Tuesday 17 September 2019

Man jailed after threatening doctor who reduced his methadone intake

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Brion Hoban

A man who threatened a doctor because she decided to reduce his methadone intake has been jailed for one year.

Derek Murphy (49) of Macoom Avenue, Coolock, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to making a threat to kill or cause serious harm at Pearse Street, Dublin on October 30, 2013.

Detective Garda Dermot O'Connell told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question Murphy was attending a drug treatment centre and was informed by his doctor that she was decreasing his methadone intake due to a high level of toxicity in his blood.

Murphy began to argue that he would be forced to buy additional methadone on the street and was asked to leave. In the hallway outside her office he made a gun gesture with his fingers and told the doctor he was being charged with shooting at a guard.

The accused was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in 2015 for charges of robbery and discharging a firearm while resisting arrest at St Anne’s Square, Portmarnock on November 16, 2012. He was on bail for this offence during the incident with the doctor.

Murphy has 42 previous convictions, including convictions for manslaughter, robbery and taking part in a “tiger kidnapping”. He was convicted of robbery in 2018 and received a further sentence of nine years imprisonment. He has a release date of June 13, 2025.

Dt Gda O'Connell agreed with Dominic McGinn SC, defending, that his client was asked to apologise and withdraw the threat made against the doctor and that it was only after he refused to do so that she decided to press charges.

Mr McGinn put it to the detective that Murphy held the belief in his own mind that he lost control and discharged a firearm at a guard as a result of a reduction of methadone. Dt Gda O'Connell said he did not recall this being proposed as mitigation previously.

Judge Martin Nolan said it seemed it would be “unjust” to extend his stay in custody. He sentenced Murphy to one year imprisonment to run concurrently with his current nine year sentence.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News