Killer Hutch has left us shattered - victim's brother
THE brother and sister of a young carpenter who died after being stabbed in the back three years ago on St Stephen's Day have told the Central Criminal Court that his killing shattered three generations of a close-knit family.
Stephen and Roberta Maguire read jointly from a lengthy and emotive victim statement at the sentence hearing of Derek 'Del Boy' Hutch, who pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Barry Maguire (23) on December 26, 2007 at Milltown Estate in Ashbourne.
The 25-year-old Dubliner, with an address at Chapel Farm Avenue, Lusk but who is originally from the inner city, stood accused with 27-year-old Alan Donohue of Ashdale Crescent, Ashbourne, who also pleaded guilty. Derek Hutch is a nephew of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.
Hutch and Donohoe also pleaded guilty to a second count of intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Damien Carty on the same occasion.
Mr Maguire, who was from the Deerpark Estate in Ashbourne, died after being stabbed in the back just yards away from Ashbourne Garda Station and only hours after spending Christmas with his family.
He suffered a single knife wound, which penetrated his heart and chest, after going to the aid of friends who were involved in an altercation with Hutch and Donohue at the entrance to the Milltown Estate.
Placing a large framed picture of his brother on the bench in front of the witness box, Stephen Maguire told the court that his brother was a "joker" and a "character" and that "to know him was to love him".
He fought back tears as he described how his brother had died alone on the side of the road after spending a peaceful Christmas with his family; his blood, life and "dreams of the future" spilling out.
Stephen Maguire said that when his family saw their "beautiful" son Barry lying dead on a hospital trolley, a piece of them died too, and that the "nightmare of his cries of anguish" woke them every night.
Counsel for the State, Dominic McGinn, told the court that the DPP believed the sentence should rest at the higher end of the scale for manslaughter.
He said gardai believed Hutch had deliberately tried to mislead the investigation by arranging for knife injuries to be inflicted on his back and by claiming the injuries had been suffered during a fight.
Michael O'Higgins, counsel for Hutch, told the court that his client wished to apologise to the Maguire family and say that he was "deeply sorry" for taking their son away.
Reading extracts from a letter of contrition, Mr O'Higgins said that Hutch, who has 39 previous convictions, acknowledged there was nothing he could say or do to take away the pain he had caused.
Hutch added that he had to live with the consequences of his actions every day and that he hoped the Maguire family would someday forgive him.
The court heard that Donohue, who has 21 previous convictions, had also written a letter of apology expressing his "deep sorrow" at the death of Barry Maguire and acknowledging that "no words" could undo the wrong he had done.
The hearing was adjourned until Thursday, when both Hutch and Donohue will be sentenced in full.