Wednesday 23 January 2019

Gareth Hutch murder accused told by her brother that Ross Hutch was supposed to kill him, trial hears

Regina Keogh
Regina Keogh
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

A mother of five accused of the murder of Gareth Hutch was told by her brother that Ross Hutch was supposed to kill him, a trial has heard.

Regina Keogh (41) told detectives during interview that she spoke to her brother Jonathan (32) the day after the shooting and he was "adamant they were coming for him".

She said Mr Keogh told her there was a story going around that Ross was supposed to kill him.

Asked by detectives if she believed Ross Hutch was there that day to kill her brother, Ms Keogh told gardai: "I do now".

She also expressed concerns for her own safety, saying: "If Ross Hutch was going to kill Jonathan he could have killed one of us."

Ms Keogh (41), along with her brother Jonathan (32) and his friend Thomas Fox (31) have denied before the Special Criminal Court the murder of Gareth Hutch on May 24, 2016.

Gareth Hutch
Gareth Hutch

 Mr Hutch (36), a nephew of Gerry "The Monk" Hutch, was shot dead outside Avondale House flats on North Cumberland Street.

This morning, the court continued to hear evidence from the interviews which detectives conducted with Regina Keogh.

She said the speculation around the flats was that Jonathan had killed Gareth Hutch.

She said it was not nice when she returned to the flats on the afternoon of the murder. "People were ignoring me. They wouldn't say hello back", she said.

Ms Keogh said she spoke to her brother the day after the murder and he told her he didn't do it.

She said she didn't believe Mr Keogh would do "something so close" to where she lived, adding that "he would not hurt us like that".

During that call, he appeared "shaky, nervous and hyper", the court heard.

She said he told her that Ross Hutch was going to kill him.

Asked by detectives if she felt safer following Mr Hutch's death, Ms Keogh replied: "no".

Asked if she believed her brother felt safer, she also responded: "no"

In an earlier interview, Ms Keogh told gardai that she had been living in fear for the previous three months. She said she was on medication constantly, was unable to eat and was losing weight and was "watching who was behind her all the time".

She said that she was "terrified of the threats" on her brother's life, and was panicking about her children.

The court heard that gardai showed Ms Keogh CCTV footage of the shooting, and she identified herself as the woman talking to Ross Hutch shortly afterwards.

She told gardai that Ross was shouting "he's dead, he's dead".

Ms Keogh said she went over and checked because she thought the body on the ground was her brother Jonathan, as both men have black hair.

The court also heard that a statement from protected witness Mary McDonnell was shown to Ms Keogh.

In response, she told gardai that Mrs McDonnell was "a liar" and that she was "making up all these things about me".

Ms Keogh told gardai she had "no idea" why Mrs McDonnell was making up lies, and that even though they'd been friends for 16 years she didn't think they'd be friends after all this.

She also denied bullying or pressurising Mrs McDonnell into letting people sit in her flat so they could watch Mr Hutch.

In the interviews, Ms Keogh continually denied that she knew or had heard anything about a plan to kill Gareth Hutch.

"No one said anything to me. If I'd known about it I would have stopped it", she said.

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

 It is 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 were the shooters.

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

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