Saturday 18 November 2017

Murphy in secret location on orders of minister

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

FREED rapist Larry Murphy was last night staying in a secret location under the supervision of the Probation Service after the intervention of Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, it was confirmed yesterday.

Officials at the Probation Service were told to do "whatever was necessary" to get Murphy into a prisoner programme after two premises where he was thought to be staying were besieged by angry mobs last week.

Yesterday, it emerged that the move came about after Mr Ahern became concerned about the level of publicity surrounding his release.

Murphy left prison last Thursday after serving 10 years of a 15-year sentence for the rape and attempted murder of a businesswoman in a remote area of the Wicklow mountains.

He sought refuge in Kevin Street Garda Station in Dublin on Friday night after being pursued by the media and verbally abused by members of the public as he returned from a day trip to Cork.

The Probation Service had had no involvement with him because he had refused to avail of support services prior to his release.

It emerged yesterday that the minister instructed his officials to tell the Probation Service to "re-engage" with the sex offender as quickly as possible.

It is understood he was encouraged to accept help from probation officers by senior gardai and a prison chaplain whom he called for help. He is now staying at a secret location, and has been offered therapy and other support services.

The Department of Justice refused to comment, saying it did not discuss individual cases.

But the level of publicity surrounding his release led the minister to intervene.

Two Facebook pages have been set up. One, 'Don't let Larry Murphy out', has more than 20,000 followers, and includes a link to an online petition "to have Larry Murphy hung".

Options

Another Facebook page -- 'Larry Murphy location tracker' -- is followed by 4,300 people; while 'Beware Rapist' posters have been distributed near his former home at Baltinglass, Co Wicklow.

He had told gardai he did not intend to leave Ireland, but is said to be reconsidering his options.

The 45-year-old was jailed after abducting a woman from a Carlow car park in February 2000. He was sentenced to 15 years, but given remission and released after 10 for good behaviour. He refused to take part in rehabilitation programmes while in prison.

The rapist is being monitored by the garda's National Surveillance Unit, with plainclothes officers following him. He carries a mobile phone and reports to gardai daily.

Irish Independent

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