Thursday 13 December 2018

Gareth Hutch murder accused 'wouldn't have the stomach or balls' to kill, trial told

Jonathan Keogh and Thomas Fox.
Jonathan Keogh and Thomas Fox.
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

A DUBLIN man on trial for the murder of Gareth Hutch told gardai he wouldn't have "the stomach or balls" to kill anyone.

Thomas Fox (31) was persuaded by his mother and then heavily pregnant girlfriend to hand himself in to gardai shortly after Mr Hutch was shot so he could clear his name.

He told gardai, during interview, that he would have "too much to lose" by killing anyone.

Mr Fox also told gardai his father had been killed in 2011. His family had lost their "rock", he said, and he "couldn't put another family through that."

Mr Fox, together with Jonathan Keogh (32) and his sister Regina Keogh (41) have pleaded not guilty before the Special Criminal Court to the murder of Mr Hutch on May 24, 2016.

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

Gareth Hutch was shot dead.
Gareth Hutch was shot dead.

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.

Detective Garda Declan O'Brien told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that gardai arrested Mr Fox on suspicion of murder with a firearm at Mountjoy Garda Station at 7.01pm on May 24, 2016.

Detective conducted a number of interviews with Mr Fox.

He told gardai that, the night prior to the shooting, he had stayed in his aunt's house.

He got up the next morning, and took the dogs for a walk.

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

Mr Fox said he spoke to his girlfriend Melissa Molloy on his aunt's phone some time after 10am, and she told him about a man getting shot.

"Being nosy", he said he cycled down to his girlfriend's home, and they walked over to Avondale House.

Mr Fox said gardai had cordoned off the flats complex, there were lots of reporters and photographers around and the place was "manic".

During the interviews, Mr Fox told gardai he knew Gareth Hutch, and he had talked to him the day before the shooting.

Mr Fox said he spoke to both Ross and Gareth Hutch in the car park of Avondale House, and Ross told him that he was selling his father's car.

He denied he had a row with Gareth or Ross, telling gardai that he didn't know Gareth that well, but knew "the younger crowd" and had known Ross "all his life".

In a second interview, Mr Fox told detectives he wouldn't kill anyone as he wouldn't have "the stomach or balls to pull the trigger".

He said his father was killed in 2011, "nothing had been done about it" and he did not "have it in me to retaliate".

In relation to the Hutch family, Mr Fox told gardai he had "no problems with that family" and we "got along".

"We have nothing against each other", he said.

He also said that he got along with Gary Hutch, who was shot in Spain in 2015.

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

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