Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How Did Killer Get House near School

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How Did Killer Get House near School

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Young

A convicted killer and child batterer from Scotland was given a council house in Newcastle despite his violent past.

A storm erupted today after families demanded to know how dangerman Brian Murphy ended up being rehoused in their neighbourhood.

Police say they told Newcastle City Council housing department he had recently been released after serving a prison sentence for a serious and violent offence.

But council officials insist they knew nothing about Murphy's criminal background, otherwise he would not have been allocated a house.

There was a call today for a full inquiry into the scandal.

Lib Dem housing spokesman Coun Greg Stone said: "I am very concerned about the implications of this particular case.

"I think the council should thoroughly review the procedures for vetting potential tenants.

"It's a shocking state of affairs and I'm amazed it was allowed to happen."

Murphy, now 29, was jailed for seven years in 1993 after knifing to death another teenager in Dundee after a row over a girl.

After his release he moved to Irvine in Ayrshire and it was there he was accused of a brutal assault on the two-year-old daughter of a woman he was living with in June 2002.

Murphy then moved to Tyneside to escape angry neighbours. The council gave him a house in Hillsview Avenue, Kenton, near families and a school.

But the burly scaffolder is now back behind bars after he was jailed for four years at Glasgow High Court last month for the assault on the little girl.

The council's Labour leader, Coun Tony Flynn, who represents the area where Murphy was re-housed, said: "This case raises major issues of concern.

"Whilst we have tightened up our approach I will be calling for a review together with our partners into this case."

Neighbours say Murphy moved in a year ago and disappeared in May.

Diane Smith, 34, and husband Robert, 42, live next door with their children Chloe, 12, Ryan, 10 and Declan, two, but knew nothing about Murphy's past until a couple of months ago when they saw a report in a Scottish newspaper. …

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