November 2019

Hemel Hempstead paedophile jailed for sickening acts including rape of a child

A paedophile has been jailed after committing a string of sickening crimes against children, including four counts of rape on a child under 13.

Andrew Murray, 43, from Hemel Hempstead, was jailed for 24-years today (Friday, November 8) at St Albans Crown Court for several counts of sexual offences.

Murray was previously found guilty by a jury for four counts of rape of a child under 13 on Friday, September 27, which accounted for 20 years of the 24-year sentence.

The court heard how Murray had committed multiple rapes and offences against two victims between February 2017 and March 2019.

Murray had also engaged in sexual communication via online chat with a child he believed was aged 13 between December 2018 and March 2019.

He was first arrested in March 2019 on suspicion of sexual communications with a child after an online child grooming activist group directly contacted the police without confronting Murray.

The group told officers that they had pretended to be a 13-year-old girl and engaged in online chat with Murray, who responded with decoy sexual messages and indecent images.

Murray was then arrested and, after further investigation, a rape and sexual offences relating to two victims under 13 were discovered.

He was further arrested and remanded before he pleaded not guilty ahead of the trial.

Judge Nigel Lithman QC said Murray’s actions were a “campaign of relentless and heartless abuse against two children”.

Murray will serve at least two thirds of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

His name will  also be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and he will be monitored closely under the Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for the rest of his life too.

Andrew Murray was given a 20-year custodial sentence with four years to be served on extended license.

On Friday, September 27, Murray was previously found guilty of:

  • Four counts of rape of a child under 13

  • Two counts of sexual assault of a child under 13

  • One count of causing a child to watch a sexual act

  • One count of attempting to commit a sexual assault by penetration on a child under 13

  • One count of assault of a child under 13 by penetration

  • One count of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity

  • One count of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child

  • Two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child