court appeal Appeal court told DNA on gloves was the 'turning point' that led to mum's Hutch murder conviction
A mother-of-five found guilty of murdering Gareth Hutch by colluding with her gunman brother has appealed against her conviction.
Regina Keogh (42) was sentenced to life in prison in 2018 by the Special Criminal Court, which found that she had colluded with Jonathan Keogh to cause serious injury to Mr Hutch.
Jonathan Keogh (34) was jailed for life by the non-jury court, having been found guilty of the "deliberate and callous murder" of Mr Hutch on the morning of May 24, 2016.
The 35-year-old 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.
He died as a result of four gunshot injuries; two to the back of the neck, one to the lower back and one to the right of the upper chest.
Regina Keogh, with a former address at Avondale House, and her brother, Jonathan Keogh, of Gloucester Place also in the north inner city, had denied murder.
A third man had also denied the crime.
Thomas Fox (32) of Rutland Court was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
It was the State's case that Regina Keogh was "instrumental" in planning the murder. It contended that she encouraged her "best friend" and long-time neighbour to allow Jonathan Keogh use her flat "as a base" to wait for Mr Hutch before the attack, as her kitchen window had a view into his flat.
This woman, key prosecution witness Mary McDonnell, testified that Regina Keogh had told her: "That's the only way it is going to happen."
It was also the prosecution case that Regina Keogh went up to Mary McDonnell's flat the night before the shooting and gave her latex gloves to be used by the attackers the following day.
Mary McDonnell was initially arrested on suspicion of murdering Mr Hutch and later charged with withholding information.
However, that charge was subsequently withdrawn and she has been given immunity from prosecution.
Regina Keogh appealed her conviction to the Court of Appeal yesterday.
Her barrister asked the court to consider if inferences had been fairly drawn against his client during her trial.
He pointed out that the trial court had made a specific ruling that corroboration of Ms McDonnell's evidence was desirable.
He noted that the prosecution had never argued that the finding of Jonathan Keogh's DNA on the gloves corroborated evidence that Regina Keogh had brought them to Ms McDonall's flat.
However, "without any encouragement from the prosecution", the court itself found that the DNA did corroborate this, he said.
"This was a turning point for the court," he added, explaining that this determination implicated his client.
"Given the extraordinary importance of the gloves, was there any other inference open as to how Jonathan Keogh's DNA came onto the gloves other than the speculation that he (Mr Keogh) gave them to her (Ms Keogh)?" he asked.
He said that the answer was all over the prosecution case.
"He handled the bundle of gloves, used at least two of them for his own purposes," he said.
"The court appears to have completely overlooked this as the source of the DNA."
He submitted that there was a "patent, innocent explanation".
"In failing to reference this explanation, this was clearly an error of law," he argued.
Fiona Murphy SC responded on behalf of the DPP.
She said that the appellant was "vastly overstating" the importance of the gloves.
She said that there was no mistake by the court and if there was, it did not undermine the verdict because of all of the other evidence.
The hearing continues.
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