Rapist says lawyer calls were taped illegally
A man serving a 15-year jail sentence for abducting a woman and repeatedly raping her has claimed that his phone calls to his lawyers were being unlawfully taped by the prison authorities.
Michael Murray (42) had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, attempted rape and aggravated sexual assault between February 12-13 2010 in a Dublin city apartment.
He also denied abduction of the woman's child, threats to kill or cause serious harm, false imprisonment, stealing a bank card and stealing cash from two ATMs.
He was found guilty on all counts by a unanimous jury decision in July 2013 and was sentenced to 15 years the following October. He has appealed that conviction.
He has brought High Court proceedings claiming the prison authorities were illegally taping his phone calls to lawyers.
The court heard yesterday that Murray - who is now representing himself having discharged his solicitors - wants the court to order that he be provided with all documents and records in preparation for his case over the alleged taped phone calls.
He told the court a computer he had in the prison to access the recordings had been seized following a request by gardaí. His concern was that the recordings of what were confidential conversations could be accessed by other parties. He also sought an order requesting the return of the computer.
The State said the calls were recorded because Murray had not used designated confidential phonelines available to prisoners to have conversations with their lawyers.
Several recordings of conversations between Murray and his lawyers were "inadvertently" made, counsel for the State said.
Copies of the recordings were given to Murray, counsel said, adding that it had no issue with the discovery of material sought. Counsel said additional confidential lines were being put in place in prisons to facilitate conversations between prisoners and their legal advisers.
Counsel also said the computer, which was loaned to Murray by the Prison Service to allow access to the recordings, was taken by the gardaí as part of an investigation, and it was not within his client's powers to hand it back.
Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns ruled Murray - formerly of Killiney Oaks, Dublin, and previously with an address at Devonshire Street, Cork City, - was entitled to discovery of the recordings of all phone calls he made to his legal advisers between May and July 2013, when he was on trial.
The judge said the issue of the computer was a matter for the full hearing of the action.