A Dublin man accused of murdering Gareth Hutch told gardaí it was "not in him to shoot anyone" and he would not have "the stomach" to pull a trigger, the Special Criminal Court has heard.
The non-jury court also heard Thomas Fox went to Mountjoy Garda station after being persuaded by his mother and told officers he was there to "clear his name".
Mr Fox said his father had been killed in 2011 and he “couldn’t put another family through that”. Transcripts of his garda interviews were read to the three-judge court on Thursday in the fourth week of the trial.
Mr Fox is one of three Dubliners accused of murdering Mr Hutch (36), nephew of Gerry ‘the Monk’ Hutch. It is the State’s case that he was instrumental in planning the murder of Mr Hutch.
It is the prosecution’s case that Mr Fox was parked near Avondale House in a white Ford Transit on the morning of the shooting but due to a change of plans the white van was not required.
Mr Hutch was shot dead as he was getting into his car outside Avondale House flats on North Cumberland Street in Dublin on the morning of May 24th, 2016. He died as a result of four gun shot injuries.
Mr Fox (31), of Rutland Court, Dublin 1; Regina Keogh (41), of Avondale House, Cumberland Street North, Dublin 1; and Jonathan Keogh (32), of Gloucester Place, Dublin 1, have pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Hutch. Mr Fox has also denied unlawfully possessing a Makarov 9 mm handgun on May 23rd, 2016 at the same place.
The court heard evidence on Thursday of the first three interviews conducted by gardaíwith Mr Fox. Det Garda Declan O’Brien, of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigations, told prosecuting counsel Diarmaid Collins BL that gardaí arrested Mr Fox on suspicion of murder with a firearm at Mountjoy Garda station at 7.01pm on May 24th, 2016.
He told gardaí he lived with his mother and had a girlfriend of five years who was expecting their baby at the time. Mr Fox said he was in his aunt’s house on the morning Mr Hutch was killed and had stayed there the previous night. The accused said he spoke to his girlfriend on his aunt’s phone after 10am and she told him about Mr Hutch getting shot.
“Being nosey” he cycled down to his girlfriend’s house and they walked to Avondale House “to have a look” but they did not go into the flats. It was manic there, he said, and they went to Centra to get something to eat.
The accused also told gardaí he spoke to Gareth and Ross Hutch in the carpark of the flats complex the previous day and Ross told him he was selling his father's car. He said he did not know Gareth that well but knew Ross all his life. He denied having a row with both men.
Mr Fox told gardaí that his girlfriend was scared after going to Avondale House and told him she was not raising a child in this city or country as it was “getting too much”.
In the second interview, Mr Fox said he did not have “the stomach or the balls” to pull the trigger of a gun, adding “what kind of thick would hand himself in” to gardaí.
He said it was “not in him” to shoot anyone as his father had been killed in 2011 and nothing had been done about it.
“It’s not in me to retaliate,” he said. “If I had anything to hide I wouldn’t be around, I’m here to clear my name.”
Mr Fox said he got along with the Hutch family as well as Gary Hutch who was shot in Spain in 2015.
“We have nothing against each other,” he added.
The trial continues.