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Court evidence Victim of convicted rapist Michael Murray was 'terrified' by mystery phone calls from men, trial hears

Michael Murray (50), formerly of Seafield Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, is accused of advertising the woman online as a prostitute in 2015


Michael Murray

Michael Murray

Michael Murray

A woman raped by a man now on trial accused of carrying out a campaign of harassment and death threats from his prison cell has described being “terrified” by a string of mystery phone calls from men she didn’t know and couldn’t understand.

She and her husband, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave evidence today in the trial of Michael Murray (50) formerly of Seafield Road, Killiney, Co Dublin.

Murray is accused of advertising her online as a prostitute in 2015, and of doing the same to Dominic McGinn SC, who prosecuted him, and to his own former defence solicitor.

He’s also charged with making threats to kill against Mr McGinn and his co-counsel in the 2013 rape trial.

Murray denies these charges, but has pleaded guilty to having an unauthorised mobile phone in prison.

Speaking through an interpreter, the woman told Seán Gillane SC, prosecuting, how she began receiving calls and texts in January 2015 – most of the voices male.

“I was terrified. I wondered why so many calls. I didn’t understand why they have my contact number.”

Mr Gillane asked he if she could say how many.

“Many, many. I can’t remember.”

She identified the phone number she was using at the time on a document entered into evidence.

“Did you put your number on an ad on the internet at any point?”

“No,” she said.

She said she couldn’t remember being shown an ad by Gardaí.

“You say you don’t remember what might have been said with people when you answered the phone,” said Barry White SC, defending, as he cross-examined the woman.

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“Because I don’t know these people I didn’t bother to talk so I’ve no idea what they were saying to me,” she said.

“Do you remember what you might have told An Garda Siochána back in February 2015?” he asked.

“I told my husband, my husband report to police,” she said.

“Before the gardaí came to you did you make a number of deletions from your phone?” he asked.

“Yeah I can’t remember exactly but I think I did delete some of the phone numbers.”

“Why was that?” he asked.

“Because the phones kept calling – I just wondered why they were calling me,” she replied.

“What did you say to An Garda Siochána about BackPage.com?” he asked.

“Until the Garda come to me I didn’t know anything about BackPage,” she said.

“Tell me, did your husband answer any of the calls?” he asked.

“I’m not sure. My husband didn’t tell me. My husband didn’t talk to me about this, maybe because he make sure I’m okay.”

Speaking again through an interpreter, her husband told the court he received a call on his own phone on February 9, 2015, from a withheld number.

“I know you and also I know your wife,” the caller told him.

“I didn’t do anything. You send me to this prison. We will find out where you are and then you’ll be in trouble,” he heard the voice say.

He said his wife had given him the phone to answer on a number of occasions when unknown numbers phoned and he tried to find out where they got her number.

“I tried to ask – they would say BackPage,” he told Mr White under cross-examination.

“The individual who spoke to you said BackPage – only that one caller?” counsel asked.

“Maybe more, but they would not answer, just hang up,” the witness replied.

He said he only found out the nature of the website after searching online.

“Did you discuss with your wife when you searched?” Mr White asked.

“I don’t want my wife in pain again, again, again,” he said.

The trial continues on Monday before Judge Karen O’Connor and a jury.

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