A convicted rapist has been sentenced to 16 years in jail for making threats to the barristers who prosecuted him and harassing others involved in his trial, including his victim.
Michael Murray, 50, formerly of Seafield Road, Killiney in Co Dublin was excluded from his sentence hearing after he threw a bible at Judge Karen O'Connor.
He was found guilty by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after a 15 day trial, earlier this month, of threatening to kill Senior Counsel Dominic McGinn and his colleague, barrister, Tony McGillycuddy.
He was also convicted of harassing the woman he is convicted of raping by posting her name and phone number online in an ad offering her as a prostitute, and doing the same to Mr McGinn and his own defence solicitor.
Judge O'Connor called his actions a "fundamental attack on our system of justice". She said what he did was an "unprecedented and deliberate" abuse of process and he had subjected his victim in the rape trial to "additional re-victimisation".
Murray was convicted in 2013 of the rape and sexual assault of a woman whose child he abducted.
The Central Criminal Court heard the woman was walking her four-year-old son home from play school, in February 2010, when Murray lured her into his apartment by telling her an elderly woman was dying inside and needed her help.
He tied her up and assaulted her, before taking her son away and abandoning him in a city centre square, late at night. He then returned to the flat where he drugged and raped his victim.
He was sentenced to 15 years in jail, later increased to 19 years by the Court of Appeal which found there was absolutely no mitigation on Murray's behalf. He has 34 previous convictions for offences including assault and aggravated burglary dating back to 1987.
Dominic McGinn and Tony McGillicuddy were the prosecuting barristers in the rape trial. Mr McGinn told this trial that he answered his phone in the middle of the night on November 6, 2014 and heard a male voice saying "bang bang".
In February the following year, Mr McGillicuddy was working late when he got a call from a blocked number threatening to kill him.
The victim in the rape case, along with Mr McGinn and Murray’s defence solicitor, started getting calls and texts from unknown numbers in January and February 2015.
The victim told the court she was terrified. The solicitor found ads on the internet with her name and number.
The court heard he had been given the phone while he was being treated in hospital in October 2014, by another former solicitor of his, Joanne Kangley, who received a 12 month suspended sentence in 2019 for giving him the phone and a SIM card.
Murray gave evidence in his defence and said that he had a "lawful excuse" to do what he did. He said he was using the threats as a "mechanism" to get those involved in his rape trial before the courts as he wanted to uncover further information which would allow a further appeal in his case to be heard.
Murray was excluded from the courtroom for the final two days of his trial, after claiming he had been "offered the names and addresses of the jury members".
After making enquiries, Judge Karen O'Connor said she was satisfied Murray did not have the names of the jurors and never did. The jurors took one hour and thirteen minutes to reach unanimous guilty verdicts on all counts.
Murray asked to address the court at today’s sentence hearing and was allowed to enter the witness box. He called his original trial in 2013 an insult to justice and the criminal system.
He was stopped by Judge O’Connor who said she was not going to allow him to attack the victim in the original trial. She refused to allow him to continue to read his statement unless he showed it to her first.
When he refused, she ordered him back to the dock. Murray threw the bible, he had sworn his oath on, at her.
Judge O’Connor excluded him from the courtroom for the remainder of the hearing.
The judge said Murray’s strategy to bring this trial about by threatening barristers was an unprecedented and deliberate abuse of proceedings.
Harassing a woman he had been convicted of violently raping was a more egregious aggravating factor, she said. The calls had left the woman terrified and subjected her to additional revictimisation.
His actions were "a fundamental attack on our system of justice". She said Murray appeared to be incapable of rehabilitation and she intended to send a strong message in her sentence.
The judge sentenced him to nine years for threatening to kill Mr McGinn and seven years for the harassment of his victim. She ordered that these sentences be served consecutively. They are to date from the end of his original sentence in 2024.