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Child rapist will face new probe over kidnap bid

A CONVICTED child rapist who admitted trying to abduct a 13-year-old girl is facing a fresh garda probe, the Herald can reveal.

Dermot Murphy (42) pleaded guilty to attempted false imprisonment, attempted child trafficking and to assault causing harm to the girl, who he had approached by asking for directions in the midlands last July.

Giving evidence, Sergeant Kieran Hanly, who described the victim's bravery as outstanding, said Murphy got out of his van and approached the girl, who was on her bicycle, on the pretext of clarifying directions.

He then grabbed the girl, who fought back. She fell to the ground but kicked Murphy, and bit his leg. Her top came off during the struggle before she fled to safety.

DNA evidence from her top, which Murphy threw in a ditch, matched a sample he gave to gardai.

A green holdall containing clothes and rope found at his home matched one the girl saw as Murphy held the rear van door open and tried to force her in.He had set out that day with the intention of finding a girl, and the victim was the third person he had seen and attempted to engage.

Gardai used CCTV footage to retrace the van's journey. When they contacted Murphy to arrange an interview, he handed himself in.

Murphy previously served a six-year, 10-month sentence in 1998 for the rape and false imprisonment of a young girl and completed a sex-offenders course in prison.



Strength

He is at high risk of reoffending and Judge Tony Hunt said it was only the victim's strength of character and physical strength that prevented something happening "which hardly bears thinking about".

Describing Murphy as a serious threat to society, with ongoing and unresolved problems, he remanded him in custody to July for psychiatric and other reports. He would impose "a significant custodial sentence," he said.

However Murphy could be facing even more jail time after an investigation by gardai in Co Laois into the attempted abduction of a child there in October, 2007.

Murphy is the chief suspect for the incident in which a girl was approached as she walked along the Swan Road in Durrow in October 2007.

It is understood she was accosted by Murphy, who fled in a van after becoming alarmed by an approaching vehicle.

It is believed that Murphy has been quizzed by gardai about the Durrow incident.

Murphy is one of Ireland's most notorious sex offenders - originally from Brittas, Glasson, Athlone, Co Westmeath, he pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning a girl at a location in Athlone on September 21, 1997, and to producing a knife during the course of rape or sexual assault.

He also admitted oral rape, sexual assault, sexually assaulting the girl in circumstances of serious violence or threatened serious violence in such a manner as to cause injury, humiliation or degradation.

The Central Criminal Court heard in June 1998 that Murphy pretended he was looking for directions when he stopped beside the girl. He forced her into the car and drove to a bog where he sexually assaulted her. Later he sexually assaulted her in the car.

The girl asked if she was going to be killed and if she was going to see her family again. She was screaming and when she asked him for something to bite down on he gave her a penknife.

Afterwards he warned her not to tell anyone, saying he knew where she lived. The girl was able to give the registration number of the car to gardai.

Murphy was arrested hours later and admitted the offences.

hnews@herald.ie


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