Escaped serial offender gets life for rape

A PSYCHOPATHIC rapist who escaped from a life sentence and raped again six months later has been jailed for life at the Central…

A PSYCHOPATHIC rapist who escaped from a life sentence and raped again six months later has been jailed for life at the Central Criminal Court.

Michael Murphy aka Michael Barrett (54) viciously assaulted and raped an English tourist in a Dublin hotel after being invited back to her room. He had been jailed indefinitely in 1994 in Manchester for raping a woman and stabbing her 33 times.

He was also convicted in a Manchester court in 1975 for the manslaughter of his father and was given a suspended sentence.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said Murphy was “a highly dangerous man whose threat to society is ongoing.” He said a life sentence for rape was unusual but these were exceptional circumstances because he was at large for “a truly appalling rape.”


Mr Justice Birmingham acknowledged there was a European arrest warrant out for Murphy and he may be extradited back to the UK but said it was a matter for another day.

The court heard Murphy only admitted his guilt yesterday morning. He said he hit the woman because “I was so f***ing mad, I was boiling.” When asked why he raped her, he said he wanted her to know what it felt like to be used.

Murphy had pleaded not guilty to rape, oral rape, sexual assault, assault and threatening to kill the woman and her friend.

He was convicted by a jury last month on all counts except for threatening to kill the woman’s friend on which they disagreed.

A member of the Travelling community and originally from Mayo, he escaped from a secure psychiatric unit in November 2006 and travelled to Ireland.

On March 20th, 2007, he met the victim and her friend in the Oliver St John Gogarty pub in Temple Bar. Murphy told them he was an artist and claimed he was also involved in the tourist industry.

After drinking there all evening the three went back to the women’s hotel, stopping by a shop on the way to pick up a bottle of wine.

Det Sgt Brian Duffy gave evidence that the group arrived back at the hotel just before midnight. They drank in the room and the atmosphere was friendly with no suggestion of sex.

Det Sgt Duffy told Pauline Walley SC, prosecuting, that everyone had been drinking but none of them were very drunk.

After finishing the wine, one of the women offered to let Murphy sleep in a chair in the room but the victim said this would make her uncomfortable. He told the victim that he liked her but she ignored this. Her friend fell asleep and she was showing Murphy to the door when he swung around and punched her in the face. He shoved her into the bathroom and then raped her.

The victim managed to escape and ran out of the bedroom and down to reception where the alarm was raised. Gardaí arrived and searched the hotel where they found Murphy hiding in a third floor linen closet.

The woman said in her victim impact report that she suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident.

She said her trauma was increased when the UK media published details of Murphy’s past and identified her by name.

Born in Co Mayo, Murphy moved with his family to the UK in the 1960s. After been convicted of robbery in 1970 he was sent to a reform school.

In 1975, he killed his father, described in court as a violent alcoholic, and was given an 18-month suspended sentence.

Over the years Murphy accumulated 16 other convictions for robbery and assault until he was jailed indefinitely in 1994 for raping a woman and stabbing her 33 times. He was detained in a secure mental institution in Manchester until his escape in 2006.

Mr Justice Birmingham imposed life sentences on each count of rape and oral rape, five years for the sexual assault and threat to kill and three years for the assault. All sentences are to run concurrently.