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For his victim, release of this monster must mean her return to a living hell

How did she sleep last night? The woman he bundled into that car in Carlow, punched in the face, tied up, raped four times and tried to suffocate?

Did she watch that image of Larry Murphy strolling out of Arbour Hill prison as a free man and return to that car park that evening 10 years ago when he attacked her and her nightmare began?

There can be no woman in Ireland who doesn't feel the chill of fear that comes with the knowledge that Murphy is a free man today, but for his victim, his release must be akin to being attacked all over again.

The gardai are watching Larry Murphy with a keen eye. They have attempted to reassure us that he will be the focus of their unrelenting attention.

No doubt he will be subject to surveillance as he reestablishes himself in the free world, but this is a matter of public confidence and without electronic tagging and supervision set down in legislation, there is a sense that we are relying on the good judgment of the gardai rather than the solid protection of the law.

Just like all other offenders, other than those serving life sentences, Murphy was entitled to 25pc remission for good behaviour.

The rule helps to keep order in prisons, where inmates tend to behave themselves on the promise of getting out early.

But Larry Murphy, who beat, raped and attempted to murder his victim, did not behave well by anyone's rule book.

He may not have caused trouble inside or involved himself in fights or violent incidents, but his lack of remorse and refusal to deal with his terrifying behaviour must surely negate his entitlement to remission.

Sex offenders who are steadfastly unrepentant should be excluded from the good behaviour scheme.

If there is only one lesson learned from this shockingly premature release, this must be it. In order to get a reduction in prison time, rapists and sex attackers should have to undergo a strict treatment regime.

This November Jo Jo Dullard's family will mark 15 years since the young woman was last seen in a phone box in Co Kildare.

Similarly, Annie McCarrick, the American woman who was working in Ireland at time of her disappearance in 1993, has vanished without trace.

I remember clearly, as most women will, the fear and confusion around the time of those incidents.

With any missing person case, it is incredibly difficult to understand how someone can simply cease to exist.

The anguish of both women's families is unimaginable and as the details of Larry Murphy's crimes are rehashed, it must surely bring to mind all sorts of brutal and cruel vistas about what may have happened to their loved ones.

There has been no evidence linking Murphy to the disappearance of either woman, but neither has he agreed to be questioned about any other attack, apart from the one he was convicted of committing.


While he is entitled to a presumption of innocence in relation to other crimes, the cold and brutal methodology of his crime raises serious and unanswered questions about his mind, his capabilities , his history and his future in society.

Some might argue that Larry Murphy has served his time. He was handed down a sentence and spent the time required of him in prison.

But the inescapable truth is that he is a high-risk sex offender. He does not acknowledge or feel remorse for what he has done and he is the perpetrator of a terrifying and brutal crime.

Recidivism is high amongst rapists and even though treatment may or may not work, he has had none whatsoever. The risk of his reoffending must inevitably then be heightened.

For all women, his release is frightening and worrying. But for his victim, this week must have marked a return to a living hell.