Thursday 19 July 2018

DNA matching man accused of Gareth Hutch's murder found on clothing seized from car at scene of shooting, Special Criminal Court is told

Gareth Hutch was shot dead
Gareth Hutch was shot dead

Alison O'Riordan

DNA matching the profile of a man accused of murdering Gareth Hutch was found on items of clothing seized from a car at the scene of the shooting, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

The court heard that Jonathan Keogh’s DNA was also found on latex gloves taken from a dressing gown belonging to a key prosecution witness in the case.

Dr Edward Connolly, a forensic scientist at Forensic Science Ireland, told prosecuting counsel Paul Burns SC today that he examined a number of exhibits from the scene of the shooting at Avondale House.

Dr Connolly said the purpose of his examination was to attempt to generate DNA profiles.

The witness testified that he examined a balaclava, a biker’s neck warmer and a baseball cap which were recovered from a BMW car.

Dr Connolly said the major contributor on these items came from the same source and this was Jonathan Keogh's DNA profile.

Jonathan Keogh and Thomas Fox are accused of murdering Gareth Hutch who was shot in 2016
Jonathan Keogh and Thomas Fox are accused of murdering Gareth Hutch who was shot in 2016

It is the State's case that Mr Keogh and Mr AB ran to the BMW and remained in it for a minute, but then abandoned it when it would not start and ran out of the flat complex.

Protected witness Mrs McDonnell previously identified Mr Keogh in CCTV footage as one of the shooters.

She told the non-jury court that Mr Keogh was wearing a black hoodie, black balaclava and black bottoms when he came into her home on the morning of the murder.

The witness said she saw only "a bit of his face" but knew it was him as she knew Mr Keogh's face "off by heart".

She said Mr Keogh was also wearing a type of neck warmer, telling the court: “He had the balaclava and this up all over his neck."

Mrs McDonnell is a key prosecution witness in the trial who was originally charged with withholding information but that charge was dropped and she has been given immunity from prosecution.

Dr Connolly agreed with Mr Burns that he also took a number of swabs from latex gloves taken from Mrs McDonnell’s dressing gown.

The DNA profile obtained from these latex gloves, he said, belonged to Mr Keogh. “It matched the profile which had been obtained from the balaclava, the biker neck warmer and the baseball cap,” he added.

It is the State’s case that Regina Keogh went up to Mrs McDonnell’s flat on the night prior to the shooting and gave her rubber gloves to be used by the attackers the following day.

Dr Connolly said he also generated a DNA profile from a petrol can which was found inside the BMW car. He said it was a mixed profile from two people and one of these profile’s matched Thomas Fox.

In cross-examination, Seamus Clarke SC for Mr Fox put it to Dr Connolly that one cannot put a timing on when an item is handled and it could have been a long-standing mark. Dr Connolly replied that it may have been. 

Mr Hutch (36), nephew of Gerry "the monk" Hutch was shot dead as he was getting into his car outside Avondale House flats on North Cumberland Street in Dublin on the morning of May 24, 2016. He died as a result of four gun shot injuries.

Thomas Fox (31) with an address at Rutland Court, Dublin 1, Regina Keogh (41) from Avondale House, Cumberland Street North, Dublin 1 and Jonathan Keogh (32) of Gloucester Place, Dublin 1, have pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Hutch.

Mr Fox has also denied unlawfully possessing a Makarov 9 mm handgun on May 23, 2016 at the same place.

At the opening of the trial, the prosecution told the court that the killing of Mr Hutch was not a spontaneous or spur of the moment act but a “brutal and callous murder”.

“It was premeditated and a significant amount of planning had gone into it,” counsel said.

The prosecution say the three co-accused each had their own part to play in bringing about the death of Mr Hutch.

The prosecution contend that Mr Keogh threatened to kill Mr Hutch the evening before the shooting, that Mr Fox and Ms Keogh were instrumental in planning the murder, and Mr Keogh and another man, Mr AB, were the shooters.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge Michael Walsh.

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