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Gangland target Hutch bailed and barred from three areas of Dublin

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Ross Hutch after leaving court today
Ross Hutch after leaving court today

A JUDGE has refused to throw out a phone theft case brought against gang target Ross Hutch.

Ross Hutch, 24, who won €33,000 in cash and prizes on RTE’s Winning Streak last year, is accused of stealing a man's iPhone worth €875 at Marino Mart on Sunday.

Garda Sharon Kavanagh told Judge Anthony Halpin at Dublin District Court on Monday that the father-of-two with an address at Portland Place, in Dublin 1 made no reply when he was charged. He was arrested on Sunday evening and held overnight before being brought to court.

Judge Halpin was asked to throw out the case. Defence solicitor Declan Fahy argued that the court should make “no order”.

He said the legislation under which Mr Hutch was charged said he should have been brought before the next court sitting and had his case called before 12 noon but it was not heard until 2.15 pm.

The judge heard that the charge sheet was lodged in court at 10.10am.

However, Judge Halpin said that he understood that the law stated that the accused must “ as practicable” be brought the next sitting of the court. Refusing the defence application he said the circumstances did note allow for that because the court was dealing with a quite a number of custody cases and prison officers were only able to bring up three or four at a time to the courtroom.

He noted that there was no objection to bail but he agreed to impose a condition sought by the garda to bar Mr Hutch from the Clontarf, Fairview and Marino areas.

He held that a request to order him to obey a curfew was “a little excessive”. In relation to an application for him to sign on regularly at a Garda station, the defence said that Mr Hutch has “huge personal security difficulties”. 

Judge Halpin agreed that ordering him to sign on may well jeopardise his security and he refused to make that a condition of bail.

The 24-year-old, who wore a grey tracksuit with a green stripe and runners, stood silently during the hearing and has not yet indicated how he will plead. He was bailed pending directions from the DPP and was ordered to appear again in the new year.

Free legal aid was granted after the court heard he is not working.