Monday 16 December 2019

Balaclava-clad attacker had prepared 'rape kit' for victim

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A balaclava-clad attacker who grabbed a woman on her way to work had prepared a special 'rape kit' for the first woman he encountered -- which included duct tape, ropes, a dog lead, and Vaseline.

Yesterday, the Central Criminal Court sitting in Galway heard that Russell Murray (33) -- who admitted attempting to rape his randomly chosen victim -- claimed that sexual urges kept him awake at night and that he had long harboured fantasies about fetishes and bondage.

The attacker, who secretly filmed up-skirt images of women in pubs, clubs and streets, grabbed his 24-year-old victim as she made her way to work in the early hours of April 8, 2009, and dragged her to where he had stashed duct tape and other items in a rucksack to assist him with rape.

The woman escaped after struggling from his grasp and pulling his balaclava from his head. Murray of Clydagh, Moycullen, Co Galway -- who is originally from Glenshane Park in Tallaght, Dublin -- will be sentenced later this week at the same court,

Detective Garda Barry Carolan told Gerard Clarke, prosecuting, that gardai thought they were dealing with a mugging until they found the rucksack which contained three prepared strips of duct tape, Vaseline, toilet roll, a dog lead, rope and a red saw handle.

Det Gda Carolan said colleagues arrested Murray when he returned to the estate later on the day of the attack and gave a false account of why he had left his van at the scene.

He claimed he had left the vehicle because it had run out of diesel and he couldn't afford to fill it up. Det Gda Carolan said gardai knew from a neighbour's account that the van had arrived in the area shortly before the attack.

Murray told gardai after arrest that he had initially intended to mug someone but got a "sexual urge" to rape a woman.

He said he had long fantasised about bondage and fetish and admitted having ropes at the scene to restrain a potential victim. Murray said he had intended to use the Vaseline and red saw handle during his sexual attack on the first woman he encountered.

Det Gda Carolan said Murray was "ambiguous" as to what he would have done with his potential victim after raping her. He told gardai: "It wasn't in my mind to hurt her, but it's hard to say."

Murray also told gardai that he had never tied anyone up before. The detective said colleagues found a digital camera card, containing graphic up skirt images of women, in Murray's possession after his arrest.

Det Gda Carolan revealed Murray had moved to Galway as a young teenager when his siblings had been taken into care. Both his parents had been alcoholics and he lived rough in hostels for most of his youth.


The detective garda agreed with defence counsel Michael O'Higgins that his client admitted the details of the offence at the interview and entered a guilty plea as soon as he could.

He said Murray described having sexual urges which kept him awake and restless at night and made him miss "appointments, dates and people".

He also said Murray said he had been on tablets at the time but had thought these were either not working or too strong.

Det Gda Carolan agreed that Murray's choice of victim had been random, that he had known the area from previously living at the estate, and that he expressed remorse for his actions.He said that Murray had had past mental health issues and there had been incidences of schizophrenia in his family.

Mr Justice Paul Carney adjourned sentence until later this week.

Irish Independent

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