| 15.5°C Dublin

airhead Gerry the 'Monk' Hutch 'gave away his hideout spot by taking a breath of air on balcony'


Gerry "The Monk" Hutch in Dublin city centre In February 2015​​​​​​​

Gerry "The Monk" Hutch in Dublin city centre In February 2015​​​​​​​

hutch arrest

hutch arrest

hutch arrest

hutch arrest


Gerry "The Monk" Hutch in Dublin city centre In February 2015​​​​​​​

GERRY 'The Monk' Hutch gave away his hideout to police by venturing on to his Costa del Sol balcony for some mid-morning fresh air.

The criminal's error was revealed by the head of the elite team which led the operation to find and arrest him.

It enabled detectives to obtain his photo and use it to confirm Hutch was in a town centre apartment block in Fuengirola, in an area they had under surveillance.

Two days later Hutch was arrested as he sat down at a nearby restaurant for an evening meal. He had shaved off his long hair and a beard.

Hutch had flown to Malaga from his Lanzarote home and headed for the Costa del Sol in March. This was shortly before Ireland issued a European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

Hutch, dressed casually in sandals, shorts and a T-shirt, was arrested last August 12 by undercover police after a four-month investigation led by the Civil Guard's central operative unit's fugitive task force.

He is in prison near Madrid awaiting extradition to Ireland over the Regency Hotel attack in Dublin in February 2016.

Members of the Madrid-based fugitive task force worked round the clock to track him down.

"We received a visit from the gardaí, specifically from the gardaí liaison officers based in Spain, about a month before the EAW against the Irish fugitive was issued in April," the officer said.

"They told us that in Ireland they were planning to issue the warrant against this person over the Regency Hotel attack.

"We thought his arrest was going to be an easy job but it turned out to be much more difficult than anticipated.

"My team went to Lanzarote after the EAW was issued but we never saw him living there.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"We already knew he had flown to Malaga Airport with his wife before he was made a wanted man and we were sure he was still somewhere in the province of Malaga for reasons I cannot disclose.

"From the Malaga Airport cameras we saw he had shoulder-length hair and a beard. The next time we saw him was on the balcony of his rented home overlooking a public square two days before his arrest and he had no beard and short hair.

"It was about 10am and he appeared to have gone out for a breath of fresh air.

"A photograph we obtained of him on his balcony enabled us to determine 100pc the man we were hunting was staying at the apartment in Fuengirola in the area we had under watch.

"He's got some very characteristic features and one was the streak of greying hair in the central part of his head, which otherwise is covered with dark hair."

He believes Hutch became overconfident and did not have an escape plan, adding: "It's human nature for people to relax in those circumstances and let their guard down."

Officials confirmed this week Hutch had said he was opposing extradition at a hearing before a judge in Madrid two days after his arrest.

It was the first time the court had confirmed he was refusing to be flown back to Ireland to face justice.

The Civil Guard attributes the success of the operation to arrest Hutch to the co-operation and exchange of information with gardaí.

"It's been an excellent example of joint work and co-operation and has enabled us to gather some very good intelligence which will be useful to us in the future."

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Top Videos