Sunday 17 December 2017

Spanish police won't be keeping watch over rapist

Gerard Couzens

FREED rapist Larry Murphy will not be put under watch at his new home in the sunshine, it emerged last night.

Gardai have told Spanish police where the sex offender is living, after his decision to leave Dublin and move abroad.

But apart from an initial home visit to check he is residing at the address in southern Spain he is said to have given gardai, he will be allowed to lead a normal life.

Unlike Ireland and Britain, Spain does not have a sex-offenders' register and the only police force he will have to inform of any future change of address is the gardai.

Murphy's new neighbours will have no idea they are living next to a man freed from Arbour Hill prison last month after serving 10 years of a 15-year sentence for the attempted murder and rape of a young businesswoman in 2000.

Nor will they be told that he has been questioned over the disappearance of three women in Leinster in the 1990s.

A spokesman at the national HQ of the Guardia Civil, one of Spain's two main police forces, said: "There is no sex-offenders' register here. Interpol keeps us informed about convicted criminals, including sex offenders arriving from other countries.


"But if they're sex offenders who have served time in jail, we do not put them under any sort of watch unless we suspect them of crimes here. Our legislation doesn't allow for it."

A police source added: "Officers normally pay these people a home visit to check they are living where they say they are. But after that they're left to lead a normal life. In specific cases, they may be put under a discreet watch but it's always done within the limits of the law."

Murphy, a 45-year-old carpenter from Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, kidnapped his victim in February 2000, drove into the Wicklow Mountains, repeatedly raped her and tried to suffocate her before being surprised by men out hunting.

He remains a "person of interest" to gardai investigating the unexplained disappearances of three women in the 1990s, Deirdre Jacob, Jo Jo Dullard and Annie McCarrick.

Murphy lived in seclusion in accommodation supplied by the probation services here before reportedly leaving for Spain earlier this month.

Guillermo Canovas, president of child protection group Protegeles, said Murphy's case proved the need for a Europe-wide sex-offenders' register.

He said: "A register of this sort would give parents a great deal of tranquility, because the lack of information and police control creates insecurity."

Irish Independent

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