Sex offender jailed for truck terror

| 27/11/2011

court house_1.JPG(CNS): A judge has sentenced a 38-year-old man to four years in jail after he subjected his date to a terrifying ordeal when she refused to have sex with him. Murphy Powell pleaded guilty to wrongful confinement and dangerous driving as a result of keeping a woman in his truck as he drove erratically across the length of Grand Cayman, taunting her after she rejected his advances. Justice Charles Quin said that although Powell, who already has several convictions for sexual related offences, did not physically harm the woman, it was clear “that the woman was frightened out of her wits” by the speed he was driving and because she had no idea what he planned to do to her.

A considerable part of his victim’s ordeal was recorded by 911 emergency services as she had the foresight to dial 911 on her cell phone, which she had in her bag, once her date with Murphy turned into a nightmare.

Colleen Cummings had spent the afternoon of Sunday, 31 January, on a date with Powell, in which they had gone to a few bars around Grand Cayman. As the afternoon turned into evening the victim said she wanted to go home. But when they finally departed from the eastern end of the island and began heading back to George Town, where the victim had parked her own car, Murphy turned to his date and told her that her that he was going to sleep with her that night. The woman refused, pointing out that they had only recently met and needed to get to know each other.

From that point on, Cummings said, Murphy changed and, after being perfectly well behaved throughout the date, began to be verbally abusive. He told her that if she was not going “to put out, then she should get out” of the truck, which he was by this time driving erratically at a frightening speed, making it impossible for his victim to escape.

In shock by the sudden turn of events but unable to get out of the car without risking her life as they charged towards South Sound, Cummings repeatedly told Murphy she would not sleep with him and asked him to stop the truck, which he would not do. As the defendant reached South Sound he turned the truck around and headed back east. She then dialled 911 on her phone and began engaging him in conversation to direct the attention of the operator to her plight and her location.

Her ordeal was then recorded for some 42 minutes as Murphy drove her to the High Rock area of East End, where he drove down a dark road and the woman said she was “distraught and hopeless” as the police had still not come to her aid. At this point the victim was afraid that she would be raped or even killed. Although the truck was not locked ,she could not get out as Murphy was driving dangerously fast.

Close to the quarry in the area, Murphy stopped the truck and ordered her outside, where she said it was pitch dark and she was far too afraid to get out. The defendant then started up the truck again and continued on his hair raising ride across the island taunting and verbally abusing his date.

As the truck reached Midland Acres Murphy spotted a police car and he sped up to some 90 miles an hour, and despite her pleas for him to slow down, he carried on at break-neck speeds through Bodden Town with no lights as the police gave chase.

Eventually the defendant appeared to become concerned and began to slow down as they approached Savannah and the victim seized the opportunity to jump from the truck. The defendant sped off.

The police continued to chase the defendant, who, despite crashing the truck, ignored the instructions of the police and continued speeding away. With more police in pursuit, the defendant continued driving dangerously weavingacross traffic and on the wrong side of the road into George Town, where the police ordered the cars in pursuit to stand down and the defendant escaped the authorities.

However, two weeks later he gave himself up to police and eventually admitted his guilt and apologised to his victim.  “I was doing stupidness and going too far,” Murphy admitted to the court, as he said he was vexed his date had refused to have sex with him and he had had too much to drink.

Although he did not physically harm his victim, Justice Quin said he had still subjected her to a terrifying ordeal as a result of her not knowing what the defendant was going to do and because of the sheer speed and dangerous manner in which he drove.

Referring to Murphy’s decision to take his victim to the quarry in East End, he said this was when she was in greatest fear for her safety. “This was wrongful confinement which caused extreme mental anguish … and the complainant experienced a nerve shattering ordeal from which she is still recovering,” the judge stated in his ruling.

The judge gave Murphy two and a half years in jail for the crime of wrongful confinement and a further 18 months to run consecutively for the dangerous driving, resulting in the four year sentence. He also gave a two year driving ban to begin after his release from prison. The court heard that Murphy had a number of previous convictions, including four for sexual assault and one for assault.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I saw a documentary about a year ago on Discovery Channel about serial rapists.  The study showed that they cannot be rehabilitated!!!!  So what is the answer? Castrate him or set him free again after his prison term and wait for it to happen again – which it will!!  The only thing is, that next time it might be murder as well!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Its public record that this guy has been found guilty & spent time in Northward for rape and attempted rape(s) in the past. As soon as he gets out it starts all over again.

    Please keep in there for good this time so no other woman has to ever endure his sick misconduct!

  3. Anonymous says:

    This individual should not see the light of day, it is a known fact that a rapist do not stop! the longest they go for according to statistics if maybe 3 – 6 months, then they start all over again.  It is sad to know that he was sentenced to such a short time and will be back amongst society to reek havoc on innocent women again.  No telling what he is capable of the next time he does this and believe me there will be a next time you can count on that, sadistical scum bag.  They should throw away the key on him.


    • Powell says:

      And if this was a family member of yours would you feel the same way?

      • Anonymous says:

        This doesn't have anything to do with being a family member or not. If his family is so concerned they should have done anything and everything to either attempt to get him proper rehabilitation off Island or keep close track on him to ensure he is not doing this kind of stuff to anyone else. How would you feel if he would do this to your daughter?

        Typical attitude in Cayman – because it is family lets try and pretend the problem doesn't exist or come up with all kine of excuses.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Another contender for the sex offender's registry!?

    • Anonymous says:

      He will be out in a short time and it will be the same old story, 'he raped or attempted to raped another'.  What do you do with these sick people?  Is prison the answer?  If it is then he should never see the light of day.  This is not the first time here and anywhere else.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This guy got more time in prison for driving dangerously than some people who killed  people driving drunk what gives?? can someone explain that to me.

  6. Ms Kiss says:

    This guy sames to be the only person the police can get convicted everytime and this CNS post as well as the CayCompass article very detailed indeed more detailed than most certainly in some on the recent conviction i have read It would appear a strong message is being sent to someone. Only sad that the same effort was not put in on keeping such people behind bars and not let out on bail or parole. I am curious how many men on this island have gotten away with this type behavior towards women because i have heard of similar situations where others have done it and get away with it.