Dubliner James Quinn jailed for 22 years over Gary Hutch murder

The 2015 murder is said to have sparked Dublin's deadly gang feud

Dubliner James Quinn jailed for 22 years over Gary Hutch murder

A Garda handout photo of James Quinn's arrest in September 2016. Image: An Garda Síochána

Dubliner James Quinn has been jailed for 22 years by a Spanish court over the murder of Gary Hutch.

The September 24th 2015 killing is said to have sparked the deadly gangland feud in Dublin that has seen up to 18 people murdered.

Following his conviction last Friday, Quinn was warned that he faced a maximum prison sentence of 28 years.

However Spanish Judge Ernesto Carlos Manzano this morning sentenced him to 20 years for murder and two years for weapons possession.

The nearly two years Quinn has already spent in a Spanish jail will be taken into account.

The gun charge relates to a weapon found during a search of Quinn’s home - and not the two guns recovered from the getaway BMW used by Mr Hutch’s killers.

Getaway car

At the outset of the trial, prosecutor Jose Barba accused Quinn of being the gunman who shot Mr Hutch in the head after chasing him in his gated housing estate in Miraflores near the Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola.

However, he later gave the jury the option of convicting him of murder as the getaway driver and lookout.

In the end, the jury found him guilty on the basis that he was a “necessary participant” in the murder.

Delivering his sentence, the Judge Manzano said he would not hand down the heaviest punishment available to him because Quinn holds a clean record in Spain and was not the shooter.

He described the murder as “execrable” and said both Quinn and the unidentified gunman deserved “deep social reprobation.” 

The judge ordered Quinn to pay €90,000 in compensation to the Hutch family as well as the court costs.

Arrest

The 35-year-old father-of-one was arrested in September 2016 after police found his DNA on a baseball cap in the getaway car used for the murder.

The killers attempt to torch the car near the murder scene was unsuccessful.

Five others were arrested over the murder, however Quinn is the only person to have faced charges.

A Garda handout photo of James Quinn's arrest in September 2016. Image: An Garda Síochána

At the start of his trial last Monday, he insisted he was in bed with a post-wedding hangover and a prostitute when Mr Hutch, nephew of Kinahan rival Gerry ‘the Monk’ Hutch, was killed.

He failed to provide any evidence for the alibi and the state prosecutor described his claims in court as a “collection of the outlandish.”

Mr Barba told jurors before they retired to consider their verdict that the baseball cap was crucial.

“I think if James Quinn ever admitted to regretting anything it wouldn’t be the murder of Gary Hutch but the fact he didn’t destroy the now famous baseball cap which has ended up certifying his involvement in the killing,” he said.

Appeal

Quinn’s defence lawyer Pedro Apalategui, said last week he would “definitely appeal” the verdict to a higher court where three judges and not a jury will make the decisions.

He said: “We completely disagree with the verdict and will definitely be appealing once we know the sentence.”

Any appeal will be heard by a provincial court in Granada and Mr Apalategui is hopeful it could take place as soon as September. 

Any appeal would be dealt with by a provincial court in Granada. Mr Apalategui said after the trial verdict he was hopeful it could take place as soon as September. 

Reporting by Gerard Couzens