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Monday 23 October 2017

Sex fiend's 15-year sentence 'unduly lenient', says DPP

Michael Murray is facing an increased jail sentence
Michael Murray is facing an increased jail sentence

A sex fiend jailed for 15 years for raping a woman and abducting her child is facing an increased jail sentence following an appeal by prosecutors.

Michael Murray (46), formerly of Killiney Oaks, Killiney, in Dublin, was jailed for 15 years for rape, attempted rape, oral rape and aggravated sexual assault, child abduction, threats to kill or cause serious harm, false imprisonment and theft at a Dublin flat on February 12 and 13, 2010.

Guilty

The Central Criminal Court had heard he lured the victim there by telling her an elderly woman was dying inside.

He tied her up and assaulted her before taking her son (4) away, then abandoning him in a city centre square late at night. He returned to the flat where he drugged and raped his victim.

Murray had denied the charges, but a jury found him guilty by a unanimous verdict.

The Director of Public Prosecutions is now seeking a review of the sentence on grounds that it is "unduly lenient".

Sean Gillane, counsel for the DPP, yesterday told the Court of Appeal there had been "a constellation of aggravating factors" including pre-meditation, deception, an extraordinary duration of time as well as egregious degradation and humiliation.

There was a further feature of aggravation which placed this case not just in the most serious of cases "but in the upper limit of even that range", he submitted. "There was an explicit threat to the victim that her child would be killed if she didn't give in to his sexual depredation," Mr Gillane said.

He added: "There was also the placing of the hands on the child's throat."

He added that the trial judge, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, erred in choosing 15 years as a starting point for the sentence.

Evidence

Murray's lawyer Blaise O'Carroll said the sentencing judge was one of "tremendous experience" who had listened to 29 days of evidence at the trial.

He had not come to a decision "off the cuff", the lawyer said, but adjourned sentencing for a week to consider the case.

Mr O'Carroll added that the DPP had failed to point out any palpable error.

Mr Justice George Birmingham, sitting with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the court would reserve its judgment.

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