December 2012

My daughter’s life is ruined by this revolting Sheffield rapist

THE mum of a teenage girl grabbed from a Sheffield street, frog-marched into woods and raped said today the attack had ruined her daughter’s life.

Serial sex pest Liam Murphy, aged 34, was jailed for nine years after snatching the terrified 17-year-old, leading her to Scraith Wood in Shirecliffe, then ordering her to the ground and raping her.

Speaking exclusively to The Star, the victim’s mum said: “I am pleased he is behind bars, but he should have got longer for what he has done to my daughter – he has ruined her life. “She is too scared to go out of the house, she has lost all her confidence, and she suffers nightmares and flashbacks every single night. “She is well and truly traumatised.”

Murphy, of Holgate Close, Parson Cross, was found guilty by jurors at Sheffield Crown Court. During his trial it emerged he had four previous convictions for indecently exposing himself in the same woods.

On one occasion he even flashed at a young mother who was pushing her baby in a pram in broad daylight.

Today Det Con Emma Shipley said: “The sentence is reflective of the attack on an innocent young woman who went through a horrendous ordeal at the hands of Murphy. “South Yorkshire Police were committed to finding the person responsible for this attack and a thorough investigation was conducted.

“Hopefully this will provide some closure for the victim and her family.”

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was approached by Murphy who asked her the time as she made her way home from a party in the early hours in May.

He then marched her into the woods, ordered her to the ground and raped her.

The victim told police Murphy put his hand over her mouth and told her not to scream. Fiona Swain, prosecuting, said: “He secured compliance through her fear. He directed her into the woods knowing she was not consenting.”

The girl said she did not scream because she thought she was going to die.

She said: “I just followed whatever he said because I was scared. I asked him to stop, but he did not listen to me. I think he knew because I was crying and upset, but he didn’t listen to me.”

The girl, now 18, had been at a party with her boyfriend where she had drunk wine and spirits. They left together to go to another house, but the girl changed her mind and decided to go to her boyfriend’s house instead.

Her boyfriend walked her part of the way, but she assured him she would be ‘alright’ to walk the last stretch alone while he went to a friend’s. She said after the attack: “I felt disgusted, I just wanted to get in the shower.”

Murphy, a warehouse worker who has a nine-year-old daughter, denied raping the teenager and told the jury he was at his terminally ill mother’s home.

Jurors heard he had been dealt with by police for four previous incidents of indecent exposure in the same woods.

The incidents happened in 2006 after he was suspended from work, in 2009 after he had split up with his partner, in 2011 shortly after his mother’s diagnosis, and in February this year – all during daylight hours.

Murphy, who used to work at Fletcher’s Bakery, told the jury he exposed himself to ‘relieve himself’ after suffering setbacks in his life.