Evidence heard before Naas District Court on Thursday shows how serial woman abuser Murphy was using cocaine at the time he met Jennie – just over a year prior to her brutal killing.
Murphy – who was jailed for life for the murder of the mum of two in April of this year appeared by video link from Mountjoy Prison.
Sgt Brian Jacob told the court that gardai searched Murphy at New Road, Naas on February 26, 2020 after he was spotted ‘acting suspiciously’.
Officers who carried out the search discovered Murphy to be in possession of €75 worth of cocaine.
Counsel for Murphy, Aishling Murphy said her client had been in prison for the last two years, the majority of which was on remand. She said her client had received a life sentence in April and was now going to school in prison.
Accepting this, Judge Cephas Power imposed a three-month sentence and marked it under Murphy’s existing sentence.
On April 29 this year, Murphy (30), of Coultry Drive, Ballymun, Dublin, was given a mandatory life sentence, having pleaded guilty to murdering Jennie in her apartment in Melville Drive, Finglas, last year by stabbing her seven times.
Murphy, who had been going out with Jennie for just over a year when he killed her, hid his past as a violent abuser of women from the loving mum-of-two — covering up a previous stint in jail by claiming he had been living abroad.
Instead of confessing he had been imprisoned in Mountjoy for attacking a previous partner and her mother with a knife, Murphy told carer Jennifer that he had been working away in Spain.
Informed on Thursday evening by the Sunday World of Murphy’s most recent conviction for possession of cocaine, Jennie’s brother Jason said it was ‘further evidence’ of the need for a register of abusers, which would allow people to check up on the past of a potential partner if they have been convicted of domestic violence-related offences.
“We were aware he was due in court today because the Irish Prison Service informed us,” he said.
“But we didn’t know what he was up for. But this [a conviction for drug possession] adds to the reasons we have been calling for a domestic violence register.
“We’ve been informed on five or six different occasions since April that he was back up in court for other offences. All for different reasons and different charges.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is an elephant in the room here that we are not addressing. Again today, we are hearing that he has issues in relation to previous offences. This man is a danger to every single person on the street.
“The day we were in court for his sentencing [for Jennie’s murder] we learned he had 14 or 15 previous convictions.
“I can’t tell you what they were for but one of them was for attacking a previous partner and her mother with a knife. And now there are other convictions piling up as well.
“Jennie wouldn’t have gone anywhere near him if she had known of those convictions.
“I mean it’s very hard to understand how she ended up going out with him anyway except that she met him through a neighbour.
“Jennifer was so into her sport and her fitness … and all of that just stopped when she met him because he wouldn’t let her do anything.
“He removed her from her family … he removed her from her friends.”
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Jason described a meeting with the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee at which they discussed the creation of a register of domestic abusers as ‘very productive.’
“She has had meetings with the Garda Commissioner about this and the Commissioner is currently putting a report on it together from the perspective of the gardai as to how this could work.
“I’d love to meet with the Garda Commissioner to tell him why this is necessary from a victim’s point of view.
“They’re looking at it from a black and white point of view but I’d like to tell him of the dozens of opportunities that were missed when Jennifer could and should have been informed of his past.
“The times when gardai were called out to her house — for different instances — but each time it was a different guard and there was no register where they could have checked out who they were dealing with.
“Since I met the Minister, I had one other phone call from her on the evening before they launched the new strategy on combating domestic violence. And she told me there is a plan to contact me again when the report comes in from the Garda Commissioner.”
Jason said that if and when approval is given for the introduction of a Domestic Violence Register, it is his hope the legislation will be known as ‘Jennie’s Law.’
Meanwhile, Murphy has continued to amass disciplinary offences for abusive behaviour behind bars.
His most recent offences behind bars occurred on June 14 when he was disciplined for engaging in threatening and aggressive behaviour towards officers in Mountjoy and failing to comply with directions from an officer.
Such offending has been characteristic of Murphy’s time in prison over the past two years.
After being placed on remand in Cloverhill following his arrest for Jennie’s murder, Murphy was repeatedly disciplined for physically abusing other inmates, smashing up property and threatening officers.