THE REGENCY TRIAL RIDDLE; Why Would Notes from a Detective Superintendent Who Died by Suicide Lead to a Criminal Trial Being Halted for at Least a month?Trial Adjourned for Investigation

Daily Mail (London), February 23, 2018 | Go to article overview

THE REGENCY TRIAL RIDDLE; Why Would Notes from a Detective Superintendent Who Died by Suicide Lead to a Criminal Trial Being Halted for at Least a month?Trial Adjourned for Investigation


Byline: Irish Daily Mail Reporter

THE future of one the most high-profile murder trials in the State was last night in doubt over the suicide of the lead detective in the case.

Notes written by Detective Superintendent Colm Fox, who led the investigation into the Regency Hotel shooting, were handed into the Special Criminal Court yesterday, causing the trial to be adjourned for at least a month.

The hearing against Patrick Hutch, 25, is now delayed pending an investigation into the circumstances of the death of Detective Superintendent Fox.

The trial had been adjourned on Monday after judges heard how some material presented 'unprecedented conundrums'. The defence had asked for copies of emails between four gardai at a hearing at the court almost two weeks ago.

Supt Fox was found dead in Ballymun Garda Station in north Dublin on February 10 with his official firearm beside him. He had been the senior investigator into the Regency Hotel murder.

Mr Hutch of Champions Avenue, Dublin, is on trial accused of the murder of Kinahan gangster David Byrne at a boxing weigh-in at the hotel on February 5, 2016. He denies murder. He also denies possessing three AK-47 assault rifles in connection with the shooting.

The shooting took place at the north Dublin city hotel when a man dressed as a woman and another wearing a flat cap, armed with handguns, followed by three people dressed in tacticalstyle Garda uniforms and carrying assault rifles, raided the venue.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Hutch was the man dressed as a woman and that he did not shoot Mr Byrne but was part of a 'shared intention' to commit the offence.

At yesterday's brief sitting at the non-jury court, Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, asked the three judges to receive and read some material, which was not opened to the court.

The material was 'notes authored by the late superintendent', the court heard.

Mr Gillane said these would 'provide context' for the court regarding an application he would make. The court rose and the judges read the notes.

When the Special Criminal Court judges returned, Mr Gillane said there was a separate investigation ongoing into the 'circumstances of Colm Fox's passing'.

He said: 'It's felt having considered the matter carefully, it would be safer from everyone's perspective to allow the investigation be completed before the trial will proceed. In this circumstance, it would be safer to adjourn the trial.' Mr Gillane said an adjournment seemed to be the 'safest path forward, to make sure no-one is taken by surprise by anything'. …

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