Wednesday 14 November 2018

'Don't travel in car with Hutch widow,' judge tells court after 'accident-prone' woman is awarded €28k

Noeleen Coakley Hutch of Upper Buckingham Street, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts on Friday after she was awarded €28,000 damages following a Circuit Civil Court action. Pic: Collins Courts
Noeleen Coakley Hutch of Upper Buckingham Street, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts on Friday after she was awarded €28,000 damages following a Circuit Civil Court action. Pic: Collins Courts
Noeleen Coakley Hutch of Upper Buckingham Street, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts on Friday after she was awarded €28,000 damages following a Circuit Civil Court action. Pic: Collins Courts
Nathan Coakley

Ray Managh and Ken Foy

A judge has advised against travelling in a car with gangster Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch's widowed sister-in-law, after she was awarded €28,000 for a traffic accident.

Noeleen Coakley Hutch (45) was married to The Monk's brother, Derek Hutch, who took his own life in 2009.

She is the mother of notorious criminal Nathan Coakley (24).

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said she was "a woman who just seems to attract misfortune" after she suffered a rear-end crash.

Nathan Coakley
Nathan Coakley

The court had heard she has been injured in six car accidents.

"She seems to have an attraction for misfortune and the moral of the story is don't travel in a car with Ms Coakley," Judge Groarke told the court.

Frank Crean, counsel for Ms Coakley, of Upper Buckingham Street, Dublin, outlined the injuries and compensation she had from each accident and said she had lost her husband tragically in 2009.

He said liability had been conceded in the case, which had become an assessment of damages for personal injuries.

Judge Groarke, when told of a similarity of injuries involved in each incident, said he believed her to be an honest lady who had quite a history of accidents.

Insofar as she had described all of the accidents to him, he accepted she was an entirely innocent party.

The judge said he took exception to the manner in which counsel for the defence sought to assume that because Ms Coakley had been involved in so many accidents, and had obtained in the region of €60,000 damages, she was "a chancer or a fraud".

He said Ms Coakley was an honest lady.

She sustained a serious dental injury, for which she had to receive emergency treatment including root canal treatment.

She also suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck and shoulder.

Judge Groarke told Mr Crean there was a complexity with regard to injuries she had suffered in the accidents and the time period over which she had achieved recovery.

The judge was told Ms Coakley had been rear-ended while driving in Ballybough, on May 19, 2014, and had been brought by ambulance to the Emergency Department of the Mater Hospital, where she had been assessed and treated.

Mr Crean told the court that since the incident, Ms Coakley had been injured in two subsequent accidents, details of which were not outlined to the judge.

She said one of the earlier claims she made had been under her married name of Noeleen Hutch, of the same Upper Buckingham Street address.

Ms Coakley, a part-time carer, had sued the driver of the second vehicle involved in the May 2014 accident - Ms Laura O'Neill, of Charleville Avenue, North Strand, Dublin 3 - whose insurance company had taken over the case.

Judge Groarke assessed Ms Coakley's damages at €28,000 and awarded her legal costs.

He granted a stay in event of an appeal, on condition of a payment out of €17,500.

Ms Coakley's son, Nathan, is considered to be one of the most dangerous armed robbers in the capital, and had managed to evade any serious prison term for the majority of his life.

However, his luck ran out last year when he was extradited from the UK to face a number of charges related to driving a stolen vehicle and armed robbery.

One of the cases related to a city centre car chase on Christmas Eve 2015, when Coakley was spotted in a stolen car in the Ballsbridge area.

Despite managing to flee the scene, the vehicle was later found to contain the thug's DNA, as well as a knife and a canister of petrol.

He subsequently received a two-year jail term.

A week later, Coakley received a five-year jail term for his role in the armed robbery of a Spar shop in north Dublin.

Threats

He has been placed on a secure landing with his associates in Wheatfield Prison due to ongoing threats from the Kinahan cartel.

Though his mother has absolutely no involvement in crime, her north inner city home has been raided on numerous occasions because of the criminal activities of her son.

Ms Coakley has been no stranger to tragedy in her personal life.

Her husband, Derek (44), died at the Mater Hospital on February 23, 2009, two days after he was admitted with self-inflicted cuts on his arms and ankle.

Hutch had reportedly approached gardai a week before taking his own life and admitted to killing a south Dublin man 18 years before.

Dublin City Coroner's Court heard in January 2010 that his wife returned to her home on February 21 to find her husband lying semi-conscious and bloodied in the sitting room.

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