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Convicted rapist on trial for allegedly making death threats to barristers

Michael Murray (50) is accused of leaving messages with threats to kill against barristers.

A CONVICTED RAPIST on trial for allegedly making death threats told gardaí he ordered the murder of the barrister who prosecuted him – and said “the only reason he’s not dead is because I decided to do it myself”.

Michael Murray (50), with an address at Seafield Road, Killiney, Dublin, is accused of leaving messages with threats to kill against Dominic McGinn SC and Tony McGillicuddy BL between 6 November 2014 and 11 February 2015.

Murray is also facing harassment charges over allegations he made online posts advertising McGinn and two other people involved with his rape trial as prostitutes. He has plead not guilty to all of these charges.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today Detective Garda Daniel Treacy said Murray was arrested at the Midlands Prison on 8 May 2015.

The month before, the court heard, Murray resisted a search while being taken to hospital, and got into a struggle with prison officers who spotted a white Samsung phone sticking out of his buttocks and seized it.

Detective Garda Treacy told Seán Gillane SC, prosecuting, that Murray initially denied using the phone to contact McGinn and McGillicuddy, saying others had access to the phone.

But Murray went on to say he wanted McGinn dead for prosecuting him for rape.

“The only reason he’s not dead is because I decided to do it myself. I could have got someone else.”

He claimed he had “found a connection” between his phone and that of the husband of the woman he’s convicted of raping.

“I asked the State to hand over the phone records. They held on to them for four years.”

He said the conviction would have hung over him even if the Court of Appeal overturned it.

“Right now 15 years or life it makes no difference… I don’t care about threats to kill. I know it’s ten years or whatever – I don’t care.”

“The reason I’ve given you that is because it relates to my trials”

It was put to Murray that he had phoned Garda Headquarters just before 1am on 16 November 2014, when a male voice told a civilian telephonist: “Dom McGinn was going to be shot dead.”

“Was that the night he was to be shot?”

“I put out the hit on him. I wanted to do it myself. If you call me a rapist, I’ll kill you. I don’t care who the fuck you are. I’ll smash him into pieces. I’ll throw him into Dún Laoghaire Harbour if you like. When you’re from nothing and you’re in the system as long as I am … I wouldn’t care if I was shot after shooting him or shot trying to get out.”

Murray was asked if he made a phone call to Tony McGillicuddy on 9 February 2015, around half past ten.

“Probably did yeah.”

It was put to him that he said on that occasion: “Tony you prosecuted a man we know, you and Dominic McGinn. We’re after you.”

He replied in the affirmative.

He said he got Dominic McGinn’s number “a long time ago” from someone in the legal profession, but that he couldn’t recall who.

Asked about the advertisements with McGinn’s name on a classifieds website, Murray said: “Do unto others as they have done unto you.”

“He had me up on the stand asking about escorts. That is why I put him up as an escort,” he said.

On Monday, Murray pleaded guilty to possessing a mobile phone without the permission of the governor while he was in custody at the Midlands Prison on 11 February 2015.

He says the was given to him by his solicitor, Joanne Kangley, while he was in hospital the previous November.

The court heard that at around half past nine that evening, Murray told prison officers he had swallowed razor blades, and arrangements were made to have him brought to hospital in Portlaoise.

But as he was in a state of undress during a search of his clothes in the prison’s reception area, he began to resist the officers – and the phone fell from his rectal area and onto a bench.

Detective Garda Daniel Treacy told the court Murray was arrested at the prison and brought to Portlaoise Garda Station for interview on 8 May 2015.

Murray said the phone he used belonged to his solicitor Joanne Kangley, who he said had passed it to him while he was in hospital the previous November.

He denied coercing her to give it to him.

The trial continues tomorrow before Judge Karen O’Connor and a jury, and is expected to run for up to four weeks.