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Due back on the streets, the chilling rapist who snubbed treatment in prison

IRELAND'S most dangerous rapist will walk free in six weeks -- after refusing treatment in prison.

Wicklow Mountains sex beast Larry Murphy has turned down all offers to take part in a rehabilitation programme.

The 45-year-old, who is a suspected serial killer, will walk free from Arbour Hill prison in early August.

Murphy was jailed in 2001 for the kidnap and repeated rape of a Carlow woman. He is still a suspect in a number of cases of Ireland's "disappeared" women.

But the community into which he moves will not be told he is living on their doorstep.

While he is being placed on the sex offenders' register, which allows gardai to trace his whereabouts, the public has no right to know where he is living.

The situation mirrors that of serial rapist Michael Murray who unsuccessfully tried to stop the Herald and other media informing the public of his whereabouts.

Loophole

A source told the Herald: "Murphy has been in custody for 10 years but has not been subject to any rehabilitation programme. There's hardly a more dangerous prisoner in the system.

"We are now looking at a situation where one of the most dangerous men in the country will be back on the streets in weeks, with no treatment. It's deeply worrying."

It is unclear if Murphy agreed to go on the offenders' register himself -- legislation compelling him to do so was enacted after he was jailed -- or if a "limited retrospection" loophole is being used by the authorities.

He has been in custody since the day after the horrific abduction and rape in February 2000. In May 2001 he was convicted and jailed for 15 years, with the last year suspended.

He served 10 years with the usual 25pc remission. Despite his reputation, Murphy has been a model prisoner inside Arbour Hill Prison. He has not made any close friends but has engaged in workshop courses.

He is recognised a first-class carpenter and has made several items of furniture for fellow prisoners and staff.



strangle

But he is still under a cloud of suspicion. As part of Operation Trace, gardai have questioned him a number of times about the disappearances of waitress Jo Jo Dullard, student Deirdre Jacob and US tourist Annie McCarrick.

At the time of the attack in the Wicklow Mountains, his wife was pregnant with their third child.

She has since moved out of the family home in Baltinglass to a new life in a border county and has cut all ties with him since his guilty plea.

His victim's life was saved when two hunters, who knew Murphy, disturbed him as he attempted to strangle her to death while she was tied naked to a tree.

While gardai insist that he will be "watched like a hawk" the cost of 24/7 surveillance means round-the-clock monitoring is unlikely.

Murphy's refusal to take up the rehab programmes offered in Arbour Hill is not unusual.

A Prison Service spokesman said that this week there are 335 sex offenders in the prison system.

Since the start of the new Building Better Lives programme in January 2009, just 67 prisoners, or one in five, have taken part.

Another 18 prisoners were assessed and are on a waiting list. Under the old Sex Offenders Programme which ran for 14 years from 1994 to 2008, only 136 sex offenders completed the programme.

cmallon@herald.ie


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