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Bill Murphy of Corner Brook jailed for sexually assaulting woman in her home

William Murphy of Corner Brook arrives in provincial court Wednesday to be sentencing for a sexual assault charge to which he pleaded guilty.
William Murphy of Corner Brook arrives in provincial court Wednesday to be sentencing for a sexual assault charge to which he pleaded guilty.

A Corner Brook man who sexually assaulted a woman he knows well has been given a year in prison.

William Murphy, who had entered a guilty plea to the single count of sexual assault filed against him in relation to the July 1 incident, was sentenced in provincial court Wednesday morning.

There was no victim impact statement, but Judge Kymil Howe said it was clear from the woman’s statement to police that the effect of the assault on her was significant, particularly because she was attacked by someone she knew while sleeping in the supposed safety of her own home.

The woman woke up to find 69-year-old Murphy on top of her and digitally penetrating her. He had her pinned down and, despite her objections and attempts to get him off her, the assault went on for about 35 minutes.

When he finally stopped and left, the court heard from police statements, she was too scared to call for help for a while because she didn’t know where Murphy had went.

Murphy was arrested the following day and has been in custody ever since. He was given an extra half-day credit for each of the 95 days he had spent in pre-sentence custody and will have to serve 222 more days as of Wednesday’s sentencing.

The Crown had asked for a prison term of between nine and 15 months, while the defence said a term of between eight and 11 months was more appropriate.

Howe said the one-year sentence was neither at the low nor the high range of sentencing options available. She said the assault was serious, but there were some mitigating factors, too. Those included the guilty plea, the appropriate expression of remorse and the acceptance of responsibility by Murphy since the incident.

Howe also noted a pre-sentence report done on Murphy revealed much about his life history, which included suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and showing signs of depression. Still, the judge said it is time for Murphy to take stock of his life and to cease inflicting trauma and stress on others.

The pre-sentence report also indicated this sexual assault does not seem to indicate there is a pattern of such behavior in Murphy’s life. He does have a prior conviction for assaulting a former intimate partner.

Besides the prison term, Murphy will be on probation for 12 months after his release and among the conditions are to have no contact with the woman he assaulted.

He will also be on the national sex offender registry for a period of 10 years and must provide authorities a sample of his DNA.

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