My mum did not plot to murder me, says stabbing victim

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10 November 2016 3:57PM

A stabbing victim whose mother has been convicted of being part of a plot to have him murdered says she is innocent.

Tony Murphy, 26, was lucky to survive the horrifying late-night knife attack by his younger brother Gary, who plunged a knife into his neck at their mother’s home in Copeland Avenue, Whitehaven, on April 15.

Gary, 22, later admitted attempted murder.

Their mother Alison Murphy, 52, who called an ambulance after the stabbing, was later also charged with attempted murder because police found evidence she had earlier sent a series of incriminating text messages to Gary.

A Carlisle Crown Court jury heard that in one message, sent an hour before the knife attack, Alison Murphy told her youngest son: “I definitely think he should be killed.”

She denied attempted murder, but the text messages were part of the key evidence that persuaded the jury to unanimously convict her. A judge has warned her she is facing years in jail.

Now, in an astonishing turn of events, Tony Murphy, who is still living in Whitehaven, says his mother is the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

“Her conviction is completely wrong,” he said.

“This is a terrible situation.

“She’s a great mother and she’s never been in any kind of trouble before. There’s nothing that justifies her being in prison. She’s always helped me out whenever I’ve needed help, financially or emotionally.

“I’ve always been able to go to her when I needed somebody to talk to. My mum always took us on great holidays and she moved so that we could go to the best schools.

“She’s devoted her whole life to me and my brother.

“What’s happened is a miscarriage of justice.”

Tony Murphy’s intervention is all the more surprising because he was the chief prosecution witness in his mother’s trial.

The pivotal evidence centred on the text messages which the prosecution said she sent to Gary before the stabbing.

In court, his mother’s defence barrister quizzed Tony, suggesting that it was in fact he who sent those seemingly incriminating messages to Gary, possibly as part of an attempt to “wind him up”.

Tony told the jury that he couldn’t remember what happened that day because he had been drunk. But he did recall his mother’s efforts to stem his bleeding.

Alison Murphy herself told police that she could “possibly” have sent the message about killing Tony “in the heat if the moment”.

But with the trial now complete and his mother convicted and awaiting sentence, Tony Murphy said that he is “entirely sure” that he did indeed send those messages to Gary.

He said: “It wasn’t clear whether I’d sent them or not.

“I said I couldn’t remember. But after I’d had a chance to read them and think about it I realised that I definitely did send those texts. My poor mum is the real victim.

“I was very drunk.”

Pressed on whether he was truly sure that he had definitely sent the incriminating texts, Tony replied: “I’m 100 per cent sure it was me.”

Because his mother was charged with attempting to murder him, he has been unable to see her while she is being held in prison.

“I just want to hug her – and tell her that I love her,” he said. “When I saw her behind the window in the dock I just kept thinking she shouldn’t be there.”

He plans to contact his mother’s defence team in the hope of securing a retrial and one day clearing her name.

Speaking of his brother Gary, Tony said: “I thought things were okay between us.”

Asked if he could ever forgive his brother, he replied: “Yes.

“He’s my brother – but I need to know why he did it.”

In court, the trial heard that Gary became preoccupied with wanting to end his own life and had a desire to “take somebody with him”, or kill somebody he hated.

In the seconds before he was stabbed, Tony had mistakenly thought that Gary was trying to give him a hug.

It was only when the knife blade struck him that Tony realised what was happening. He then grappled with Gary as he fought for his life.

The wound partially severed his jugular vein and he lost a litre and a half of blood.

“How could he do this to his own brother?” asked Tony. “There’s obviously something wrong.

“But my mother is innocent. It’s very upsetting.”

Both Alison and Gary Murphy are due to be sentenced at a Carlisle Crown Court hearing on a date yet to be decided.

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