“Edward Murphy’s Shocking Offending: A Decade of Indecent Exposure Including Offenses in Front of a Child”

Edward Patrick Murphy, a 77-year-old man from Windslow Park, Carrickfergus, who has a clear criminal record, is facing a jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to exposing his genitals on 24 separate occasions over a span of nine years. Crown prosecutors are considering whether to proceed with two similar counts that Murphy has denied. Prosecutors also confirmed that one of his offences involved a child, which is the reason why Murphy has to sign the sex offenders’ register. The length of time he will have to remain on the list will be determined at a later date.

During the hearing at Belfast Crown Court on Tuesday, Murphy confirmed his identity to a court clerk as he was charged with a total of 26 offences. He was charged with two separate similar crimes against the same female, which involved engaging in sexual activity for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, knowing a child under 13 was present, between July 23, 2014, and July 24, 2016. When charged with the two counts, Murphy replied “not guilty” to both.

Murphy was then charged with 24 separate counts of intentionally exposing his genitals, intending that someone would see them and be caused alarm or distress. All the offences were carried out over a nine-year period, spanning from July 23, 2013, to April 28, 2022, and he pleaded guilty to all 24 counts.

At his home, which is well-presented with a manicured lawn and well-tended-to hanging baskets of flowers, Murphy was calm and courteous when asked about his offences. He refused to comment on what possessed him to expose himself on 24 occasions, saying “I won’t comment on that at this stage, but thanks very much for asking.” One resident, who knows Murphy, expressed shock at his behaviour and said “Nobody can believe he’s done this kind of thing. He comes across so gentle and decent. When we read the things he had done, it was a real shock. He’s always out in the garden looking after it, and he keeps himself to himself—or at least we thought he did, but apparently he doesn’t.”

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The Crown prosecutor, Natalie Pinkerton, told Judge Geoffrey Miller KC that Murphy was required to sign the sex offenders’ register automatically because one of his offences involved a child. The length of time on the register will be determined later. Pinkerton also asked for some time to consider the Crown’s position regarding the two offences denied by Murphy and whether a trial would be necessary. The judge said he would review the case and ordered Murphy to stand. He told him: “You have now entered not guilty pleas to the first two counts and guilty pleas to the remaining 24. The prosecution will reach a decision as to whether they wish a trial to proceed on those first two counts, and that will be communicated to the court on Thursday of this week.” The hearing scheduled for Thursday was postponed until a later date. After being informed that Murphy had a clear criminal record, Judge Miller told him “You are free to go at this time.”

The case of Edward Murphy highlights the importance of thoroughly screening employees and volunteers who will work with vulnerable groups, such as children, to prevent similar incidents from happening. Organizations must ensure that all employees, regardless of their age or background, undergo criminal record checks and personality assessments, to identify any potential risks and prevent any abuse or exploitation of vulnerable groups. Regular monitoring and training of employees and volunteers would also help in mitigating potential risks and creating a safe and secure environment for everyone.

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