GUILTY PLEA |
Hutch-linked former cop jailed on drugs offences likely to face further charges
Former Garda superintendent caught with €260K of drugs stashed in his Dublin home
10th October 2022
The former senior garda jailed on drugs offences was still a serving officer when he was unexpectedly found socialising in a criminal’s house with cocaine on the table during a garda raid sources have said.
Former Superintendent John ‘Spud’ Murphy (63) was sentenced to six-and-a-half years behind bars this week after pleading guilty to possession of €260,000 worth of cannabis at his Dublin home last year and is likely to face further charges in relation to confidential information being passed onto the Hutch gang.
Gardaí were surprised to find the drugs when they arrested Murphy last September on suspicion of enhancing the ability of a criminal organisation to commit or facilitate a serious offence.
Murphy is suspected of working with the Hutch gang and providing them with confidential Garda information through his contacts in the force.
The investigation into leaking of information to the Hutch gang is ongoing and sources say there are expected to be further charges in the case. Two serving officers were suspended from the force as part of the investigation, but they have not been charged with any offences.
Murphy’s links to the Hutch gang are believed to stretch back to when he was still a serving officer.
He rose through the ranks to the position of superintendent before he unexpectedly retired early at the age of 50 in 2010.
Sources say he was encouraged to go early by senior officers who were worried by his behaviour.
There were several issues of concern about him while he was in the force.
Sources say one of the incidents related to officers unexpectedly coming across Murphy when they carried out a raid targeting a criminal figure.
“They went in and Spud was sitting at a table drinking with the target and a few women and there were lines of coke on the table.”
The source said some of the women present were suspected of being prostitutes.
The bizarre incident was just one of many which raised red flags about Murphy’s behaviour and is believed to have influenced his decision to retire early.
Murphy spent much of his career as a detective in Dublin and subsequently as a detective inspector in Raheny and Pearse Street before being promoted to superintendent, where he had a stint in Cavan before moving to traffic and eventually to the Bridewell station.
His handling of intelligence sources raised eyebrows in the force and he was subject to a number of internal disciplinary inquiries and had been fined for bringing the job into disrepute.
According to sources, during another incident, a drug dealer who was caught importing drugs into Ireland told the arresting officers that he was working as an informant for Murphy, who was aware of the operation.
The source said gardaí went to Murphy to demand to know why the informant wasn’t registered.
“He claimed that it was all upfront, but he couldn’t name the dealer because he refused to be officially registered and this was the only way he’d work with him. He was insisting he didn’t do anything wrong.”
Another one of Murphy’s sources was serious criminal Sean Dunne, from Donaghmede, in north Dublin, who went missing in Alicante in 2004 and is believed to have been murdered.
Dunne was a well-known figure in the underworld who graduated through the criminal ranks from armed robber to international drug trafficker at the time of his death.
Dunne’s drugs operation grew from strength to strength over the years and he amassed a multi-million euro fortune from criminality before his death.
Murphy also had a reputation for “squaring” road traffic tickets, particularly from his time in traffic onwards. Sources say he was one of the most prolific members of the force engaged in the practice of quashing motoring offences and would regularly ask regular gardaí to cancel tickets.
Despite rising to a high position in the force, Murphy found plenty of time for outside interests while still serving.
He owned six taxi plates, which at the time cost tens of thousands each and rented them out to drivers. While he garnered a high income from renting out the plates, he is understood to have lost money when deregulation came in and the value of the plates plummeted.
His barrister said this week that Murphy had to re-mortgage his house as a result of the loss on his investment. He also used to work as a barman in a pub in Malahide, north Dublin, while still in the force.
Sources described Murphy as “money hungry” and said he was always trying to make money through various business schemes
He was involved in several business ventures but his barrister claimed this week he had the opposite of the Midas touch and was currently hundreds of thousands of euro in debt.
When he retired from the force with a full pension in 2010 a host of well-known figures in Irish life turned up at a glitzy leaving party at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
He didn’t invite any of his friends from the criminal fraternity to the bash but forged even closer links to them after his retirement.
Gardaí started to investigate Murphy’s links to the Hutch crime gang some time before his arrest last September.
They were expecting to find evidence relating to the leaking of information to the Hutch gang but were surprised to find €260,000 worth of cannabis in the home, in Murphy’s car and the coal shed out the back.
While he admitted possession of the drugs immediately, the investigation into his leaking of information to the Hutch gang remains ongoing and further charges are likely to be brought.
It is understood evidence has been garnered from communication devices which implicates Murphy.