Sunday 15 September 2019

Third person - a mother-of five - found guilty of murder of Gareth Hutch in north inner city

Regina Keogh was "central and fundamental" in the plan to kill Mr Hutch

Gareth Hutch was shot dead
Gareth Hutch was shot dead
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

A third person has been found guilty of the murder of Gareth Hutch in the north inner city two years ago.

Mother-of-five Regina Keogh (41) "colluded" with her brother to cause serious injury to Mr Hutch, the court heard.

Earlier today, her brother Jonathan Keogh (33) and his friend Thomas Fox (31) were convicted of Mr Hutch's murder.

Fox did not return to the courtroom this afternoon for the reading of the verdict for Regina Keogh.

Regina did not react when the verdict was read out.

At lunch-time, as the trio were brought from the courtroom, her brother Jonathan had shouted "rats" a number of times.

The Garda Public Order Unit was in the courtroom for the reading of the verdict.

In a lengthy judgment which started last Friday and finished this afternoon, Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge Michael Walsh, said the killing of Mr Hutch was not spontaneous but was "deliberate and callous" and involved "considerable planning and co-ordination".

The court found that the plan to kill Mr Hutch had been in gestation "perhaps as far back as April" when the black BMW, the proposed getaway vehicle, was purchased for cash. It was certainly in place by May 18, when Jonathan acquired a burner phone, the judges found.

This afternoon, Judge Hunt said the case against Regina Keogh depended substantially on the evidence of protected witness Mary McDonnell.

Judge Hunt said the court was satisfied that when Regina brought the gloves to Mrs McDonnell's flat the night before the murder she had "specific knowledge that something was afoot in relation to Gareth Hutch".

The court also found that all three defendants were connected to the "murder enterprise" through the mobile phone and CCTV evidence.

Regina's behaviour after the murder also showed "her continuing willingness to assist her brother", the court heard.

Finding Regina guilty of murder, Judge Hunt said Regina was guilty due to her "involvement with her brother's affairs".

During the nine week trial, the three-judge court heard Keogh threatened to kill Mr Hutch the evening before the shooting.

Evidence was also heard from Mary McDonnell who identified Keogh from CCTV footage as one of the shooters of Mr Hutch. She also said he was one of two men in her flat the morning of the shooting.

It was the State's case that Jonathan was one of the gunmen, together with Mr AB who is not before the courts.

Regina was "central and fundamental" in the plan to kill Mr Hutch and helped to procure the use of protected witness Mary McDonnell's flat to stake out Mr Hutch's flat.

Regina also gave surgical gloves to Mrs McDonnell for the gunmen to use and arranged for money to be sent to her brother after he fled to Belfast.

Fox was the proposed getaway driver. He also retrieved the guns the night before the attack and brought them to Mrs McDonnell's flat, the court heard.

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