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31/07/2021

Convicted rapist engages new legal team in barrister threat trial

Convicted rapist engages new legal team in barrister threat trial

A convicted rapist on trial accused of making death threats against the two lawyers who prosecuted him has engaged a new legal team after representing himself last week.

Michael Murray (50) is charged with making threats to kill against senior counsel Dominic McGinn and fellow barrister Tony McGillicuddy.

It’s further alleged he created a series of online ads advertising Mr McGinn, the woman he is convicted of raping, and his own former solicitor as prostitutes in late 2014 and early 2015.

Murray denies the charges.

On Friday Mr McGinn described being woken by a ringing phone in the middle of the night, and hearing a man’s voice saying “bang bang”.

He said it had a “devastating” effect on him and his family, forcing him to change his routine.

Last week, the jury watched a recording of a Garda interview in which Murray admitted he wanted to kill Mr McGinn because he was the prosecutor who secured a conviction of rape against him in 2013.

He also claimed he had cancelled a “hit” on McGinn that night because he wanted to “do it myself”.

In a subsequent interview with detectives, read into evidence, he said he had made arrangements with a “foreign gang” to have his former defence solicitor abducted – a plan he also cancelled, he claimed.

Neither of the two women named in the indictments can be named for legal reasons.

Murray has already pleaded guilty to possessing a Samsung phone seized from him at the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise on May 11, 2015.

He accepts it was given to him by another former solicitor of his during a visit to hospital in October 2014.

The jury was brought out for just a few minutes on Monday, before the trial was adjourned.

“At this point, ladies and gentlemen, Mr Murray has engaged a new legal team,” Judge Karen O’Connor told the jury this afternoon.

She introduced Mr Barry White, SC, along with Niall Storan, BL, and Karl Moran, BL.

The trial is to resume on Wednesday morning.

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