Tuesday 24 April 2018

Convicted rapist gets 13 years for attempted abductions

Dermot Murphy leaving Portloaise Circuit Court in connection with the attempted false inprisoment of a young woman.
Dermot Murphy leaving Portloaise Circuit Court in connection with the attempted false inprisoment of a young woman.

Claire O'Brien

A CONVICTED rapist with a high risk of reoffending has been jailed for 13 years for the attempted abduction of a teenager and a young woman.

Dermot Murphy (43), of Atlantic Coast Apartments, Tramore, Co Waterford, was also disqualified from driving for life. Judge Tony Hunt said a vehicle seemed to be "a significant tool for him in attempting to satisfy his perverse urges".

At Mullingar Circuit Court, Co Westmeath, the judge described Murphy as a serious and dangerous recidivist offender with a serious perversion.

Murphy will have to sign on with gardai for the rest of his life and undergo close supervision for 10 years after his release.

Last July, he tried to drag a 13-year-old girl into the back of his white van after stopping to ask her for directions on a rural road in the midlands.

She lost her top in the struggle to get away from him and fought half-naked on the ground, kicking and biting him before she escaped.

The judge described the teenager as "a very brave and strong young woman", adding that it was only her "bravery, strength, clear presence of mind and sense of purpose that saved her from the appalling fate that Murphy had in mind for her".

In her victim-impact statement, she said she was afraid to be alone with men without her family and didn't cycle or walk anywhere alone.

She wonders if she will ever be able to put the incident behind her and is concerned that he will attack other girls.

Perversion

Following media appeals for information, another young woman came forward to say that earlier the same evening, Murphy's white van had approached her.

After his arrest, Murphy admitted that he had tried to abduct a 20-year-old woman in Laois in 2007.

He thought she was younger when he also stopped her for directions and tried to drag her into the back of the van, fleeing only when he saw an approaching lorry.

The woman has gone for counselling since Murphy's arrest, when she didn't recognise him in an identity parade. Murphy's evidence and confessions alone led to him being charged for that incident.

The judge imposed concurrent sentences for assault, attempted child-trafficking and threatening to kill the Laois victim.

Murphy had been jailed for almost seven years in 1997 for the rape, aggravated rape and false imprisonment of a 12-year-old girl.

Irish Independent

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