herald

Monday 15 October 2018

Secret tip-off sparked search just hours after Hutch shot, trial hears

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

Detectives searched the home of an accused only hours after Gareth Hutch was fatally shot on the strength of a confidential tip-off to gardai about who had killed him, a murder trial has heard.

Jonathan Keogh (32), his sister Regina Keogh (41) and Thomas Fox (31) have all pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Hutch on May 24, 2016.

Mr Fox, of Rutland Court, Dublin 1, has also denied having a Makarov handgun in suspicious circumstances on May 23, 2016.

Threatened

Mr Hutch (36), a nephew of crime boss Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, was shot dead at 9.55am as he got into his car outside Avondale House flats on North Cumberland Street, Dublin.

It is the State's case that Mr Keogh, of Gloucester Place, Dublin 1, threatened to kill Mr Hutch the evening before the shooting, that Mr Fox and Ms Keogh were instrumental in planning the murder and that Mr Keogh and another man, Mr AB, were the shooters.

Det Sgt Enda O'Sullivan told the court gardai received confidential information from a source who had chased the two men and recognised Mr Keogh as one of the shooters.

He said he obtained a warrant from Judge Bryan Smyth at Dublin District Court to search a house at Upper Sean McDermott Street, Mr Keogh's father's house, which was executed at 3.30pm on May 24.

Sgt O'Sullivan said there was no one present at the time of the search, and entry was forced.

He said a Samsung Galaxy phone box and a Meteor Sim pack were found in a cupboard in the kitchen and a second Meteor Sim pack was found over a microwave oven.

Sgt O'Sullivan said Regina Keogh arrived at the house during the course of the search, and said to gardai: "You'll probably be searching my house next."

Gareth Hutch
Gareth Hutch

Sgt O'Sullivan told her he would be searching her flat, and she walked with the officer across the road to her flat at Avondale House.

Nothing of evidential value was found at her flat, the court heard.

Defence lawyer Sean Guerin argued that there was no evid- ential basis for the warrant to search Mr Keogh's father's home, but the three-judge Special Criminal Court ruled that the warrant was valid.

The court also heard from Gda Damien Murphy, who said he was one of a team of gardai who obtained a search warrant and searched Mary McDonnell's flat at Avondale House on May 25, 2016.

Gda Murphy said that as he came into the flats complex, he saw Ms McDonnell putting a black bag into a bin.

He went over to the bin and retrieved the bag, which contained a large number of cigarette butts, as well as baby wipes and white surgical gloves.

Gda Murphy said he also retrieved a pack of Huggies baby wipes from the kitchen of Ms McDonnell's flat.

Immunity

In his opening address to the court earlier this week, prosecutor Paul Burns said the evid- ence of Ms McDonnell would be "important" as the accused had gathered in her home in the hours before the murder.

She has been granted immunity from prosecution, Mr Burns earlier told the court.

Gda Murphy said he returned to Ms McDonnell's flat on May 28, 2016, and retrieved a pink dressing gown from the main bedroom, as well as a number of pairs of latex gloves, which were inside it.

A number of gardai gave evidence yesterday afternoon about obtaining CCTV footage from various premises around the city.

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

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