Protected witness identifies Jonathan Keogh from CCTV footage as one of gunmen who carried out attack on Gareth Hutch

By Alison O'Riordan

A protected witness has identified murder accused Jonathan Keogh from CCTV footage as one of the gunmen who carried out the attack on Gareth Hutch.

Mr Hutch (36), nephew of Gerry “the Monk” Hutch, was shot dead as he was getting into his car outside Avondale House flats on North Cumberland Street in Dublin on the morning of May 24, 2016.

He died as a result of four gun shot injuries.

A brother and sister as well as another man are on trial accused of murdering Mr Hutch.

Thomas Fox (31) with an address at Rutland Court, Dublin 1, Regina Keogh (41) from Avondale House, Cumberland Street North, Dublin 1 and Jonathan Keogh (32) of Gloucester Place, Dublin 1, have pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Hutch.

Mr Fox has also denied unlawfully possessing a Makarov 9mm handgun on May 23, 2016 at the same place.

Giving evidence for a second day, Mary McDonnell told prosecution counsel Paul Burns SC that Mr Keogh was wearing a black balaclava, a black hoodie, black bottoms and navy or blue runners with a white sole when he came into her home on the morning of the shooting.

The key witness testified that Mr Keogh had lifted up his balaclava to talk on his mobile phone that morning from time to time. “Johnny was sweating, I was mainly looking on the ground,” she said.

When asked by counsel if this man was Mr Keogh, she said: “I know him. I know Johnny’s face off by heart.”

She said that while she only saw “a bit of his face”, she agreed this man was Mr Keogh.

She said Mr Keogh was also wearing a type of neck warmer, which was shown to the court.

“He had the balaclava and this up all over his neck,” she said.

The 45-year-old said the other man in her flat was not wearing a balaclava and she could see his face. He was wearing a grey tracksuit with his hood up and white runners, she said.

Ms McDonnell was then shown CCTV footage, taken from Avondale House on the day before and the day of the shooting in which she identified the three accused.

She also identified Mr Keogh as the man shown on CCTV involved in an argument with Gareth Hutch in the carpark on the day before the shooting.

She further identified Mr Keogh and Mr Fox as the two men who arrived at her flat at 10.45pm that same night, asking her for baby wipes to clean two guns.

CCTV footage of the morning of the fatal shooting of Mr Hutch as he was getting into his car outside Avondale House flats was also shown to Ms McDonnell.

The witness identified Mr Keogh and a young man dressed in a grey top in the carpark of Avondale House at 6.46am.

The men move towards the stairwell of the flats complex before arriving at her door.

She identified Gareth Hutch leaving his flat at 9.53am and walking towards a black car in the carpark.

Ms McDonnell then identified Mr Keogh and the other man in the CCTV footage leaving her flat at 9.53am and coming down the stairwell.

“They are running out with guns in their hands, that’s the young fella and Jonathan Keogh,” she said.

When asked by Mr Burns if she recognised the two men in the carpark she said: “That’s Jonathan Keogh and the other fella.”

Ms McDonnell said she was invited to stay in Regina Keogh’s flat the night after the shooting as her home had been declared a crime scene by Gardaí.

The following day she was arrested at Mountjoy Garda Station and gave a number of garda interviews.

Asked why she did not initially tell gardaí what she knew about Mr Hutch's murder, Mrs McDonnell responded: "I was afraid. I was afraid for my life and my kids' lives."

Ms McDonnell agreed she was charged with the offence of withholding information on May 30, 2016 and brought to the Dochas Centre.

On June 10, 11 and 13 she made statements to gardai and was subsequently given bail.

The charge with withdrawn on February 15, 2017 and immunity was issued in May of this year.

Ms McDonnell agreed she had suffered from physical and mental health issues over the years.

The witness became emotional when asked how she spent her days and if she went out much, saying she only socialised with Regina.

She agreed she was seen in CCTV footage wearing her house coat and said this was how she normally dressed.

Under cross-examination by Seamus Clarke SC, defending Mr Fox, Ms McDonnell agreed that she did not want to go into the Witness Protection Programme and one of the reasons for this was because her family did not want to change their names.

She further agreed with counsel that she still wanted to have the protection of Gardaí in Ireland but did not want to leave the jurisdiction.

Mr Clarke put it to the witness that it is his client’s case that he did not “clean down” any guns when he was in Ms McDonnell’s flat on May 23. “Yes he did,” said the witness.

Under cross-examination by Sean Guerin SC, defending Mr Keogh, Ms McDonnell agreed that making a statement to a Garda and signing it was a “meaningful thing.”

She denied that her ability to recall things was affected by the medication she took.

The court head Ms McDonnell was interviewed in the Bridewell Garda Station on May 25, 2016.

Ms McDonnell agreed with Mr Guerin that Gardaí told her she could not go home to Avondale House as it was not a safe place.

The witness further agreed that she repeatedly told Gardaí in her interviews that she was safe in her home and wanted to go home.

In cross-examination, Mr Guerin put it to Ms McDonnell that Gardaí tried to use Mr Hutch’s murder to make her feel unsafe in her home.

Ms McDonnell said today that this had made her feel “uncomfortable.”

The court heard that Gardaí said to Ms McDonnell in her interviews: “You know what Jonathan Keogh did to Gareth Hutch, do you think he wouldn’t come back and do the same to you?”

In reply, Ms McDonnell told the gardaí that “Johnny” would not shoot her saying “why would they want to shoot me, they don’t know me."

Mr Guerin suggested to the witness that Gardaí had made it clear to Ms McDonnell that Mr Keogh was a threat to her life and her children’s lives.

“It’s perfectly clear that Gardaí were saying to you that Mary McDonnell’s safety was more important to them than investigating the murder of Gareth Hutch,” he remarked.

Mr Guerin then put it to Ms McDonnell that Gardaí had told her if Mr Hutch was expendable, then so was she.

Ms McDonnell agreed with this.

Ms McDonnell gave evidence yesterday that Mr Keogh said he was “going to get” Gareth Hutch “before he gets me” the night before Mr Hutch was shot dead.

She said she was "shaking" when two of the accused called to her flat and wiped down handguns on the evening before Mr Hutch was shot dead.

The State witness also said that Mr Keogh was told by another man “Right Johnny we are on” before both men chased after Mr Hutch as he emerged from his flat.

Ms McDonnell was originally charged with withholding information but that charge was dropped and she had been given immunity from prosecution.

In his opening speech, Mr Burns said Ms McDonnell’s evidence would be “important” in this trial.

He said it was the State’s case that Ms McDonnell had been encouraged by Regina Keogh and her brother Jonathan Keogh to allow him use her flat “as a base” to wait for Mr Hutch prior to the attack.

Her kitchen window had a view into Mr Hutch's flat.

The prosecution also contend that Jonathan Keogh threatened to kill Mr Hutch the evening before the shooting, that Mr Fox and Ms Keogh were instrumental in planning the murder, and Mr Keogh and another man, Mr AB, were the shooters.

At the opening of the trial, the prosecution told the court that the killing of Mr Hutch was not a spontaneous or spur of the moment act but a “brutal and callous murder”.

“It was premeditated and a significant amount of planning had gone into it,” counsel said.

The prosecution say the three co-accused each had their own part to play in bringing about the death of Mr Hutch.

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


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