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Taxi man tells of his fare from hell after picking up sex fiend

THE taxi driver who took sex fiend Larry Murphy from Arbour Hill Prison had no idea that he was allowing a sex fiend into his car.

Niall Bates said Murphy remained coy on what he was going to do in the coming days during their trip around the capital on Thursday.

The shaken taxi driver said he thought the fare would be "just another job" until he spotted the large media presence outside the gates of Arbour Hill.



PLANS

Mr Bates, whose wife is due to give birth in the coming days, revealed that Murphy told him nothing about what he plans to do now that his decade-long stint behind bars has ended.

"Are you joking? He said nothing about what he's doing to me," said Mr Bates.

As soon as Murphy sat in the back seat of the cab he ordered Mr Bates to take him to Coolock Garda Station to lodge an informal complaint with gardai over alleged harassment by members of the media. He stayed at the station for over an hour before he emerged and instructed the driver to take him to the airport, before having a change of heart and telling him to take him to Grafton Street.

When the taxi arrived at the lower end of Grafton Street, Murphy leapt from the car and made a dash to evade the gardai and photographers that were tracking him.

He was eventually tracked down by gardai from the National Surveillance Unit and the Garda helicopter, who were following his every move.

Mr Bates said he was relieved the whole ordeal was over and he could get on with his life.

"I've had a terrible day," he said. "My wife is heavily pregnant and we just want to get out of here now."

Gardai investigating the disappearance of six women in the Leinster area, as part of Operation Trace, were extremely interested in Murphy.

Fleeing

An air of fear has gripped the country since 10.17am on Thursday when a clean-shaven Larry Murphy walked nonchalantly out of Arbour Hill Prison.

His home town of Baltinglass is at the epicentre of the panic, with his estranged wife fleeing the area in the days before his release to take her and his kids out of the spotlight.

hnews@herald.ie