Father denies raping girl, 17, in Sheffield woods

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A DAD accused of dragging a 17-year-old girl into woods in Sheffield and raping her has denied the sex attack and told a jury: “I’m no rapist.”

Liam Murphy, aged 34, told jurors at Sheffield Crown Court he was at home with his eight-year-old daughter and his terminally ill mother at the time of the attack in May.

Giving evidence in his defence Murphy, of Holgate Close, Parson Cross, admitted he had four convictions for indecently exposing himself in Scraith Wood, Shirecliffe, where the attack happened.

The incidents happened in 2006, 2009, 2011 and February this year.

He said when things had gone wrong in his life, exposing himself in the woods was his way of ‘relieving pressure’ but he denied being the rapist.

Murphy told the jury: “I’m no rapist. I have had a few bad moments in my life but I did not attack this lady, I feel sorry for her. I was in my house with my daughter.”

Fiona Swain, prosecuting, said the teen was attacked on her way home from a party she had been to in the Herries Road area with her boyfriend.

He had walked her part of the way home and she had assured him she would be alright to walk the last stretch.

But she was grabbed and dragged into Scraith Wood where she was raped.

Murphy, a warehouse worker, said on the night of the attack he’d been at his mother’s home on Adkins Drive, Southey Green, with his daughter and his sick mother who had an incurable brain tumour.

He said they had watched Ice Age 2 on television and then he watched the second half of the Champions League final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Murphy added: “Afterwards I had a quick tidy up, a drink of juice and I went to bed.”

Asked by his barrister Sarah Porter if he’d left the house at any time that evening, he said: “No.”

Asked if he would have left his daughter in the house alone with his mother, he said: “No.”

Murphy said he did not know why he had indecently exposed himself but added the incidents had happened when he had suffered setbacks in his life such as being suspended from work, splitting up with his partner and his mother’s diagnosis.

The trial continues.