Ukrainian grandmother still in induced coma after being struck by motorcycle in city centre
Gardaí are trying to establish if Hutch was on his way to meet the notorious mob boss and panicked when he saw officers speaking to the thug, or if it was just a coincidence.
"It could be a coincidence that they both happened to be in the same area at the same time, but it's a strange coincidence. He clearly panicked when he saw gardaí," a source told the
Grandmother Velentyna Linok (61), who fled war-torn Ukraine for Dublin in recent months, was left fighting for her life after 'Del Boy' ran into her on his high-powered Honda motorcycle on Amiens Street beside Connolly Station in Dublin around lunchtime on Friday May 27.
Ms Linok is understood to still be in an induced coma in hospital and 'Del Boy' could potentially face charges in relation to the incident.
Officers notified the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission about the incident as minutes prior to the crash, Hutch had turned away from a patrol as they were engaging with an individual near Fairview Park.
Sources have told the Sunday World that the individual who was stopped was the north Dublin crime boss known as 'Mr Big'.
While he was stopped by gardaí on the day, he was not found with anything or charged with any offence - but sources say Hutch clearly panicked when he saw officers speaking to 'Mr Big' and did an immediate u-turn.
Gardaí who were speaking to 'Mr Big' noticed the U-turn by 'Del Boy' and while they did not give chase, they circulated the information to other gardaí in the area as they deemed it suspicious.
Hutch was left injured after the crash and witnesses saw a person with a pair of scissors cut his backpack off him and take it away after the crash. It is unclear what was in the backpack when it was taken away and it was not at the scene when gardai arrived.
'Mr Big' has established himself as one of the most dominant figures in the Irish underworld over a lengthy criminal career and his gang are suspected of carrying out up to 16 murders over the past two decades.
He is originally from north Dublin and is believed to be supplying significant quantities of drugs to gangs in Dublin and across Ireland.
While he has worked in conjunction with the Kinahan cartel in the past, he is also believed to have established his own drugs connections in Europe and further afield in South America and runs one of the biggest operations in the country.
He didn't align himself with either faction in the Kinahan-Hutch feud, which claimed 18 lives in the second half of the 2010s.
Sources say his operation may have indirectly benefitted from the feud as Garda resources and the resources of the warring gangs were tied up for years.
While 'Mr Big' did not get involved in the Hutch-Kinahan feud, he is no stranger to feuds himself over the years and has been warned by gardaí of credible threats to his life on numerous occasions.
As well as being involved in several spats with rival drug dealers in north Dublin as his gang grew, he successfully fought off a Real IRA mob led by Donaghmede man Alan Ryan, who was shot dead in 2012 in a hit believed to have been orchestrated by 'Mr Big'.
He also fought off threats from mobster Robbie Lawlor' who was shot dead in Belfast in April 2020.
'Mr Big's' mob had been at war with Lawlor after the notorious hitman murdered Mr Big's associate Kenneth Finn in Coolock in 2018.
Both Lawlor and 'Mr Big' also aligned with rival sides in the Drogheda feud, and Lawlor blamed 'Mr Big' for orchestrating the murder of his associate Richard Carberry - a drug trafficker originally from north Dublin - who was shot dead in Bettystown, Co. Meath, in 2019.
Sources say 'Mr Big's' business has continued to grow in recent years and a network of smaller gangs are getting their supplies of drugs from his wholesale operation.
Meanwhile, Hutch could be facing the potential of returning to jail if he is charged in relation the incident which left Ms Linok with life-threatening head injuries.
Gardaí are preparing a file for the DPP in relation to the matter and are confident there is enough evidence to charge Hutch with dangerous driving.
He was breathalysed at the scene, which established he had not been drinking at the time of the crash, and blood sample was later taken for a toxicology report.
He could be heard telling people at the scene that he didn't see the victim until it was too late, but gardaí believe there is evidence to show he was driving dangerously and was going too fast through a busy junction when he hit Ms Linok.
Hutch was released from prison last year after serving a 16-year sentence for an armed raid in 2009 in Lucan, west Dublin, during which his pal Gareth Molloy was shot dead by gardaí.
He has served lengthy concurrent sentences for offences, including manslaughter, robbery and firearms offences, and has been far from a model prisoner after getting into a number of scrapes behind bars.
He was in prison when the Hutch- Kinahan feud was at its height but was warned by gardaí there was an active threat on his life when he left prison last year.