Friday 6 December 2019

Sex attacker's shame forced him to confess

Dermot Murphy.
Dermot Murphy.

Claire O'Brien

A MAN who attempted to abduct a woman to sexually assault her confirmed the crime to gardai later even though she failed to identify him in a garda line-up.

Dermot Murphy yesterday pleaded guilty to attempting to abduct the 20-year-old victim in Laois in 2007, admitting he intended to take her to a quiet place to sexually assault her.

It is the second time in a week that Murphy (42) has pleaded guilty to attempting to abduct a female with the intention of sexual assault.

Last week Mullingar Circuit Court heard how a 13-year-old girl he tried to abduct in the midlands last year bit and kicked him as he tried to drag her from her bike into the back of a white van on a rural road. She escaped.

Yesterday, Portlaoise Circuit Court heard that Murphy was being questioned by gardai about the incident with the teenager when he was asked if he had ever done anything similar before.

Murphy told gardai he felt "lousy" and "ashamed", and told them of his attempt to kidnap the woman in Laois a few years earlier.

Yesterday, Judge Tony Hunt heard that the woman -- who is not from Ireland -- was walking on a rural road in October 2007, when Murphy parked his van ahead of her.

When she took off her headphones to answer his queries for directions, he grabbed her by the neck and waist and tried to drag her into the vehicle.

He told her he had a knife and would kill her if she didn't get in. But Murphy fled after a lorry appeared on the road.

The lorry driver, who contacted gardai, said the victim had staggered on to the road to flag him down.

She was extremely distressed and wouldn't approach him as she asked for help.

A garda investigation yielded no successful leads, but when Murphy was arrested and questioned about the other incident in the midlands in July last year, he confessed to the attempted abduction in Laois.


The court heard that when a garda asked if he had done anything similar to last July's offence, he became distressed and admitted the Laois incident.

He said he felt "lousy and ashamed" of what he had done and was glad he hadn't succeeded in abducting the woman.

However, he accepted that in 2007 he intended to take her to a quiet place to sexually assault her.

It was his admissions which made the Laois prosecution possible, because the victim did not recognise Mr Murphy in an identity parade.

Detective Sergeant Gerard Mahony said the woman began counselling last year following the identity parade, and she has trouble sleeping and concentrating on her studies.

He said Murphy had been regularly travelling the roads between his current address in Atlantic Coast Apartments, Tramore, Waterford, and his family home near Athlone, in Westmeath.

Murphy will be sentenced in both cases at Mullingar Circuit Court in July.

Irish Independent

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