NewsCrime Desk

Feud victim's older brother confirms himself as target of botched gangland hit in Spain

Crime DeskBy Gerard Couzens
Innocent family man Trevor O'Neill was mistakenly gunned down in Majorca
Innocent family man Trevor O'Neill was mistakenly gunned down in Majorca

AN OLDER brother of Irish feud murder victim Gareth Hutch confirmed to Spanish police that he believes he was the intended target of a killer who mistakenly shot dad-of-three Trevor O'Neill, it emerged today.

Jonathan Hutch, after being taken into protective police custody, admitted that the gunman who blasted innocent Trevor to death in front of his partner and children in a Majorcan holiday resort was probably after him.

The 37-year-old, who has no involvement in the bloody Kinahan-Hutch feud which has been blamed for nearly a dozen deaths in Spain and Ireland over the past year, reportedly told officers he was not linked to violent crime.

He said he had just met Mr O'Neill in the hotel he was staying in near the murder scene and had a chance meeting with him in the street moments before the Dublin City Council worker was shot, respected Majorcan daily Ultima Hora reported today.

His admission to police tallied with the evidence of an eye-witness who told how a man fitting Mr Hutch's description begged to be let into her home after Wednesday night's shooting in the resort of Costa de la Calma.

The witness, one of the women who tended to dying Mr O'Neill before paramedics and police arrived, said: "I was at my house near the crime scene when a man suddenly appeared from nowhere on my terrace begging for help and saying someone had just been shot.

"He gave me the impression he was the one the gunman was after. I got him some water and then rushed over to the victim to help."

Although witnesses reported hearing three to four shots, an autopsy carried out on Thursday at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in the Majorcan capital Palma showed Mr O'Neill died of a single gunshot wound to the lower back.

The bullet, fired from close range, caused him severe internal injuries and although he reached Son Espases Hospital in Palma alive, he died soon after.

The Civil Guard are analysing CCTV footage said to show the hoodie-wearing killer seconds before he struck.

Officers are not thought to have any video showing the murder itself, which happened as Trevor left his hotel with his partner of 20 years Suzanne Power and their three children to go to dinner.

The gunman acted alone, although police have not ruled out the possibility he was working with accomplices who were waiting in a getaway vehicle near a beach bar located close to the murder scene.

Civil Guard officers have confirmed they have yet to make any arrests but have otherwise made no official comment on their investigation.