Monday 24 October 2016

Cousin of murdered Gary Hutch jailed for burglary after court heard he will have special difficulties in prison

Fiona Ferguson

Published 21/07/2016 | 13:10

Gary Hutch (34) murdered on September 24, 2015
Gary Hutch (34) murdered on September 24, 2015

A cousin of murdered Gary Hutch has been jailed for burglary after the court previously heard that special security arrangements had to be put in place for him in custody.

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Samuel Hutch (40) of Cardiffsbridge Avenue, Finglas, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to trespass and possession of a stolen bicycle in Sandymount on October 25, 2015. He also pleaded guilty to damaging a car door in Ringsend on the same date.

Hutch, who has 89 previous convictions, further admitted a burglary in Cabra on February 6, 2016.

His previous convictions include 39 burglaries, possession of a phone in prison, robbery, theft, criminal damage, as well as road traffic and drugs offences.

At the original sentencing hearing last June Judge Melanie Greally heard that Hutch would have special difficulties in serving his prison sentence due to his security arrangements in custody.

He is not allowed visitors or to mingle with other prisoners and cannot access prison facilities or courses due to those arrangements.

The court heard there was an “environment of fear and tension” and Hutch was “isolated” and “extremely lonely.”

Breffni Gordon BL, defending, said it was “clear from his name” and security arrangements that he was related to the Hutch family who have been discussed in the media. He said part of his client's troubles of late are connected with events outside prison and the courts.

He said Hutch was affected by the death of his cousin to whom he was close. However counsel said he was “a completely different character” who was not associated with the “brand of criminality” of other members of his family.

Mr Gordon said Hutch had fallen into drug addiction at 16 years old and offended to feed his habit.

Judge Greally accepted that Hutch was “encountering particular difficulties” and took into account his guilty plea and the fact the burglaries were committed to fund his addiction.

She noted that despite his situation he is addressing his addiction in prison.

Judge Greally sentenced Hutch to a consecutive sentence totalling four years but suspended the final 18 months of that term on strict conditions.

Mr Gordon told the judge last month the court could take the view based on his record that he was operating in an “entirely different environment” to other members of his family.

He said prior to these offences Hutch had been doing quite well and completed a residential rehabilitation course but family tragedies in 2015 including the murder of his cousin Gary Hutch in Spain had caused his life to spiral out of control again. He fell back into drug use and offending.

He said Hutch had been close to Gary but they were “completely different characters.”

Mr Gordon said although Hutch did not have access to a drug counsellor due to his security arrangements he has detoxed in custody and is now medicated only for health issues.

He said because of difficulties in recent times Hutch intended on his release to take an opportunity to start his life afresh “somewhere else.”

Counsel submitted that due to his situation Hutch would experience difficulties unlike any other prisoner serving a sentence and that can be taken into account by the court.

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