Former Cork mayor jailed for 12 months for sexually assaulting girl

Monday 02 December 2013 23.48
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John Murray was found guilty of five counts of sexual assault
John Murray was found guilty of five counts of sexual assault
Murray served as Cork's lord mayor in 1993 and 1994
Murray served as Cork's lord mayor in 1993 and 1994

A former lord mayor of Cork has been jailed for 12 months after he was found guilty last month of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in the 1990s.

John Murray, 83, of Gregg Road in Cork had denied all six charges.

Murray was found guilty on five counts and not guilty of the other charge after a four-day trial.

The assaults took place between 1996 and 1998. Murray served as Cork's lord mayor in 1993 and 1994.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháinn sentenced Murray to four years in prison, suspending the final three years on one count, which he described as more serious.

On the four remaining charges, he sentenced him to two years, suspending the final 12 months.

The judge said while he had to take into account Murray's age, his state of health and that he had no previous convictions, Murray had pleaded not guilty and had shown no remorse.

The victim said all she wanted was justice and to be believed.

She said she went from a happy, outgoing child to an angry, isolated and withdrawn teenager, who was constantly at odds with everyone.

The woman told the judge that because her abuser was a former lord mayor of Cork, and a strong man who intimidated her, she felt scared and worried that she would not be believed.

She said it took over 15 years before she realised it was a secret she could not carry any more.

Mary Crilly of the Sexual Violence Centre, who supported the victim throughout the trial, said it would not have mattered if Murray had not received a custodial sentence, as the victim wanted to be believed.