Man who bound, gagged and raped woman collecting son from playschool 'evil', says victim
A woman who was abducted, bound, gagged and repeatedly raped has described her attacker as an “evil man”.
The woman, a foreign national living here, was collecting her four-year-old son from playschool when Cork native Michael Murray (aged 42) coaxed her into an apartment by telling her that somebody was dying inside and needed her help.
He then tied her up and gagged her, drove her son away and left him in a public square in the middle of the night before returning to attack and repeatedly rape the victim, using a make up pen.
Murray, formerly of Killiney Oaks, Killiney, Dublin had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to several counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault, and one count of aggravated sexual assault between February 12 and 13, 2010 in a Dublin city apartment.
He also denied child abduction, threats to kill or cause serious harm, false imprisonment, stealing a bank card and stealing cash from two ATMs. He was found guilty on all counts by a unanimous jury decision last July.
Anthony Sammon SC, defending, said he was instructed not to present any mitigation for his client. Murray refused to come to court when the Prison Service insisted he should be handcuffed.
A prison officer gave evidence that broken razor blades had being found on Murray that morning and that Murray had said he planned to use them on a journalist during the court hearing.
The officer said that on his arrival at the Criminal Courts of Justice Murray told officers he had blades on him. Some blades, which were disposable razor blades broken in two, were recovered and these were shown to the court.
The court heard that Murray claimed he had more blades on him and that he was going to use them. He said he would “go for a journalist if he got a chance”, the officer said.
When Murray was scanned using the prison transportation service metal detector nothing showed up. The prison officer said it was possible Murray had blades secreted in an area that the machine could not detect.
He said that the blades were “absolutely capable of being used” and that it was not uncommon to see those blades melted into the handle of a toothbrush for use as a weapon.
He added: “I would strongly advise, knowing Michael Murray, and the kind of individual he is, that he would remain handcuffed. He can be quite plausible and within a minute he can be quite volatile.”
Anthony Sammon SC, defending, said his client denied making any threat to any other person.
He said Murray did not wish to come to court handcuffed and that counsel was instructed to remain silent in his absence.
After hearing the details of the offences and the victim impact report, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy adjourned sentencing until next Monday.
Detective Garda Michel Donlan previously told the judge Murray’s 20 previous convictions include aggravated burglary, burglary, robbery and possession of firearms.
Today, a victim impact report was read out in which the woman, who is living here with her family, said: “I used to always think people in Ireland were good. Now I don't know anymore.”
Detective Sergeant Dennis Ellard told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that at around 4.30pm Murray lured the woman into the flat before telling her that if she had sex with him he would let her and her son go.
When she refused he said he would kill her. The victim broke a glass and threatened to cut her own throat. Murray put his hands around her son’s neck and said he would kill him if she didn't co-operate.
Murray tied the woman's hands behind her back using a cord. He took cash and bank cards from her wallet and demanded her bank PIN numbers. He would later use these to steal cash from her bank account.
Murray started touching the woman but her son came into the room and said he was hungry. The victim tried to reassure him and told the boy that he should behave because “this was a bad man”.
Murray then tied the woman up to a radiator in the bathroom and gagged her with a dishcloth before taking her son away in his jeep. He left the child on a city centre street at around 11pm at night.
He returned to the flat and began to beat the woman around the face and shoulder.
Mr McGinn told the court: “Over the next number of hours he subjected her to a protracted and depraved sexual assault.”
Murray, who claimed during the trial that he runs an escort agency in Dublin and the Midlands, told the victim that he had sold a small girl to a man and that he would do the same to her.
He made her take two tablets which made her drowsy.
The trial also heard evidence that Murray had run a head shop business and was consuming a cocaine-like substance called Mephedrone throughout the night.
Murray finally left the apartment just after 5am and the woman managed to free herself. Det Sgt Ellard told the court: “She searched every room, every press, looking for her son”.
The woman armed herself with a knife because she was afraid Murray would come back. She smashed a window and began throwing plates out on to the street.
By this time gardai had found the woman's son safely. They found her in the flat after passers by reported a disturbance.
Det Sgt Ellard said: “She was hysterical. Her main concern was for her son.”
Murray drove to Dublin Airport and bought a ticket for a flight to London but didn't get on the flight. He went drinking in the city centre and was arrested the next day, on Sunday evening, in the Morrison Hotel.
In her victim impact statement, the woman said that she is now very protective of her children and that her son, now aged seven, still sleeps in her bed because of her fear.
She said she went into the flat to try to help because she thought someone was sick.
She described the ordeal of waiting for and taking part in the trial.
“I was always worried he could find me and rape me. I didn't want to see the man who kidnapped and raped me. I wanted to forget what he looked like. He was an evil man.”
She said that her family were forced to leave Dublin after the attack. She added that she locks herself in her bedroom if she is at home on her own.
She hasn't told her family back in her home country, she said. “My husband doesn't really talk about what happened.”
She said that her son stills talks about “the bad man” but she hopes he will forget someday.
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