herald

Sunday 19 November 2017

School principal calls gardai over serial rapist fear

Gardai are keeping an eye on serial rapist Michael Murray
Gardai are keeping an eye on serial rapist Michael Murray

A secondary school in South Dublin has made a formal complaint to gardai after serial rapist Michael Murray was spotted outside the premises on several occasions.

Murray has been forced to move to a new address several times in recent years after being recognised by members of the public.

Only last month the Herald revealed that two schools had warned students about Murray lurking in the area, and it has since emerged that his actions have concerned another secondary school in the capital.

Last Monday, officers at Dundrum Garda Station received a complaint that the sex beast had been spotted a number of times on different dates outside the Clonskeagh school.

Danger

"Several parents informed the principal about the sightings and he then made a formal complaint to local gardai," a source said.

"Unfortunately, the guards' hands are tied in that he hasn't committed an offence, and all gardai can do is watch him."

A danger to children, he was previously sentenced for indecently exposing himself to a five-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy.

It is understood that detectives from Dundrum Garda Station are keeping tabs on Murray.

In September, two South Dublin schools sent letters to the homes of students warning parents that he had been spotted in the area.

The prominent and well-respected primary and secondary girls' schools issued the letters, which urged students to remain vigilant, the week after concerned locals raised the issue of the serial sex offender being seen not far away.

Murray was jailed in 1996 for raping four women and sexually assaulting two others in South Dublin in 1995.

The Central Criminal Court heard he carried out the attacks between September 18 and 23.

At his trial, two of his victims told the court they thought they were going to die.

Murray committed his first rapes in Dalkey, Killiney and Monkstown, but then began to move out of the area.

His next victim was in Rathmines, where he attacked and stabbed a girl.

After days of surveillance, he was seen returning to his mother's house and arrested.

Murray was eventually sentenced to 18 years, but with standard remission he served only 13 and was released in 2009.

Eighteen months before his rape conviction, he received a four-month sentence for indecently exposing himself to the five-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy after walking into the back garden of a house in Dun Laoghaire.

Rehabilitation

His previous crimes make him a potential threat to women and children.

One officer with extensive knowledge of Murray said he was "equally as dangerous" as notorious rapist Larry Murphy.

Like Murphy, Murray refused to take part in any rehabilitation programmes during his prison term.

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