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Convicted rapist accused of making death threats to prosecutors was planning to have his solicitor abducted

Michael Murray (50) admitted to detectives he was planning to have his own solicitor abducted.

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A CONVICTED RAPIST accused of making death threats to two prosecutors admitted to detectives he was planning to have his own solicitor abducted.

Michael Murray (50), formerly of Seafield Road, Killiney, Dublin, is on trial at the Circuit Court in Dublin, charged with threatening to kill senior counsel Dominic McGinn and fellow barrister Tony McGillicuddy who prosecuted him for rape in 2013.

He’s also charged with harassing McGinn by advertising him online as a prostitute, and doing the same to both his own former defence solicitor and the woman he was convicted of raping. Murray has pleaded not guilty to charges of making threats and carrying out harassment.

The solicitor and the woman cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Murphy admits having the phone, which his defence accepts was given to him by another solicitor, Joanne Kangley.

Detective Garda Edel Keogan told Seán Gillane SC, prosecuting, today that she interviewed Murphy on 8 May 2015.

It was the third time he was interviewed by detectives that day in Portlaoise after being arrested at the Midlands Prison.

He said he called his former solicitor “a number of times”, and told detectives it was because he wasn’t happy with his defence in his trial for rape.

“I instructed her to call 24 defence witnesses. She didn’t. I had become aware that my legal calls were being intercepted… She as a defence lawyer was not interested in it. It didn’t sit right with me.”

The prosecution in the case says Murray’s calls were never intercepted in the manner he claims.

“You’re well aware I have three escapes behind me. I’m the only one to escape from an armed escort,” he said. “Solicitors and barristers think they all can’t be touched.”

Detective Garda Keogan put it to him that she had received information that “Michael Murray who is detained in the Midlands prison is going to have her taken out”.

He denied this but said he was arranging an “incident” for her.

“Were you arranging to have [her] killed?”

“No, not that… I wanted her abducted.”

He said it was to be done by a “foreign gang” but he cancelled the operation.

They also showed him copies of ads on an adult classifieds site which included the phone numbers of his former defence solicitor and the woman he was convicted of raping.

“Escort available for private calls. Uniforms, toys, available,” read a post made on 19 January 2015.

“Did you post that?”

“I did,” he said.

Another ad was posted on 21 January that year.

Murray admitted using his phone to post it.

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

Mark Thompson BL, defending, put it to Detective Garda Daniel Treacy that in the process of taking notes of his interviews: “It would have been hard to keep up with Michael Murray.”

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“Yes, he likes to be in control, and it seemed in the interview he was.”

Thompson suggested that because of “the speed at which things were being said it would be impossible to take a transcript,” and that is why it was necessary for the jury to watch the DVD recordings.

“When you compare the account that was prepared by you and your colleague with the memo by the defence, there’s a lot more in it.”

“Correct.”

“He’s a person who has previous convictions including robberies, burglaries, not very pleasant offences but they always seem to be a similar type of offence,” he said.

Murray’s convictions for multiple rapes, false imprisonment and child abduction, all stemmed from the same incident and trial, Thompson said, and he continues to reject his conviction.

He questioned why, if the phone used to make the call to Dominic McGinn in the early hours of 16 November had been linked to Mr Murray’s wife within days, McGinn had not made a statement to Gardaí until the following February.

He said Murray had concerns his phone calls with his legal team were being “intercepted” and that was the reason he had been making contact with the prosecutors.

“He has issues of his own, yeah,” Det Gda Treacy said.

Gillane objected to this line of questioning.

“No telephone calls by this person were accessed in the manner which has been suggested,” he said.

About the author:

Stephen Bourke

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