Daniel Hegarty In ‘Criminal Record,’ Explained: Did Hegarty Know That Errol Was Innocent?


Hegarty was a shrewd and conniving man, and we saw in Criminal Record how people feared him and how they were reluctant to interfere in his matters. He was known for ruining people’s lives, and his past was enough to prove that he would go to any extent to protect himself and his associates, Kim and Tony. Throughout the season, Hegarty pretended that he had done no wrong in the Errol Mathis case and that June Lenker was unnecessarily connecting the dots. But in the end, certain revelations were made, which proved that he had been lying throughout. So, let’s find out what kind of man Hegarty was and if he knew from the beginning that Errol was innocent.

Spoiler Alert

Why didn’t Hegarty ever suspect Stefan? 

Stefan Ash was working for Hegarty, and he gave him intel about the gangs operating in the area. Hegarty never asked Stefan about Errol’s case because he trusted his colleague’s judgment. Tony was the one who had given a clean chit to Stefan back in the day, and Hegarty believed that Errol had murdered Adelaide Burrowes. It was strange to make such an assumption when one claimed to be a man of details. I agree that Hegarty probably wouldn’t have thought that Stefan could have murdered Adelaide, but that was only because his judgment was marred by prejudices. There was no denying that Hegarty and his band of men were all racist, and back in the day, they were part of a white supremacist group. A seasoned detective like Hegarty wasn’t allowed to take the defense that he committed a blunder because there was a lapse in his judgment, as the problem was way more rooted in bigotry than it seemed. Hegarty had racist ideologies, and I believe it had a huge role to play in the scheme of things. He harbored certain preconceived notions, and even before he got the evidence against Errol, in his mind, he had accepted that he was the killer. So Hegarty kept working with Stefan, and it never crossed his mind that he could be the one who was wreaking havoc on innocent women. After Errol was sent to prison, Hegarty made himself believe that whatever he had done was right and that the man deserved to be put behind bars. But deep down, he also knew how he had manipulated everything. Hegarty turned a blind eye towards everything that pointed towards Errol’s innocence, and he hoped that the truth would never find him. 

How did Hegarty try to mislead June Lenker? 

In Criminal Record Episode 8, we saw that Hegarty, while going through the evidence, realized that Stefan could be the one who murdered Adelaide Burrowes. I agree that it was a genuine mistake on his part, but then that was because he trusted the wrong people, and he committed an even bigger mistake by fabricating facts and forcing Errol to confess to his crimes. But at that moment, he pretended as if he were feeling guilty, and June, to some extent, believed in his narrative. He portrayed himself as the kind of man who was burdened with guilt and who now wanted to repent for his mistakes. He gave the recording of Errol’s confession to Claudia Mayhew because he wanted to show that he had nothing to hide and that he was ready to face any punishment if he was found guilty. He was clearly leading Errol during that interrogation, but the experts did not find the evidence substantial enough to hold him guilty. June Lenker went back, thinking that Hegarty probably believed that he had done a fair investigation, and now that he knew that it was a mistake on his part, he felt heavy from within.

June, around that time, also met Lisa, and she got to know that she was a drug addict. June realized that even Hegarty didn’t have the happiest life, and he faced a lot of struggles on an everyday basis. I use the word “misled” here because Hegarty was still hiding a very important detail, which he knew that if June came to know, she would have no doubt in her mind about him being guilty. It is quite possible that Hegarty subconsciously must have conditioned his mind to believe that he had done nothing wrong. It was probably because he knew that, as long as he did not believe in his narrative, the world wouldn’t either. Earlier, he did accept the fact that he had taken Errol to the crime scene, and it was not something that he should have done. But then he always had the defense that he needed to crack the case, and he felt instinctively at that moment that he should do something out of the box to bring the truth to light. 

Did Hegarty Know That Errol Was Innocent? 

Probably, Hegarty actually believed that Errol was not innocent, but there was no denying that he intentionally coerced the guy when the facts were not adding up, and he knew that if he hadn’t resorted to his corrupt tactics, Errol would have been released due to a lack of evidence. The biggest revelation was made when June Lenker found out at the end of Criminal Record season one that he had fabricated the testimony given by Patrick because he knew that it would make Errol so guilty that he would end up confessing to his crimes. Yes, it was a long shot, but Hegarty was so desperate that he was ready to do anything. Hegarty was under a lot of pressure, and the department was really banking on him. Hegarty would have felt that if he wasn’t able to deliver, then the police department would question his capability. He wanted results, and that’s when he decided that it would be best if he made Errol a scapegoat. Hegarty broke Errol mentally, and not even once did he entertain the possibility that someone else could have committed the crime.

From the very beginning, the investigation aimed to prove that it was Errol who had committed the crime. It was not a fair investigation, as Kim, Tony, and Hegarty didn’t want to find the truth, but they wanted to eliminate every piece of evidence through which Errol could prove his innocence. Mustafa Demir being put under so much pressure and not given a proper chance to identify Errol was a classic example of that. June got to know in the end what Hegarty had done, and she realized that he did not deserve any sympathy as, because of him, an innocent man’s life had been ruined. Probably in Criminal Record season 2, we will get to know whether Hegarty, Kim and Tony pay for their crimes or somehow use their influence to stay out of prison. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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