Monday 19 February 2018

'My monkey Alvin died from depression after he was stolen' - court case

Owner speaks out after man is convicted for possession of stolen monkey

Jennifer Murphy
Jennifer Murphy
Alvin the South American marmoset
Paul Murtagh (28) pleaded guilty to possessing a stolen monkey worth €1,500
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

An infant monkey who was stolen from his Kildare home died one month afterwards due to depression, according to his owner.

Alvin was two and a half years old when he was taken from his home in Derrinturn, Co Kildare.

Owner Jennifer Murphy, who models in Dublin, said that Alvin was so devastated after the ordeal, in which he was put in a small cage in the boot of a car for several hours and transferred to several garda stations, that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result.

Dubliner Paul Murtagh was charged with the possession of the stolen monkey and sentenced to 80 hours of community service at court yesterday.

Now that the case has finished, Murphy has spoken of her family's heartbreak.

She is still devastated from the ordeal which took place in October of last year and Alvin passed away from a broken heart just one month later.

"He died one month after, got really depressed," she told

"He definitely had a version of post-traumatic stress disorder. When he arrived home to us, he was hiding under his blanket and wouldn't come out.Whenever he was scared, he would make a very loud high pitched noise and after the burglary, he was constantly making that noise.

"He died about a month after, we thought he'd get better but he just must have got such a bad fright, he couldn't recover it

Jennifer has two children Jamie (seven) and Justin (three) with her husband, and little Jamie often asks where their pet monkey is.

"He was very attached to him," she explained.

"He'll still ask about him and wants to know if we'll get another monkey, but you can't replace Alvin.

"I also have a fear of someone stealing him again."

The Murphys paid €1,800 for Alvin, a South American Marmoset nearly three years ago as well as spending a considerable sum on his maintenace and upkeep.

"I've wanted a monkey since I was a child. I think it's every little girl's dream to have a pet monkey, so when my husband bought me one, I was thrilled.

"Alvin was very playful. He would jump on your shoulder, climb down the sleeve and play with you.

"He had his own aviary, but slept inside at night."

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