herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Predator wanted over the alleged kidnap of two Dublin women is lifted in the UK

Philip Murphy, who’s being held in Wormwood Scrubs, was previously jailed for abduction
Philip Murphy, who’s being held in Wormwood Scrubs, was previously jailed for abduction

One of Ireland's most feared predators has been arrested in England after a European Arrest Warrant was issued over charges of false imprisonment and sexual assault.

Clondalkin criminal Philip Murphy (38) is fighting a bid by gardai to bring him back to Ireland despite being held in Wormwood Scrubs prison in London.

"It seems he is hoping that a no-deal Brexit might happen which could interfere with the extradition process," a senior source said last night.

"Where he is being held is no holiday camp, particularly for an Irish national wanted for sexual-related offences, but there is absolutely no indication that Murphy is going to consent to being brought back here to face the music.

"This process is going to take months."

Vigilante

Murphy was the subject of a major investigation by gardai at Store Street Station about alleged offences in the Drumcondra area in 2016.

"These are very serious offences - sexual assault and false imprisonment. These are offences at the higher end of the scale," the source said.

Murphy fled to the UK in September 2016, only days after he was subjected to a savage beating by a vigilante mob of up to eight men after he left a shop in Parkgate Street.

Since his release from jail, he has been arrested and questioned about the alleged attempted false imprisonment of two women in Drumcondra.

He was staying in various locations in the capital and Co Wicklow after being released from Arbour Hill on February 24, 2016.

It emerged that year that he had obtained a new passport. He then left the country.

The vicious attack was not the first time Murphy had been targeted by vigilantes - he was previously assaulted in the Phoenix Park and was the victim of an attempted stabbing in the Christchurch area.

He was jailed in 2009 for the false imprisonment of a Polish woman in Clondalkin on June 7, 2008.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told Murphy was nominated as a suspect on the basis of his modus operandi.

Judge Frank O'Donnell said that during the trial it had been put to Murphy, who denied the charges, that he had been "scouring the countryside looking for a victim", but noted that he could only deal with the evidence before him.

He imposed a 10-year sentence for the false imprisonment offence and a three-year sentence for producing a knife, to run concurrently.

The woman was waiting at a bus stop at 6.30am to go to work when a car pulled up.

The driver offered to give her a lift, but at first she refused. He returned a short time later and again offered a lift.

The woman got into the car and they drove a distance, chatting normally.

She asked the man to turn right towards her workplace but he told her he had to get petrol. She asked to get out of the car, but he produced a craft knife and told her to be quiet or he would cut her.

The woman pleaded with him and believed she was going to be raped or killed.

"The fear will never leave me," she said in a statement.

Sliced

The woman tried to jump out of the moving car but was restrained by the seatbelt. She eventually released the belt and when the car stopped she fled.

Separately, he previously sliced a taxi driver's neck with a bottle and left him with life-threatening injuries.

In February, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan addressed concerns about what impact Brexit will have on extradition procedures, saying he hoped the UK would continue to be part of the European Arrest Warrant system.

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