Larry Murphy: relation

RAPIST Larry Murphy's first cousin was rushed to hospital after having bleach thrown in his face following a row with another inmate at Dublin's Wheatfield Prison.

Thomas Dalton (29) of Deerpark House, Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, is currently serving a prison sentence for sexual assault.

It is understood Dalton became involved in a scuffle with another inmate in the prison's laundry. During the course of the row, the other inmate – an Albanian man also serving a sentence for a sexual offence – threw bleach in Dalton's face.

Dalton, a former soldier, was rushed to hospital. Initially, there were concerns for his sight but he has since recovered and is now back at the prison.

Dalton was jailed for 12 months last year for trying to force a woman to have oral sex with him.

He had pleaded not guilty to charges of oral rape and aggravated sexual assault of the woman in a laneway in Kilkenny city on 1 April 2005. The jury of five women and seven men took five hours and 38 minutes to return their verdict of not guilty of aggravated sexual assault but guilty of sexual assault on the final charge.

Dalton has 16 previous convictions for theft, road traffic offences and perjury.

Justice George Birmingham commented that his trial had "shown the criminal justice system to be unbalanced".

He noted Dalton had allowed an attack on the victim's character and background in the witness box when he knew his own, which included dishonesty and perjury, wouldn't be questioned.

Justice Birmingham said a "lengthy custodial sentence would have been inevitable" for Dalton had the jury delivered a guilty verdict on the serious charges of oral rape or aggravated sexual assault.

Instead the jury convicted Dalton of a more moderate sexual assault and the sentence must reflect the verdict, he added.

The ex-soldier is the first cousin of Larry Murphy, Ireland's most infamous sex offender, whose name has also been linked to the disappearance of women in the Dublin/Wicklow mountains.