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Prosecutors in Gerry Hutch trial hope to close case on Thursday, court told

An expert due to give evidence on Thursday about analysis of mobile phone records will be one of the last state witnesses

Gerry Hutch is on trial accused of the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel

Andrew PhelanSunday World

Prosecutors in the Regency murder trial hope to close their case later this week, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

The sitting judges were told today that an expert due to give evidence on Thursday about analysis of mobile phone records will be one of the last state witnesses.

As Gerard Hutch’s non-jury trial entered its twelfth week, the court also heard gardai still had open investigations into the gun murder of his brother Eddie in 2016 and the shooting and injuring of his nephew Patrick Hutch Jnr in 2014.

Gerard Hutch (59), of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin, is on trial accused of murdering David Byrne (32) at the Regency Hotel, Dublin on February 5, 2016.

The father of three was killed when five raiders, three disguised as ERU gardai with assault rifles, stormed the Dublin hotel.

The attack at a boxing weigh-in fuelled the Kinahan-Hutch gang feud.

Jason Bonney (52) of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock and Paul Murphy (61) of Cherry Avenue, Swords, are charged with facilitating the murder by providing cars for the attack team.

Today, the court ruled admissible CCTV evidence which had been challenged by Mr Murphy’s defence.

The footage relates to the movements of his Toyota Avensis taxi on the day of the Regency attack and Mr Murphy’s defence had argued it was a breach of privacy.

Ms Justice Tara Burns rejected the defence submissions. She said there was no breach of the Data Protection Act and even if it had occurred it did not mean that the CCTV was rendered inadmissible.

Detective Supt Dave Gallagher gave evidence of four shootings that had been referred to during the trial.

One was the shooting of Jamie Moore, a UK national and ex professional boxer in Estepona, Spain on August 3, 2014.

Det Supt Gallagher told prosecutor Sean Gillane SC Mr Moore had been training boxers at the MGM gym in Marbella at the time and was the subject of five gunshots being fired. He was hit twice and suffered serious injuries.

The court heard the gunman approached Mr Moore after he had been injured and was on the ground. He was about to inflict further shots when there “appeared to be a realisation that he was not the intended target,” the court heard.

Investigators were satisfied that Mr Moore was an innocent man shot in a case of mistaken identity.

The MGM gym was owned at the time by ex professional boxer Matthew Macklin and Daniel Kinahan, Det Supt Gallagher said.

Mr Moore was staying in a villa with Daniel Kinahan before the shooting, the court heard. Both of them had been at a social event that evening but travelled home separately.

Mr Kinahan arrived first, entering through a side gate and Mr Moore arrived later by taxi, entering a front gate, where he was shot.

The second shooting Det Supt Gallagher gave evidence of was on Patrick Hutch Jnr, at an undisclosed location in Dublin on August 15, 2014.

Patrick Hutch was the son of Patsy Hutch and a nephew of Gerard Hutch. The court heard on that date, Patrick Hutch presented at Dublin’s Mater Hospital with “a single gunshot wound to the leg that was described as serious but not life-threatening.”

He did not cooperate with the garda investigation into his shooting and Det Supt Gallagher said the matter was still an open investigation.

Gary Hutch, another son of Patsy Hutch and nephew of Gerard Hutch was murdered in a shooting at the Angel de Miraflores apartment complex in Marbella on September 24, 2015.

He was fatally shot a number of times and James Quinn was convicted of involvement by being the getaway driver. He was sentenced to 20 years for murder and another two years for a weapons offence.

Gary Hutch, from Champions Avenue in Dublin’s north inner city, had been living in Spain for eight years before he was murdered.

Edward, or Eddie "Neddie" Hutch, brother of Gerard and Patsy Hutch was murdered on February 8, 2016, the court heard. He had returned to his home at Poplar Row, North Strand, Dublin in his taxi. As he exited it and entered his house a number of males alighted from a BMW and fired a number of shots, before pursuing him into his house and shooting him, resulting in the fatality, Det Supt Gallagher said.

In cross examination, he told Brendan Grehan SC, for Gerard Hutch, that the time of Edward Hutch’s shooting was 7.45pm.

When Patrick Hutch’s shooting was investigated, a shell casing was recovered from a vehicle, Det Supt Gallagher said. He agreed that no complaint was made by Patrick Hutch.

He also agreed that the shooting of Gary Hutch in Spain was a matter for the Spanish authorities and one person had been brought to justice.

Mr Grehan said nobody had been brought to justice for Edward Hutch’s murder and Det Supt Gallagher confirmed it was “still very much an open investigation.”

Mr Grehan asked him if any suspects had been identified.

“Yes, a number of people were interviewed and questioned in relation to that,” he replied.

Asked if some of those people were inside or outside the jurisdiction, he told Mr Grehan: “I’d rather not say.”

Prosecutor Fiona Murphy SC told Ms Justice Burns she was hopeful the phone analysis expert Sarah Skedd would be called on Thursday. It was anticipated that she will be one of the last prosecution witnesses and “we are hopeful that the case should finish on Thursday, Ms Murphy said.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Burns, Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Grainne Malone.

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