Friday 21 October 2016

Son of murdered Hutch one of 20 prisoners seeking sentence review

Alan Hutch is seeking to benefit from the suspended sentence ruling.
Alan Hutch is seeking to benefit from the suspended sentence ruling.
Murder victim Eddie Hutch Snr

A son of gangland feud murder victim Eddie Hutch Snr is among up to 20 prisoners seeking to benefit from the striking down of the laws governing the courts' powers to activate suspended sentences.

The proceedings by Alan Hutch (33), who is detained in the Medical Unit of Mountjoy Prison, were among almost 20 separate cases which came before the High Court yesterday.

All of the cases have been adjourned to various dates in the next law term - for reasons including that several are awaiting the outcome of another prisoner's case, on which judgment has been reserved by Mr Justice Paul McDermott.


Alan Hutch's case was among five new cases initiated after Mr Justice Michael Moriarty made formal declarations that Section 99.9 and 99.10 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006, as amended, are unconstitutional.

Those subsections govern the courts' powers to activate suspended sentences.

It is understood emergency laws to deal with the consequences of the court's declarations are in the final stages of drafting and may be ready to be put before the Oireachtas within two weeks.

The five cases, and another initiated yesterday, bring the number of cases involved since Mr Justice Moriarty delivered his judgment on April 19 to almost 20.

It was indicated to Mr Justice Seamus Noonan that the State disputes that several of the applicants are entitled to any benefit from the Section 99 decisions.

When the case of Alan Hutch was mentioned, his counsel, James B Dwyer BL, said it is among those affected by the ruling. Conor Power SC, for the Governor of Mountjoy Prison, said his position was Mr Hutch was not detained on foot of an activated sentence and this case should go back to await Mr Justice McDermott's decision.

Counsel added he had a certificate for the prisoner's detention and handed that into court.

The judge said he was adjourning the case to May 25, when the next law term opens. He also adjourned the other cases to dates in the first and second weeks of the new term.

Hutch, who is the nephew of crime boss Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, was jailed for eight years in May 2013 after he threatened to kill three gardai, claiming he had a grenade. At the time he was also serving a four-year suspended sentence for a 2009 robbery and assaulting a garda.


He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery on Drumcondra Road, Dublin, on August 27, 2012, and to assaulting a garda sergeant during the same incident. He attempted to bite the garda after being arrested for the robbery of another man.

He also pleaded guilty to car theft, dangerous driving and damaging a garda car during a high-speed chase around north Dublin on October 1, 2012, and admitted escaping from lawful custody at the Mater Hospital on the same day.

Hutch, with 48 previous convictions, was arrested a week after escaping from the hospital and later committed an armed robbery with a knife in Dublin city centre.

During his detention, he has been described as a model prisoner. In court documents, it was stated he has been detained in the medical Unit in Mountjoy for his own protection since February, when his father was shot dead.

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