Woman collecting son from playschool abducted and raped, court hears

Man left boy in a public square before returning to attack woman in apartment


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 play school when Michael Murray (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.

Murray, formerly of Killiney Oaks, Killiney, Dublin had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to two counts of sexual assault, two counts of rape, attempted rape and aggravated sexual assault between February 12th and 13th, 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.

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 fondling the woman’s chest 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 11 o’clock 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 made her change into a black lace night dress and told her she had to pretend she was ten years old and call him Daddy. He tried to rape and then became angry and began hitting her face.

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. 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.