Sunday 24 June 2018

Facebook Ireland among premises gardaí obtained search warrants for in murder investigation, trial hears

Gareth Hutch
Gareth Hutch

Eimear Cotter

Facebook Ireland was one of the many premises and houses which gardai obtained warrants to search during the investigation into the murder of Gareth Hutch.

Detectives were looking for two photographs from the Facebook page of Mr AB, who was allegedly one of the shooters in the murder of Mr Hutch, the Special Criminal Court heard.

Retired Detective Sergeant Robert O'Reilly said gardai attended Facebook's offices at Grand Canal Square in Dublin on June 15, 2016.

Staff had to "speak to California" but gardai received the required information later that day.

Jonathan Keogh (32), his sister Regina Keogh (41) and Thomas Fox (31) have all pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Hutch on May 24, 2016.

Gareth Hutch (36), a nephew of Gerry Hutch, was shot dead as he was getting into his car outside Avondale House flats on North Cumberland Street.

Thomas Fox and Jonathan Keogh have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Gareth Hutch outside his Dublin flat in 2016
Thomas Fox and Jonathan Keogh have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Gareth Hutch outside his Dublin flat in 2016

It is the State's case that Jonathan Keogh, of Gloucester Place, Dublin 1, threatened to kill Mr Hutch the evening before the shooting.

It is also alleged that Mr Fox, of Rutland Court, Dublin 1, and Ms Keogh, of Avondale House, were instrumental in planning the murder, and Mr Keogh and another man, Mr AB, were the shooters.

Regina Keogh also denies murder charges
Regina Keogh also denies murder charges

Mr AB is not before the court.

This morning, the Special Criminal Court heard from retired Detective Sergeant Robert O'Reilly who said he obtained a search warrant to search Mr Fox's home on May 24, 2016.

Garda Gareth Norton was part of the garda team who searched Mr Fox's home on that day.

During the course of the search, gardai seized a number of items, including the contents of two ashtrays, a blue inhaler, sleeveless t-shirt, pillow cases from Mr Fox's bed, a purple USB stick, a Samsung tablet as well as two SIM packs and a phone memory card.

Gda Norton also said he retrieved a blue hoodie, white t-shirt and a grey vest from Mr Fox's bedroom.

The court heard Mr Fox presented himself at Mountjoy Garda Station later that same evening, and Mr O'Reilly said he formally arrested him at 7.01pm.

Mr Fox was detained for questioning, and that period was extended a number of times.

Mr O'Reilly told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that he obtained a second warrant to search Mr Fox's home on May 27, after gardai received new information about a mobile phone, an iPhone 5 with a green cover. This information had come from Mr Fox, the court heard.

Mr O'Reilly said gardai returned to Mr Fox's home at Rutland Court on May 28 and seized a blue Adidas top as well as a NY baseball cap.

On May 28, 2016, Mr O'Reilly told the court he received three more warrants to search a house at Champions Avenue, a shed at the rear of a property at Summerhill and a black Toyota Avensis.

A packet of baby wipes as well as a red petrol canister were taken from the house at Champions Avenue, which was the home of Mr Fox's then girlfriend.

Mr O'Reilly said he obtained search warrants for a number of properties at Devlin Terrace, Mountjoy Street, where gardai downloaded CCTV footage from the homeowner.

The retired officer also obtained a search warrant for a house at Sean O'Casey Avenue, and gardai secured CCTV footage from the house.

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

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