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Major inquiry Notorious sex offender Philip Murphy arrested in prison as part of historical abuse investigation

Philip Murphy (40) was arrested in the Midlands Prison in Co Laois last week and brought to Portlaoise Garda Station where he was questioned for a number of hours by gardai from the Clondalkin Protective Services Unit

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Philip Murphy. Picture: Collins

Philip Murphy. Picture: Collins

Philip Murphy. Picture: Collins

One of Ireland’s most notorious sexual predators has been arrested in prison as part of a major garda investigation into horrific historical abuse allegations.

Serial sex offender Philip Murphy (40) was arrested in the Midlands Prison in Co Laois last week and brought to Portlaoise Garda Station where he was questioned for a number of hours by gardai from the Clondalkin Protective Services Unit.

At the same time that Murphy was brought from his cell at around 7am on Tuesday of last week, one of his closest associates was arrested in the Clondalkin area and brought to the local garda station where he was quizzed as part of the same investigation.

It is understood that both men are being investigated for serious sexual offences against two juvenile females and a boy in west Dublin which are alleged to have happened over 20 years ago.

Both suspects were released without charge and a file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Murphy was returned to jail where he is serving a six year jail sentence for random sex attacks on two women in Dublin city centre days after being released from custody for the false imprisonment offence of a woman and producing a knife.

In April, Dublin Circuit Court heard that Murphy had just been released from serving a 10-year prison sentence for falsely imprisoning a woman when he sexually assaulted the two women in February 2016 in the space of just 20 minutes.

During both incidents, Murphy grabbed the women from behind as they were walking on their own through the city in the early hours of the morning, told them he wanted to have sex with them and said he was going to kill them.

“You're going to die tonight,” he repeatedly told one victim.

Murphy was extradited from the UK in early 2020. He was due to be sentenced in February, but was not produced from the Midlands Prison as it was in lockdown after a number of prisoners and staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Murphy, of no fixed abode in the Dublin 8 area but originally from Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexually assaulting the two women at Jervis Lane and O'Rahilly Parade in Dublin city centre on February 25, 2016.

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Philip Murphy

Philip Murphy

Philip Murphy

 

Passing sentence, Judge Melanie Greally said there was “every reason to conclude” that Murphy intended to engage in “very serious acts of sexual violence” but for the bravery and actions of the victims.

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Judge Greally said the offending was aggravated by the fact he had recently been released from prison for the false imprisonment of a female. She said Murphy has a difficulty with alcohol and substance abuse which contributes to his offending behaviour.

She said the culpability in this case is “considerable” and the harm caused to the victims is “very substantial indeed”.

Judge Greally sentenced Murphy to six years imprisonment. She also ordered that he must undergo four years of post release supervision by the Probation Service during which time he must comply with all lawful directions of his Probation Officer.

In relation to his 2008 attack on the Polish woman in Clondalkin, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told Murphy was nominated as a suspect on the basis of his modus operandi.

Judge Frank O’Donnell said that during the trial it had been put to Murphy, who denied the charges, that he had been “scouring the countryside looking for a victim”, but noted that he could only deal with the evidence before him.

Murphy has ten previous convictions, including one for carrying a Stanley knife and a number of public order offences.

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