Friday 20 July 2018

Derek Hutch given suspended sentence for hold up with imitation firearm

The case was brought before the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
The case was brought before the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Isabel Hayes

A relative of murdered Dublin man Gary Hutch has been given a suspended sentence for holding up a Spar shop with an imitation firearm.

Derek Hutch is a first cousin of the deceased man, whose family are involved in a bloody feud with the Kinahan crime gang.

Hutch (27) of Liberty House, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of an imitation firearm and robbery of the Spar shop on Styles Road, Clontarf on June 11, 2015.

A sentence hearing in December 2016 was told Hutch had made great strides in treating his drug addiction. Judge Patricia Ryan placed him under probation supervision for nearly a year to see if had truly reformed.

Sentencing Hutch today, Judge Ryan said he had made “trojan efforts” in rehabilitating himself and has remained drug-free. She said the court had also received a “most favourable” probation report and positive reports from the drug treatment centre Hutch attended.

Judge Ryan noted Hutch has not come to the attention of gardaí since the offence and is now focused on his family. She handed down a four-year sentence and suspended it on a number of conditions.

Defence counsel, Luigi Rea BL, previously told the court that Hutch was addicted to drugs and comes from an area which is “blighted” by addiction. He told Judge Ryan, “Mr Hutch and his family have difficulties that we all know about that we don’t have to go into here.”

Hutch has nine previous convictions, including three for theft. He has no previous convictions for firearm offences.

During the raid, Hutch and accomplice Christopher Coakley held a gun to the head of the shop manager and demanded the code for the alarm.

Gardaí caught them in an empty house near the scene of the robbery a few hours later. They were trying to hide the notes and coins they had taken.

Garda John Fitzgerald told prosecuting counsel, Marie Torrens BL, that Hutch and another man escaped with about €1,215. A short time later Gda Fitzgerald was searching nearby when he noticed a brick which looked like it had been used to gain entry to a building.

He looked inside and found the men trying to hide a large number of coins. They were arrested but Hutch refused to answer questions during interview. About €700 was recovered by gardaí.

Mr Rea said Hutch has taken “a turn away from his old life of drug abuse and wrongdoing.” He said Hutch has two children and is now drug-free.

“If anyone knows about the consequences of wrongdoing, it's Mr Hutch,” counsel said.

In 2015 Hutch's co-accused, Coakley (25) of Belvedere Place, Dublin was jailed for six years for the robbery and other unrelated offences.

That sentencing hearing was told the men got in under the shutters of the shop and “floored” the manager before dragging her down the aisles demanding the keys.

The alarm was going off and they pointed an imitation gun to the woman’s head to force her to give them the code, the court heard.

She instructed the men how to turn off the alarm but when they were unsuccessful she was held by the neck and pulled over to deactivate it herself.

The woman was continually held by the neck and dragged as the robbers demanded that she get them the safe.

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