Man gets eight years for threat to kill three gardai with grenade

Alan Hutch (30) was on bail for serious offences when robbery occured

Alan Hutch was armed with a knife and threatened to kill three gardai with a grenade when he was apprehended during a robbery on Dublin’s Dorset Street. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

A man who claimed to have a grenade and threatened to kill three gardai with it before assaulting them has received an eight year jail sentence.

Alan Hutch (30) was on bail for separate offences including a violent robbery and dangerous driving when he assaulted the gardai last November.

He was also serving a suspended sentence of four years for robbery and assaulting a garda in 2009.

Hutch of Sherrard Street Lower, Dublin 1 pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery on Drumcondra Road on August 27th, 2012 and to assaulting Sgt Charlie Armstrong during the same incident.


He attempted to bite the garda after Sgt Armstrong arrested him for a robbery he had just committed on another man. Hutch was granted bail on August 28th last.

He also pleaded guilty to car theft, dangerous driving, and damaging a garda car during a high speed chase around north Dublin city on October 1st, 2012. He admitted escaping from lawful custody at the Mater Hospital on the same date.

The court heard that Hutch stole the BMW while the owner was at the boot of the car on Parnell Street. He then drove at speeds in excess of 135 km/h in built-up areas around the north city centre, breaking red lights, driving along the wrong side of the road and ramming garda patrol cars.

Hutch, who has 48 previous convictions, was arrested a week after escaping from custody in the Mater hospital. He was charged and granted bail on November 1st.

On November 12th he carried out an attempted robbery on the Ink World shop on Dorset Street.

Hutch pleaded guilty to production of a knife during an attempted robbery and attempted robbery at Dorset Street Lower on November 12th, 2012.

He also admitted to threating to kill the three gardai and to assault causing harm of Gda Ciaran Kavanagh and Gda Conor Mackey on the same occasion.

The owner of the shop, a Chinese man, ran from the shop and pulled the front shutters down, locking Hutch into the shop.

Gda Joe Gavin told Martina Baxter BL, prosecuting, that he and two other gardai went to the back office of the shop and saw that Hutch had a large kitchen knife.

He said that Hutch told them: “I will f**king kill youse if you don’t let me out of here”.

Hutch then came running at them and gardai pepper-sprayed him.

Gda Gavin said he was in fear for his safety and the safety of the other gardai and members of the public who had gathered outside the shop.

Hutch then told gardai he had a grenade in his pocket and that he was going to detonate it and “kill us all”. He put a knife to his neck and said he would kill himself.

Gardai managed to disarm Hutch eventually after he had bitten Gda Kavanagh and Gda Mackey.

Hutch also told gardai that he had been recently admitted into hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown. Sean Gillane, SC, defending, said his client had learning disabilities.

Judge Martin Nolan said that he gave Hutch a lenient sentence in 2010 with the expectation that he would reform himself. He said this obviously hasn't happened.

He suspended the last 18 months of an eight year prison sentence on the condition that Hutch keep the peace and engage with the Probation Services for that period.

He also banned him from driving for a period of three years from the date of his release from prison.