May 2018

Folk singer Noel Murphy jailed for 1970s sex attack on tour

A folk singer who sexually assaulted a girl while on tour four decades ago has been jailed for 18 months.

Noel Murphy, 74, attacked his victim, who was 11 or 12 at the time, while touring north Wales in the 1970s.

Mold Crown Court heard she “lost control of her life” after her ordeal and had even contemplated suicide.

Murphy, who admitted three counts of indecent assault, had a minor UK hit in 1987 with the novelty song Murphy and The Bricks.

As well as the prison term, Ireland-born Murphy will be on the sex offenders register for the next 10 years.

The musician, who was once part of the band Murf and Shaggis, toured UK folk clubs in the 1960s and 1970s but quit music in 2005 due to health reasons.

In the late 70s, he appeared at a folk club in north Wales and was staying in the area.

The court heard that Murphy sexually assaulted the girl while “drunk” – in an attack that was described as “opportunistic”.

The girl told her mother immediately, but her family decided not to report the matter.

She finally reported the abuse in 2016 after realising she “had to confront it”, the court heard.

The woman later suffered from depression and felt angry at what had been done to her at such a young age.

Murphy, of Mullion in Cornwall, initially denied any wrongdoing.

However, on the day of his trial was due to start he changed his plea and admitted three charges of indecent assault.

However, despite defence pleas for a leniency, Judge Nicolas Parry said the offences were so serious that an immediate custodial term had to be passed.

Following the conclusion of the case, North Wales Police said the victim had showed great courage and bravery in coming forward.

Det Con Arwel Thomas said : “No matter how many years have passed we pursue those who commit such crimes and will bring them before the courts.”

Irish singer and actor sexually assaulted young girl while on North Wales tour

A retired Irish folk singer and actor has been warned to expect a prison sentence after he admitted sexually assaulting a young girl almost 40 years ago.

The offences are said to have happened when Noel Murphy, 74, was visiting North Wales as part of his singing career.

Murphy was well-known on the folk scene in the 1960s and 70s and toured as Murf and Shaggis for two years before the group became Draught Porridge. He was also an actor and appeared regularly on TV and radio during the period.

The assault against the girl took place in the late 70s when he made an appearance at a folk club at Mold and was staying in the area.

The victim, who was aged less than 14 at the time was sexually assaulted by Murphy in a house during this visit, Mold Crown Court heard.

The woman, now in her late 40s, made a recent complaint and Murphy initially denied the allegations

But today at Mold Murphy changed his plea and admitted three counts of indecent assault

The jury formally found him guilty at the direction of Judge Niclas Parry.

His barrister Deni Matthews said Murphy was a man of good character who was approaching 75 and whose health was not as good as it could be.

He said Murphy also cared for his daughter who had a significant disability.

Judge Parry said that he would still receive some credit in sentence because the complainant had not had to give evidence.

He would not ignore the fact that he was a man of previous good character.

Judge Parry bailed the defendant for sentence at the end of May but told him “I would be misleading you if I did not tell you to put your affairs in order in readiness for a custodial sentence.”

Murphy, 74, of Mullion in Cornwall, originally pleaded not guilty in December to three charges of indecent assault dating back to the late 1970s in the Mold area on a girl aged under 14.