A man who subjected a female student to more than hour of horrific sexual and physical assault near her south Dublin home in the early hours of the morning has been jailed for nine years by Mr Justice Paul Carney.
Karl Murray, aged 31, single, of Kilakee Park, Firhouse was detained and held by young men who caught him when he tried to make his escape after two of them challenged him while he dragged the victim along the road.
Murray threatened to kill her by slitting her throat "from ear to ear", strangled her, stripped her naked, bit her all over her body, thumped her breasts and put his fingers and keys into her vagina and anus.
He pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated sexual assault of the victim on July 9, 2005. Two further counts of false imprisonment and assault causing harm were taken into consideration. Mr Justice Carney certified as a registered sex offender and ordered that he undergo five years post-release supervision.
The 21-year-old woman victim told Mr Justice Carney she believed that Murray’s ultimate intention was to kill her. Her view of the world had been "completely transformed" by his violation of her body and she no longer trusted the general public.
"I feel I can’t afford to because if anything like this ever happened to me again, I know that I wouldn’t survive it," she said.
"I barely survived it this time and have often felt like taking my own life because I felt I couldn’t live in a world where life was this difficult and where someone you do not know or someone you have never offended could behave so viciously and violently towards you for absolutely no reason."
She said that "for no logical reason" Murray bit her all over her body until she bled, strangled and choked her until at one point she lost consciousness, punched her, bashed her head off a wall, forcefully stripped her naked, made her suck his finger after he put into her vagina and anus, kissed her, and ordered her to repeat things like "I’m not so glamorous any more" as well as describing what he was doing to her.
"At times what he was doing was so excruciatingly painful, I had to tear the grass from the ground to stop myself from lifting my hands and screaming which I felt would have resulted in my death or serious injury."
The woman, who Mr Justice Carney said spoke "very eloquently", said her pleas and attempts to reason with Murray were refused and one of her most painful memories was of him biting her hand until it bled and "watching in utter disbelief and questioning whether it was feasible that this person was actually human."
"He is the personification of misogyny as he gets thrills from the destruction of females - that is what he mistakenly considers power to be," she said. "That night, I was unfortunate enough to be that representation of womanhood and femininity that he so obviously despises."
His "degrading merciless" attack on her was not something that you recovered from but was something "you live with or simply choose not to live." She had chosen to live with the help of counselling, medication and "a loving family, full of strong and powerful women."
Garda Brian Maher told Ms Orla Crowe BL, prosecuting, that Murray sat down beside the victim on the Nitelink bus as was returning home from her night job. She noticed him looking at her a few times but he didn’t speak throughout the journey.
She passed by him leaving the bus about 100 metres from her home at about 4 a.m and then noticed he was walking behind her. He crossed the road when she did and ran and grabbed her when she began to run.
Garda Maher said Murray threatened her to be quiet as he dragged her into the garden of a house at the entrance to the estate and ordered her to lie on the ground and take off her clothes.
Murray just laughed and chuckled when the victim said to him: "I cannot believe this is happening to me."
Garda Maher said Murray held her down while he continued to try to remove her clothes. She had no recollection of him getting her bra off but it was found later on the pavement.
She was crying and pleading throughout his horrific and degrading attack on her and when she said she wouldn’t tell anyone if he released her, he said he was going to bring her to Tallaght. He dragged her by the hand to the road to look for a taxi and warned her that if she made any signal or comment to the taxi man he would slit her throat from ear to ear.
Garda Maher said two young men who came along noticed there was something amiss with Murray and the victim and chased Murray when he ran off.
They were joined in the chase by other young people coming home and by a man out walking his dog. These people detained Murray until gardai arrived following a call from the victim who described Murray to them.
Garda Maher said Murray told them he had asked the victim for sex and she refused but didn’t admit the aggravated sexual assault of her.
Mr Brendan Grehan SC (with Mr Remy Farrell BL), defending, said Murray instructed them to apologise to the victim. He was deeply ashamed of his actions and was sorry for the suffering he caused her. Alcohol was the trigger for this crime and Murray had decided he was never going to drink again.
Mr Grehan said Murray’s parents were worried about him going into prison and he was glad his grandmother died before she heard about this case because she had "thought the world" of him. He had no real friends and suffered from depression for several years.