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Rapist, child abductor claims State recorded his solicitors phonecalls

Michael Murray
Michael Murray

A man jailed for fifteen years for rape and sexual assault of a woman whose child he abducted in the same incident, claims the State recorded his solicitors' telephone conversations during his trial.

Michael Murray (43), of Killiney Oaks, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault, two counts of rape with a make-up pen, attempted vaginal and anal rape, oral rape and aggravated sexual assault between February 12 and 13, 2010.

He also denied child abduction, threats to kill or cause serious harm, false imprisonment, stealing a bank card and stealing cash from two ATMs.

Murray was found guilty by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by mr Justice Patrick McCarthy on October 22 2013.

The Director of Public Prosecutions have appealed his sentence on grounds that it was unduly lenient.

During case management procedures in the Court of Appeal today, Murray confirmed there were no longer any lawyers acting for him.

Murray claimed he had become aware since his conviction that the State had been “accessing and recording” his solicitors' telephone calls during his trial.

He told President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Seán Ryan that an application for discovery was presently in being in judicial review proceedings in the High Court. The prison service had admitted accessing and recording phone calls during the trial and that would lead on into the conviction appeal, he claimed.

Murray said he had no issue with the undue leniency application and would not be instructing any legal team to make submissions on it because, he said, he thought it was an abuse of process.

Murray said his battle was in the conviction appeal and it was on "how deep the recordings" had gone.

Mr Justice Ryan said it was appropriate for the DPP's undue leniency application to proceed and Murray's conviction appeal should not proceed until the whole matter had been resolved in judicial review.

The DPP was given three weeks to file submissions on the undue leniency application and Murray had three weeks to respond. “Equally you could say I'm not going to trouble myself ... But you might want to reconsider that,” Mr Justice Ryan said.

When told he had three weeks to respond to the undue leniency application, Murray said: “Okay, my lord”.

There was extra security present in court for Murray's appearance including two armed gardaí.