Regency Hotel murder trial adjourned amidst tributes to detective who died at weekend

The Regency Hotel murder trial has been adjourned until next week amidst tributes to one of the lead investigators in the case who died suddenly over the weekend at a Dublin garda station.

25 year old Patrick Hutch of Champions Avenue in Dublin’s north inner city denies murdering David Byrne at a boxing weigh in, two years ago.

The trial was due to resume this morning after being adjourned last week to allow for disclosure involving emails between four gardai.

However - it’s now been adjourned again until next Monday.

Before the adjournment was announced, tributes were paid to one of the lead investigators in the case who died over the weekend.

Detective Superintendent Colm Fox died suddenly at Ballymun Garda Station and his death is being treated as a personal tragedy.

Prosecuting barrister Sean Gillane described him as a gentleman and - a fiercely intelligent person who had a deep personal modesty.

He said he never hear Supt Fox raise his voice - as he was in the category of men that never had to such was the respect he naturally commanded.

He said he was a true public servant and a consummate policeman.

Michael O'Higgins SC said that on behalf of the defence he would like to be associated with Mr Gillane's tributes.

He said that Det Supt Fox was "universally admired and regarded by the bar".

"In addition to being admired and respected he was also regarded with enormous affection," Mr O'Higgins said, "which in an adversarial setting is no mean achievement."

"His death is an enormous tragedy," he said.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge Ann Ryan, said that on behalf of the court he wanted to join in the sentiments.

"These things put our daily disputes into context," the judge said, adding that it was appropriate to extend sympathy and condolences to the detective's family, colleagues and friends.

Mr Gillane then asked for the trial to be adjourned until next Monday.

The case had already been adjourned, last week, after the defence requested to be provided with copies of emails exchanged between four gardai involved in the case.

Mr Justice Hunt said he was anxious to go on with the case but that the court "had to play second fiddle to developments like this".

The trial was adjourned until next Monday, February 19th.

Superintendent Fox funeral’s takes place tomorrow morning in Malahide.

Mr Hutch (25) of Champions Avenue, Dublin 1, is pleading not guilty to the murder of David Byrne (34) at the Regency Hotel in Dublin on February 5th 2016.

He also denies possessing three AK47 assault rifles in connection with the shooting.

The shooting took place during a boxing weigh-in at the hotel, the court has heard, when a man dressed as a woman and another wearing a flat cap, armed with handguns, followed by three people dressed in tactical-style garda uniforms and carrying assault rifles, raided the venue.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Hutch was the man dressed as a woman and that he did not shoot Mr Byrne but was part of a "shared intention" to commit the offence.

David Byrne

- CCC & Digital Desk

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