Hutch’s bid to have his legal costs paid by the State adjourned to next month

Hutch’s bid to have his legal costs paid by the State adjourned to next month

Sasko Lazarov/
Gerard Hutch

# The Monk

Hutch’s bid to have his legal costs paid by the State adjourned to next month

The judge listed the costs application for the first day of next term on 7 June.

“DIFFICULTIES HAVE ARISEN” in the scheduling of a bid by Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch to recoup his legal costs after he was acquitted last month of the murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne at the Regency Hotel, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Hutch is seeking his legal costs and the hearing on the application, which the State is opposing, was originally listed for Friday of this week.

However, Fiona Murphy SC, prosecuting, told the non-jury court this morning that “difficulties have arisen” and asked the court to put the matter in for mention on the last week of the Easter court term, which ends on 25 May.

Ms Justice Tara Burns, presiding, in the three-judge, non-jury court, said she would not do that and instead set a new date for the costs hearing.

The judge listed the costs application for the first day of next term on 7 June.

“If any issues arise in relation to that we will notify the parties immediately. As things stand it’s 7 June,” she added.

Murphy said the State’s replying submissions will be filed and served next week.

Ms Justice Burns said the sentence matter for the two men convicted of acting as getaway drivers during the notorious hotel attack in 2016 will stay in the list and they will be sentenced on Friday.

Last Monday, Sean Gillane SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said that submissions from the defence regarding Hutch’s costs application had been served on the State, that the application would be opposed and it would take no more than an hour when it was heard.

Defence barrister Brendan Grehan SC, for Hutch, said on Monday that he understood that this was “fairly well trodden territory”.

Last month following the 52-day trial at the Special Criminal Court, two long-term friends of the Hutch family – taxi driver Paul Murphy and builder Jason Bonney – were found guilty at the Special Criminal Court of acting as getaway drivers.

The court has heard that Bonney has no previous convictions and once ran a building company employing 10 people.

The non-jury court has also heard that Murphy has 67 previous convictions which include public order offences, road traffic offences, larceny and criminal damage. They have all been dealt with at District Court level. Murphy, the court heard, had changed his name by deed poll from Christopher Ryan to Paul Murphy in 1987.

Ms Justice Tara Burns sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Grainne Malone will pass sentence on Murphy and Bonney on Friday.

Delivering its judgement on 17 April, the Special Criminal Court agreed with the State’s case that Murphy’s silver Toyota Avensis taxi and Bonney’s black BMW X5 jeep were part of a convoy of six cars. The cars parked up at St Vincent’s GAA club grounds in Marino in north Dublin before the Regency shooting on the afternoon of 5 February 2016 and had then each transported one of the hit men from St Vincent’s GAA car park.

It was also the prosecution’s case that an integral part of the operation which led to Byrne’s death was the means by which the tactical team escaped, which was central to the case of Bonney and Murphy.

Ms Justice Burns said in her judgement that the court was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of the existence of the Hutch Criminal Organisation and that the defendants Murphy and Bonney knew of its existence when they provided access to their individual cars at St Vincent’s GAA club intending to facilitate the commission of a serious offence by the Hutches. She also said that the court was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the Regency attack, during which David Byrne was shot dead, was orchestrated by the Hutch criminal organisation.

In acquitting Hutch, the Special Criminal Court found that it could not rely on the unsupported evidence of the former Sinn Féin councillor and convicted torturer Jonathan Dowdall. It also found that surveillance audio recordings of a conversation between Dowdall and Hutch did not corroborate Dowdall’s claim that Hutch had confessed to being one of the hitmen at the Regency Hotel where Byrne was shot dead.

The three-judge, non-jury Special Criminal Court heard that the shooting took place during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel. A man dressed as a woman and another man wearing a flat cap, who were armed with handguns, stormed the hotel followed by three people dressed in tactical-style garda uniforms carrying assault rifles.

Byrne (33), from Crumlin, was shot dead at the hotel in Whitehall, Dublin 9 after five men raided the building, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time. The victim was shot by two of the tactical assailants and further rounds were delivered to his head and body.

Byrne died after suffering catastrophic injuries from six gunshots fired from a high-velocity weapon to the head, face, stomach, hand and legs.

Last month, Paul Murphy (61), of Cherry Avenue, Swords, Co Dublin and Jason Bonney (52), of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13 were each found guilty of the charge of participating in or contributing to the murder of Byrne (33) by providing access to motor vehicles on 5 February 2016.

Gerard Hutch (60), of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, had denied the murder of David Byrne (33) during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9 on 5 February 2016.

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