Monday 24 September 2018

Teenage witness did not remember telling gardai Gareth Hutch murder accused was in her home on morning of shooting, trial hears

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

Eimear Cotter

A TEENAGE witness did not remember telling gardai that she overheard murder accused Jonathan Keogh in her family's flat the morning Gareth Hutch was killed, a trial has heard.

Jessica McDonnell, now 19, gave evidence to the Special Criminal Court this morning that she could hear men speaking, but she said she couldn't identify their voices.

However, she later accepted that in a statement to gardai she identified one of the men as murder accused Jonathan Keogh.

Jessica McDonnell is the daughter of the State's witness Mary McDonnell. In her evidence last week Mrs McDonnell identified Jonathan Keogh from CCTV footage as one of the shooters of Gareth Hutch.

Mr Keogh (32), his sister Regina Keogh (41) and Thomas Fox (31) have pleaded not guilty 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.

Jonathan Keogh and Thomas Fox.
Jonathan Keogh and Thomas Fox.

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

It is alleged that Mr Fox, with an address at 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.

Ms McDonnell gave evidence via videolink that she was awakened by loud banging on her front door at 6am on the morning of the shooting.

She said she heard voices, and recognised the female voice as her mother's, but not the men's voices.

Prosecutor Paul Burns SC put it to Ms McDonnell that she told gardai she recognised Mr Keogh's voice.

"In your statement, you say, I heard Jonathan Keogh at the door and he came into the house. I don't remember what he was saying, but I recognised his voice. I've known him for years. I used to be friends with his godson", said Mr Burns.

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

"Do you remember telling gardai this? he asked.

"Yeah", she said.

"Is this true?

Ms McDonnell responded, "yeah, it is true".

She told the Special Criminal Court that she reread her statement last Friday, but Ms McDonnell said she didn't remember what it said.

"I'm trying to remember back to two years ago, which isn't easy", she said.

Mr Burns also put it to Ms McDonnell that she told gardai she heard Mr Keogh talking really loudly, and talking on his mobile phone.

Again, Ms McDonnell accepted she made those comments to gardai and that it was the truth.

Ms McDonnell also gave evidence that the day prior to the shooting, she had seen Mr Keogh, Mr Fox and Gareth Hutch talking and shouting in the car park of the flats. They were also pointing at Regina Keogh's flat.

Ross Hutch was there but he "did not seem too much involved in it", she said.

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

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