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The Canadian Press Staff. Douglas Snelgrove sits prior to the start of his trial at a St. John's school on Wednesday, September 16, John's courtroom Thursday, a woman testified that she thought she'd be safe getting a ride home from a police officer after a night of drinking with friends in December The woman, who was 21 years old at the time, said she remembers being drunk, letting the officer into her home, and kissing him.
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Murphy, 60, had pleaded guilty to the charge, as well a charge of breaching a court order and two counts of failing to show up at court as required. On Monday, provincial court Associate Chief Judge Mike Madden accepted a t submission from the Crown and defence lawyers for a sentence of time served. Prosecutor Robin Singleton told the court she would have requested a sentence of three years in prison for Murphy if the matter had gone to trial and he had been convicted.
By law, judges are required to accept a t submission on sentencing unless it would bring the justice system into disrepute or would be contrary to public interest. Even then, they are required to provide detailed reasons for rejecting the submission.
However, considering the circumstances of the offence and the offender, and mindful of the case law regarding t submissions, I do not find that the submissions of counsel are so markedly out of line with the expectations of reasonable persons aware of the circumstances of the case that they would view it as a breakdown in the proper functioning of the justice system.
Madden said he had considered the quid pro quo — the give and take — of the Crown and defence in agreeing to the t submission. Murphy had been prepared to argue self-defence and present text messages he said would dispute some of the allegations if the case had gone to trial, Madden noted.
Woman testifies she was sexually assaulted by newfoundland and labrador officer
The complainant was spared the emotional turmoil of having to testify. The charges against Murphy were laid last September, after the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary received a report of a woman attempting to flag down motorists on Paradise Road in Paradise in the middle of the night. Police located her, crying, shivering and with bruises, swelling and blood on her face and marks on her neck and arms.
She told them Murphy had picked her up from her residence hours earlier and had a history of getting her drunk in order to try to take advantage of her.
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That night he had given her alcohol before trying to initiate sex with her, she said, and when she refused he punched her before dragging her by her hair. The woman gave a statement to police the next day, saying she was unable to remember parts of the night before.
Madden had initially expressed concerns with the t submission. Murphy is well-known to police: his criminal record spans three provinces, and the RNC had gone as far as to issue a public warning, calling Murphy a high-risk offender two years ago, when he was released from Dorchester Penitentiary after serving a sentence for sex crimes against young females.
Police said they had reasonable grounds to believe Murphy would commit another violent sexual offence, and noted his prior convictions include sex offences against vulnerable females to whom he had supplied drugs and alcohol. In addition to time served, Madden sentenced Murphy to a lifetime firearms ban, ordered him to provide a DNA sample to police and gave him two years of probation, with conditions that include him staying a foot radius away from the woman and having no contact with her, as well as attending counselling.
Tara Bradbury reports on justice and the courts in St. Start your Membership Now. Your home for the news shaping Canada's East Coast. Close Search. Branded Content Connect Collaborate Prosper. Subscribe now in My Log out.
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