Unmasked: Jealous husband who helped shove broken curtain pole up love rival's anus

Victim left with colostomy bag after husband launched Love/Hate style attack with son on man found in bed with wife

Derek Doherty

Eugene Masterson

A man who became so enraged when he found a stranger in bed with his wife that he and his son shoved a broken curtain pole into his anus during a 'barbaric' attack, can now be named for the first time.

Derek Doherty (52) of Vicarstown, Ballymahon, Co Longford, was due to stand trial for the attack at Longford Circuit Court last Monday but pleaded guilty just hours before a jury was due to be impanelled.

He was arraigned before Judge Francis Comerford on one count of intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to another on June 3, 2018 at an address in Colehill, Co Longford.

Victim Derek Murphy had to get a colostomy bag fitted for several months after the assault and has since suffered psychological trauma.

Derek Doherty has been remanded on continuing bail until May 9 when he will reappear for hearing and sentencing before Judge Comerford at Longford Circuit Court.

In January last year Nathan Doherty (23), of the same address in Legan, Co Longford, was sentenced to six years in prison, with the final three suspended for 10 years.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of €30,000, with payments of €5,000 a year on release from jail.

Sharon Doherty was with the victim before the attack

During his trial Circuit Court Judge Keenan Johnson hit out at TV and film makers for inspiring viewers to carry out "barbaric" acts such as violently impaling a broken wooden curtain pole into a victim's backside.

The judge said he was "horrified" at the "stomach churning" injuries caused to Mr Murphy after the victim was found in bed naked with Nathan Doherty's mother Sharon.

The assault mirrored the infamous jailhouse attack carried out on the character of Fran in RTE's Love/Hate, in which he was held down and attacked with a snooker cue by a fellow prisoner.

"It is hard to imagine how the accused could act in such a vile, sadistic, vicious, cruel and barbaric way," Judge Johnson said at Mullingar Circuit Court.

"One wonders what subconsciousness caused the accused, who had heretofore an unblemished record, to behave in such an uncivilised and cruel way."

Derek Murphy was attacked

Judge Johnson also criticised the current criminal compensation scheme, which he said was inadequate in helping people such as Mr Murphy.

He outlined the background to the case, which took place on June 3, 2018, when gardai received a 999 call at 3.04am from a residence owned by Genette Freeman at Lisnacreeva, Colehill, Co Longford.

Gardai found Mr Murphy seriously injured in the house, with Ms Freeman and mum-of-four Sharon Doherty trying to help him.

All three had earlier socialised in Chambers bar in Mullingar, with Sharon having earlier been given a lift by her husband Derek Doherty to the pub.

"It appears that Sharon Doherty knew the victim for a number of weeks and arranged to meet him on the night in question in Chambers bar," said Judge Johnson.

Derek and Sharon Doherty talk to our man Eugene

The trio left the pub and after getting a takeaway were given a lift to Genette's house.

"In the meantime, Sharon Doherty had made contact with her family and advised them that she was staying with Ms Freeman for the night," added Judge Johnson.

"The court has been advised that the relationship between Sharon Doherty and Derek Doherty had once been strained and that Sharon Doherty had got a barring order against her husband some years prior to the offence.

"It appears the barring order expired once Derek Doherty moved back in with his wife Sharon Doherty and subsequent to this they had another child."

Derek Doherty and Nathan Doherty - the couple's oldest child - were socialising together in a pub when Sharon met Derek Murphy in Mullingar.

They became suspicious and decided to drive to Genette's home to check on Sharon.

When the duo arrived at the house Nathan went around the back of the property and through a window saw Mr Murphy and his mother without clothes in bed together.

Nathan and his father stormed to the front door and barged their way in, where they shoved Sharon out of the way and furiously attacked Mr Murphy.

"In his statement, Derek Murphy described how the accused and Derek Doherty were both roaring, and a wrestling match broke out," Judge Johnson explained.

"He described how both men were screaming obscenities at him and hitting him in a non-stop fashion. He tried to fend them off and he was pushed off the bed and fell between the bed and the radiator."

Mr Murphy said a light was put on in the room and he could see them clearly.

He described how Derek Doherty was pulling him by the penis and testicles, and he feared he was trying to pull them off him while shouting to Nathan "do him, do the b*****d".

"He then realised the accused [Nathan Doherty] was trying to stick something in his anus and that he was using force," continued Judge Johnson.

"Mr Murphy said he was trying to hold back the accused. He said that as the stick was being pushed into his anus, that the accused was trying to finish him off."

Mr Murphy described the pain as "excruciating" and thought he was going to die when the pole was rammed in at least twice and left there.

It transpired that the same curtain pole had originally been fitted in the house by Nathan Doherty, who then picked up another implement and broke it over Mr Murphy's back.

"Mr Murphy said there was blood everywhere," added the judge.

Mr Murphy was rushed by ambulance to Mullingar hospital, and then to the Mater hospital in Dublin.

He had to undergo surgery and such was the seriousness of his internal injuries he had to get a colostomy bag fitted for several months.

He had suffered very serious, life-changing injuries, and is fearful of strangers, particularly women, while he lost work as a construction worker for long periods and has suffered financially.

Nathan Doherty admitted taking part in the assault and took sole responsibility for the attack with the curtain pole, saying he "lost the head" and was "disgusted" with himself.

At Nathan Doherty's hearing Derek Doherty, who was accompanied in court by his wife Sharon, as at previous sittings, stated in a deposition that he was in the house at the time of the attack but claimed he was in a different room when the violent assault occurred.

Nathan Doherty is in prison now

Judge Johnson said: "It is abundantly clear that the victim was totally innocent of any wrongdoing."

He added that Derek Murphy had been told by Sharon that her relationship with her husband was over, which appeared to leave the field open for him.

He praised Mr Murphy for his "tremendous fortitude and resilience."

He said he had to take into account mitigating factors in Nathan Doherty's defence.

These included the early plea of guilt, the expression of remorse, offer of compensation, lack of previous convictions, no risk of reoffending, permanent employment, and his mental health difficulties.


Such an offence would normally carry a sentence of eight years but he was prepared to reduce the sentence to six years, with three years suspended.

Doherty could be released in around six months' time with good behaviour as he had already served seven months in jail before his sentencing.

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