Sunday 19 August 2018

Key witness identifies Gareth Hutch murder accused on CCTV in court

Gareth Hutch (inset) and the scene of the shooting
Gareth Hutch (inset) and the scene of the shooting

Eimear Cotter

A KEY witness has identified murder accused Jonathan Keogh from CCTV footage as one of the shooters of Gareth Hutch.

Mary McDonnell also said that she and her daughter stayed in murder accused Regina Keogh's flat the night after the murder, after her home was declared a crime scene by gardai.

Asked why she did not initially tell gardai what she knew about Mr Hutch's murder, Mrs McDonnell responded: "I was afraid. I was afraid for my life and my kids' lives."

Mrs McDonnell also said Mr Keogh never removed a balaclava he was wearing the morning of the shooting but she knew it was him as she knew his face "off by heart".

Gareth Hutch
Gareth Hutch

Yesterday, Mrs McDonnell told the Special Criminal Court that Mr Keogh and a man unknown to her pushed into her flat the morning of the murder.

They stayed there for a few hours, before the other man shouted "right Johnny we're on" and they rushed out of her flat.

Mrs McDonnell was originally charged with withholding information but that charge was dropped by the DPP and she has been given immunity from prosecution.

Mr Keogh (32), his sister Regina Keogh (41) and Thomas Fox (31) have denied the murder of Mr Hutch on May 24, 2016.

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

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

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

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

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.

Mrs McDonnell continued giving her evidence this morning.

She told Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, that Mr Keogh was wearing a black hoodie, black balaclava, black bottoms and navy or blue runners with a white sole when he came into her home the morning of the murder.

She said Mr Keogh lifted up the balaclava whilst he was taking on his phone, and she a saw a bit of his face.

Mrs McDonnell said she knew it was Mr Keogh.

"I know him. I know Johnny's face off by heart".

She was shown a number of clips of CCTV, taken from Avondale House on the day before, and the day of, the shooting.

Mrs McDonnell identified the individuals as the three accused.

She identified Mr Keogh as the man shown on CCTV involved in an argument with Gareth Hutch the day before the murder.

She also identified Mr Keogh and Mr Fox as the men who arrived at her flat at 10.45pm that same night, looking for baby wipes to clean two guns.

Mrs McDonnell further identified Mr Keogh and a young man unknown to her as the two who pushed into her flat shortly before 7am on the morning of the shooting.

The State's witness then identified Gareth Hutch leaving his flat and standing at his car, before two men run from her flat.

She said these men were "Johnny Keogh" and the "young fella".

"They're running out with guns in their hands", she told the court.

"They?" asked Mr Burns.

"Johnny Keogh and the young fella."

Mrs McDonnell told Mr Burns she had suffered from both physical and mental health problems, and would have had a lot of hospital appointments.

Asked if she socialised much, she said "no, just with Gina [Regina Keogh]."

Mrs McDonnell became upset and tearful at this, and agreed with Mr Burns that she would have spent much of her time in her slippers and housecoat.

The trial continues this afternoon when defence barristers are expected to begin their cross examination of Mrs McDonnell.

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