Monday 23 April 2018

Paramedic to pay victim €5,000 after filming women in staff toilets

Robert Murphy arriving at court
Robert Murphy arriving at court

Kathryn Hayes

AN AMBULANCE paramedic who pleaded guilty to the harassment of a female colleague after she discovered an iPhone recording video in the toilets at an ambulance base is to pay his victim €5,000.

Robert Murphy (51), of Lissanalta Grove, Dooradoyle, Limerick, placed the mobile phone in a box of gloves with holes in it on the windowsill of the unisex toilet at the ambulance base in Tyone, Co Tipperary, on May 5 last year.

The father of three, who pleaded guilty at Nenagh District Court to harassment, was confronted about the matter by a female colleague, the court heard. He deleted the file and asked that the matter be taken no further. However, a complaint was made to gardai and Murphy was questioned.

The married man admitted to gardai that he owned the phone and had the device recording female staff in the toilet for his "own pleasure".

Yesterday, solicitor Dan O'Gorman said his client was still working for the HSE but in a "different area". He added that there was an on-going disciplinary investigation, which Murphy was co-operating with.

Troubled

Judge Elizabeth MacGrath was given a psychological report, which Mr O'Gorman said referred to the "very troubled and extraordinary history" of his client.

Previously, the court heard the 51-year-old moved to Ireland from California to live with relatives when he was eight, after his mother was murdered. His father was sentenced to 10 years after being convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.

Mr O'Gorman told the court yesterday that his client's wife, who was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, was in court supporting her husband despite receiving further bad news about her illness.

Previously, Mr O'Gorman told Judge MacGrath that Murphy had "succumbed to the temptations that are on the internet" when his wife was receiving treatment.

The court was told there was "nothing to suggest" Murphy was a danger to the public, and a psychological report described him as being a very low risk of reoffending.

The judge was told Murphy was also co-operating with the probation services, who recommended he remain under its supervision for six months.

Judge MacGrath said she had no doubt the incident had a serious effect on the injured party, which she added was "perfectly understandable".

The judge insisted the offer of compensation would not influence her decision when considering the appropriate penalty and acknowledged there was often public disquiet that compensation can "buy your way out of problems in court".

Judge MacGrath said the offer of €5,000 compensation in this case would give the injured party some level of acknowledgement of the pain and damage done to her.

Judge MacGrath ordered Mr Murphy to remain under the supervision of the probation service for another six months.

She adjourned the case until October 18.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News