai moved in, identified themselves and ordered Molloy to drop the gun.

When he failed to do so, a detective opened fire, fatally wounding the raider. Murtagh was also wounded.

When the shooting began Hutch sped away and was chased by gardai. He was caught after a two mile high speed chase. Initially in interview he claimed he was in the area to meet a man who was buying his car.

Defence counsel, Feargal Kavanagh SC, suggested Hutch was the “lookout” for the operation but the Inspector described him as the “organiser and orchestrator”.

Hutch’s counsel says his client dropped out of school at 14 years old and began working but that he fell in with the wrong peer group and started committing crime.

Mr Kavanagh added his client has one child but his relationship with his partner has since broken down because of the length of his prison sentences.

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