Tuesday 22 August 2017

Young man charged with gun murder of Gareth Hutch

Victim Gareth Hutch
Victim Gareth Hutch

Andrew Phelan

A young man has appeared in court charged with the murder of Gareth Hutch, who was shot dead outside his home in Dublin’s north inner city.

Thomas Fox (29) was remanded in custody after he was arrested and brought before Cloverhill District Court today.

The court heard he replied “not guilty” to the charge when it was put to him.

He had been facing an existing charge of unlawful possession of a handgun the day before Mr Hutch’s killing but Judge Victor Blake struck that charge out.

Mr Hutch (35), a father-of-one, died of multiple gunshot wounds after he was shot at the Avondale House flats complex on North Cumberland Street on May 24 last year.

Gareth Hutch was a cousin of the late Gary Hutch and also the nephew of murdered taxi driver Eddie Hutch.

Mr Fox, of Rutland Street, Dublin 1 was charged today with murdering Gareth Hutch at Avondale House on May 24, 2016.

Judge Victor Blake remanded him in custody for a week for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Today, Detective Sergeant Robert O’Reilly of Mountjoy Station said he charged Mr Fox at 10.34am this morning. He replied “not guilty” after caution and was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

He asked the judge to adjourn the case for a week and state solicitor Karen Wilson said the DPP had directed trial on indictment.

Defence solicitor Eoin Lysaght asked Judge Blake to dismiss the existing charge against the accused.

This charge alleged Mr Fox was in unlawful possession of a Markov 9mm handgun at Avondale House on May 23, 2106.

Ms Wilson said the file in the case was complex and she asked the judge to adjourn the firearms charge along with the murder charge as the proposed evidence supporting both counts would be in the same book of evidence.

Mr Lysaght said, however, that his client had been in custody since last June and had been in court almost every second week since then “hearing how complex the file is.”

He said the judge had marked the last adjournment on the firearms charge peremptory against the state - meaning the book of evidence was to have been ready today.

Ms Wilson said in normal circumstances the book of evidence would be ready in two weeks. However, one week was the longest the case could be adjourned for.

Judge Blake said the firearms charge had been going through the system since June 1, 2016.

He had extended time for the preparation of the book of evidence on a number of occasions and marked it peremptory for today, he said,

“I do not mark things peremptory lightly,” he said. "In respect of that particular charge, I am not dismissing it but I am striking it out.”

The judge adjourned the case to January 25, for mention. He granted legal aid on the murder charge, with no garda objections.

No bail application was made as bail cannot be granted on a murder charge at district court level.

The accused, wearing a green sweater and dark grey tracksuit bottoms spoke only to say “good morning” when greeted by the judge.

Mr Hutch was getting into a car outside the flats at around 10am on May 24 when he was shot by what gardai believe was two gunmen.

He was taken to the Mater Hospital after initial treatment by emergency services at the scene but died from his injuries.

Separately, a 44 year old woman was charged with withholding information and her case is still before the courts.

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