A Derbyshire man who drove to Suffolk to sexually assault an 11-year-old boy he met online has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.
The National Crime Agency obtained intelligence leading to an investigation into David Alexander Murphy, 40, from Derby, which showed he sent money to his victim after meeting him in person.
He was found to have used an Irish passport in the name of ‘Alex McClean’ to open a PayPal account, and further enquiries showed he topped this up from another account.
NCA officers spoke to the boy who confirmed he had met a man called ‘Alex’ from Derby online in the spring of 2021. The conversations soon moved to WhatsApp, and Murphy sent intimate photos of himself and asked the boy to do the same.
On 1 June of that year, Murphy drove to Suffolk and met the boy in a village. He took him to a wooded area where he sexually assaulted him.
The boy gave a description of Murphy and recalled that he had driven in a car with a logo on the side. Officers were able to evidence this had been hired from a car club that Murphy belonged to in Derby.
NCA investigators arrested Murphy in March this year.
A specialist team searched his house and found two Irish passports behind a hanging picture, one in the name of Murphy and another in the name of McClean.
Possessing the passport and the bank card in a different name were breaches of his sex offenders register notification requirements.
Having unsupervised contact with the boy, and his failure to notify the police of the devices capable of storing data, also breached the sexual harm prevention orders he received for offences committed in 2012 and 2017.
Murphy appeared at Derby Crown Court today (6 October) where he was sentenced to six years and eight months imprisonment, extended by six years for dangerousness. He was placed on the Sex Offender Register for life and given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
He pleaded guilty during a hearing at the same court on 16 June to inciting a boy under 13 to engage in sexual activity, meeting a boy under 16 following sexual grooming, four counts of breaching a sexual harm prevention order and three counts of failing to comply with sex offenders register notification requirements.
NCA Operations Manager Danielle Pownall said: “David Murphy took his time to groom a vulnerable child online and even offered money to meet him in person.
“The actions of Murphy, an unrepentant child sex offender, were premeditated and devious.
“I would like to thank the young boy abused by Murphy for his bravery in speaking to us and helping to put a dangerous criminal behind bars.
“The NCA will continue to protect the public, particularly children, from the harm caused by online child sexual abuse.”
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Murphy is a dangerous child sexual offender who used social media as a tool in his latest bid to offend - grooming and abusing a young boy. The ease with which Murphy was able to use social media to commit these crimes is hugely concerning, and highlights the importance of the Online Safety Bill, which will soon become law. The legislation will require tech firms to design their sites with children’s safety as a priority.
In 2012 Murphy sexually assaulted a boy and given a 12-month suspended prison sentence. In 2017 he was jailed for two years after admitting distributing indecent photographs of children.
The NCA’s CEOP Education programme supports parents, carers, children and the professionals to ensure young people have safe and positive experiences online.
Anyone being pressured or threatened into sending sexual images or videos online should remove themselves immediately from the conversation, not respond further to any contact, and report the matter to police or a trusted adult.
There are a range of resources available on our website, thinkuknow.co.uk, for adults – to support them in navigating the online world and conversations about it with their children, and children themselves – to help build their resilience online and learn what to do if something doesn’t seem right.
06 October 2023