Gardaí likely to recommend charges in 20-year-old Jacob cold case

Gardaí are expected to submit a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions within the next fortnight in relation to the abduction and murder of Deirdre Jacob more than 20 years ago.

Gardaí  likely to recommend charges in 20-year-old Jacob cold case

Gardaí are expected to submit a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions within the next fortnight in relation to the abduction and murder of Deirdre Jacob more than 20 years ago.

Convicted rapist Larry Murphy, last known to be living in England, was considered the main suspect for the disappearance of the 18-year-old from outside her home in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

Murphy moved to England after his release from jail in 2010, where he had served 10 years for the kidnapping, rape and attempted murder of a woman in the Wicklow mountains in 2001.

The Irish Examiner understands that the file will recommend charges be brought, though the final details are not yet clear. The file is believed to be going through final stages of clearance and sign-off before being sent to the DPP for a decision.

The State prosecutor will have to weigh-up whether there is sufficient evidence to bring a prosecution.

Ms Jacob, a student teacher, vanished near the gates of her home at Roseberry, Newbridge, at around 3pm on July 28, 1998. Her parents, Michael and Bernadette, have fought relentlessly for justice in finding the person responsible.

Following an extensive review of her case, gardaí in August 2018 upgraded what was a missing person’s probe to a murder investigation.

In July 2019, gardaí reported making significant progress in their investigation but made appeals on two lines of inquiry in order to complete their file:

  • Securing the co-operation of a close associate of Murphy who had previously claimed to have incriminating information on him.
  • Contacting an anonymous caller to Newbridge Garda Station who said they saw something potentially suspicious near where Ms Jacob was abducted, the day after she went missing.

The associate of Murphy, who lives in Kildare, claimed he had incriminating evidence after having a personal dispute with Murphy.

It is understood that investigating gardaí believe they have exhausted all lines of inquiry on these two issues.

Gardaí travelled to Britain in 2018 and, in the company of the London Metropolitan police, attempted to interview Murphy, but he refused to answer questions.

There was no legal basis to arrest Murphy, who is originally from Baltinglass, Co Wicklow.

If the DPP directs that charges be brought against Murphy, gardaí will then apply for a European Arrest Warrant. Under the transition period forming part of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU on February 1, it will continue to be a member of the EAW until it leaves at the end of the year.

What will happen after that is not clear, with some security sources saying that a pre-existing extradition act with Britain could be used.

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