Sunday 11 December 2016

Gangland target Ross Hutch bailed and barred from three areas following alleged phone theft

Conor Feehan and Tom Tuite

Published 24/10/2016 | 15:01

Ross Hutch leaving the CCJ
Ross Hutch leaving the CCJ
Ross Hutch leaving the CCJ
Ross Hutch leaving the CCJ

A judge has refused to throw out a phone theft case brought against gang target Ross Hutch.

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The 24-year-old, who won €33,000 in cash and prizes on RTE’s Winning Streak last year, is accused of stealing a man's iPhone worth €875 at Marino Mart on Sunday.

He appeared before Judge Anthony Halpin on Monday afternoon.

Garda Sharon Kavanagh of Clontarf Garda Station gave evidence of arrest charge and caution.

Ross Hutch leaving the CCJ
Ross Hutch leaving the CCJ

Hutch was arrested at his home address in Portland Place, Dublin 1 and made no reply when he was charged.

Judge Halpin was asked to throw out the case. Defence solicitor Declan Fahy argued that the court should make “no order”.

He said the legislation under which Mr Hutch was charged said he should have been brought before the next court sitting and had his case called before 12 noon but it was not heard until 2.15 pm.

The judge heard that the charge sheet was lodged in court at 10.10am.

Judge Halpin said that he understood that the law stated that the accused must “ as practicable” be brought the next sitting of the court. Refusing the defence application he said the circumstances did note allow for that because the court was dealing with a quite a number of custody cases and prison officers were only able to bring up three or four at a time to the courtroom.

He noted that there was no objection to bail but he agreed to impose a condition sought by the garda to bar Mr Hutch from the Clontarf, Fairview and Marino areas.

He held that a request to order him to obey a curfew was “a little excessive”. In relation to an application for him to sign on regularly at a Garda station, the defence said that Mr Hutch has “huge personal security difficulties”.

Judge Halpin agreed that ordering him to sign on may well jeopardise his security and he refused to make that a condition of bail.

During the short hearing Mr Hutch stood with his hands behind his back listening intently to the proceeding.

He was wearing a light grey tracksuit with a green stripe across the chest and down the sides of the legs, and white trainers.

He remained quiet during the sitting, but became animated when signing-on at a garda station as a condition of bail was raised by the prosecution.

The case was adjourned pending direction from the DPP to a date in the new year.

Free legal aid was granted after the court heard he is not working.

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