Foiled abductor felt ‘lousy, ashamed’

A 42-year-old man who attempted to abduct a woman to sexually assault her, said he felt “lousy and ashamed” after the incident.

At Portlaoise Circuit Court, Dermot Murphy, Atlantic Coast Apartments, Tramore, Waterford, admitted attempting to abduct a 20-year-old woman in Laois in 2007, intending to take her to a quiet place to sexually assault her.

Before Judge Tony Hunt, evidence was given of how the woman, who is not of Irish origin, was walking on a rural road in October 2007, when Mr Murphy parked his van ahead of her.

When she took off her headphones to answer his queries for directions, he grabbed her by the neck and waist and tried to drag her into the vehicle.

He told her he had a knife and would kill her if she didn’t get in.

When an articulated lorry arrived on the scene Mr Murphy fled, and the lorry driver, who contacted gardaí, told them he’d seen the victim stagger onto the road to flag him down.

She was extremely distressed and wouldn’t approach him as she asked for help.

A Garda investigation yielded no successful leads, but when Mr Murphy was arrested and questioned about a similar incident in the Midlands in July last year, he made voluntary admissions about the Laois incident, which led to him being charged.

The court heard that when a garda asked if he had done anything similar to last July’s offence, he became distressed and admitted the Laois incident.

He said he felt “lousy and ashamed” of what he had done and was glad he hadn’t succeeded in abducting the woman.

However, he accepted that in 2007 he intended to take her to a quiet place to sexually assault her.

It was his admissions which made the Laois prosecution possible, because the victim did not recognise Mr Murphy in an identity parade.

Detective Sergeant Gerard Mahony said the woman began counselling last year following the identity parade, and she has trouble sleeping and concentrating on her studies.

He said Mr Murphy had been regularly travelling the roads between his current address in Tramore, and his family home near Athlone, in Westmeath.

It is the second time in less than a week that evidence has been given of Mr Murphy attempting to abduct a female with intent to sexually assaulting her.

Last week, a circuit court in the Midlands heard how a 13-year-old girl he tried to abduct in the area last year bit and kicked him as he tried to drag her from her bike into the back of a white van on a rural road.

He will be sentenced in both cases in July.


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