Sunday 23 October 2016

Cousin of murdered Gary Hutch will have special difficulties in prison, court hears

Fiona Ferguson

Published 16/06/2016 | 16:29

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

A COUSIN of murdered Gary Hutch would have special difficulties in serving his prison sentence for burglary due to his security arrangements in custody, a court has heard.

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Samuel Hutch (40) is not allowed visitors or to mingle with other prisoners and cannot access prison facilities or courses due to the security arrangements.

Dublin Circuit Criminal 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.

Hutch, of Cardiffsbridge Avenue, Finglas, Dublin pleaded guilty 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.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned sentencing in the case until July 21st next to allow a victim impact report be completed in one of the cases and allow urinalysis be undertaken.

Mr Gordon said his client was very much a member of the Hutch family but was not associated with them in the sense of their brand of criminality. He said 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.

Earlier, sergeant Ciaran Sweeney told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that a homeowner at Malone Gardens heard noise outside in the early hours of the morning of October 25, 2015 and discovered Hutch walking across their roof. Hutch did not enter the house.

“Sorry buddy, I am trying to get away from the gardaí,” said Hutch when told to go away.

He appeared to be on drugs. He jumped over a wall into the neighbouring ESB Sportsco complex and was seen running off across the pitch.

Gardaí were alerted and searched the area. They found Hutch riding a stolen bicycle in a nearby cul de sac, Derrynane Gardens, and when they approached him he cycled past them at speed in an attempt to get away. He had to be forcibly restrained and was arrested.

Hutch, who was found to have a screwdriver and money on him, told gardaí he was taking a shortcut into someone else's back garden. He told gardaí he had retrieved the money from a taxi parked on South Lotts road earlier that evening.

During the search for Hutch a second bicycle was also found, Hutch admitted it was not his but that he had ridden it to the scene earlier.

Garda William Doyle said that in the early hours of February 6, 2016 two women returning to their home on Carnlough Road noticed a light on in an upstairs bedroom and could see a man inside.

They alerted gardaí, who entered the house and found Hutch, who was wearing black gloves and had a screwdriver, in the bedroom. He attempted to get out the window but was restrained.

He was detained at Finglas Garda Station and has been in custody since.

Mr Gordon said Hutch was a single man with no dependants. He left school at 15 years old and began a painting and decorating apprenticeship but started to dabble with drugs and became addicted to heroin.

He said that since Hutch went into custody special security arrangements have been put in place for him within the prison and he has been on lock up having contact only with prison officers.

Counsel asked the court to take into account that Hutch had fairly and properly engaged with the gardaí and made early admissions. He said Hutch was behaving very well in prison and the authorities there were doing all they could for him.

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