herald

Saturday 14 December 2019

'Ashamed' Hutch used bike saddle to hold up pharmacy

Ross Hutch (27) used a bicycle saddle to rob a local
pharmacy of €200
Ross Hutch (27) used a bicycle saddle to rob a local pharmacy of €200

A man armed with a bicycle saddle who robbed a Dublin pharmacy where a 70-year-old woman who knew his family was working, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Ross Hutch (27), of Portland Place, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing €200 from Boles Pharmacy in Drumcondra on April 12 this year. He has 73 previous convictions, including convictions for possession of firearms, endangerment and theft.

Bloodbath

Ross Hutch is a first cousin of Gary Hutch, whose murder in Spain in September 2015 sparked the deadly Hutch/Kinahan feud.

Four of Ross Hutch's relatives have been murdered as part of the feud, including his father, Eddie Hutch Snr (59).

Eddie Snr was gunned down on Poplar Row in February 2016, just days after David Byrne was shot dead in the Regency Hotel bloodbath.

Another cousin, Gareth Hutch (36) was shot dead outside the Avondale House flat complex in the north inner city in May 2016.

Ross Hutch has been previously warned that his life is under threat and has been the victim of a number of assaults.

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Martin Nolan said members of the Hutch family had used the pharmacy and staff there knew the family well.

Det Garda Kevin Bambrick told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that Ross Hutch entered the pharmacy, when four staff members were working.

Employee Catherine Raymond (70) was serving a customer, when she saw a man who she knew to be Hutch run into the shop. He was wearing an orange jacket with a scarf covering his face and was carrying a bicycle saddle.

Hutch shouted at Ms Raymond to give him the money but she went to run away.

A customer tried to protect Ms Raymond by pushing her up against a window as Hutch took cash from the till, the court heard. Pharmacy staff members left the shop through a side entrance and activated the alarm.

The same customer then disarmed Hutch of the bicycle saddle and he left. The defendant was seen cycling off in the direction of Clonliffe Road.

Ms Raymond was "shaken up" by the incident but not physically injured, the court heard.

Hutch was stopped by gardai at Distillery Road but he was no longer wearing the orange jacket.

Det Gda Bambrick agreed that gardai later recovered the robber's orange jacket. Hutch was arrested that night in his home with €200 in cash.

A DNA sample was taken from Hutch, which matched a DNA profile taken from the orange jacket, said Ms McGowan.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Raymond said the Hutch family were known to her as they were customers in the pharmacy so she considered this incident a particular betrayal of trust. She struggled to sleep at night since the robbery.

Gda Bambrick agreed with Emmet Nolan BL, defending, that the robbery was confined to threats of violence.

The court also heard that a significant event had occurred in 2016 which led to a devastating loss of life including the defendant's father, cousin and friend. Hutch had relapsed into a cocaine addiction, said Gda Bambrick.

In mitigation, the defence barrister told Judge Nolan that a well publicised event had occurred in a Dublin hotel in 2016 and there had been threats on the defendant's life so he went to seek treatment in the UK for his drug addiction. The barrister said his client was deeply remorseful, ashamed and embarrassed for his behaviour.

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