A convicted rapist told prison officers that he planned to attack a journalist with a razor blade during his own sentencing hearing today.
Cork native Michael Murray (42), of Killiney Oaks, Killiney Dublin had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to two counts of sexual assault, two counts of rape with a make-up pen, attempted vaginal and anal rape, oral rape and aggravated sexual assault between February 12 and 13, 2010 in a Dublin city apartment.
He also denied child abduction, threats to kill or cause serious harm, false imprisonment, stealing a bank card and stealing cash from two ATMs.
He was found guilty by a unanimous jury decision last July. After hearing the details of the offences and the victim impact report Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy put back his sentencing until next Monday.
Before the hearing began the court was told that Murray, who previously had an address at Devonshire Street, Cork City, was refusing to come into court in handcuffs.
An officer from the Prison Service gave evidence that this was necessary because Murray had earlier made a threat to use a blade he had secreted on him.
The officer said that on his arrival at the Criminal Courts of Justice Murray told officers he had blades on him. Some blades, which were disposable razor blades broken in two, were recovered and these were shown to the court.
The court heard that Murray claimed he had more blades on him and that he was going to use them. He said he would “go for a journalist if he got a chance”, the officer said.
When Murray was scanned using the prison transportation service metal detector nothing showed up. The prison officer said it was possible Murray had blades secreted in an area that the machine could not detect.
He said that the blades were “absolutely capable of being used” and that it was not uncommon to see those blades melted into the handle of a toothbrush for use as a weapon.
He added: “I would strongly advise, knowing Michael Murray, and the kind of individual he is, that he would remain handcuffed. He can be quite plausible and within a minute he can be quite volatile.”
Anthony Sammon SC, defending, said his client denied making any threat to any other person.
He said Murray did not wish to come to court handcuffed and that counsel was instructed to remain silent in his absence.
The hearing continued in Murray’s absence and Detective Sergeant Dennis Ellard gave evidence of the offences and the victim impact report.