Cormac O’Keeffe: Kieran Creaven left a trail of destruction with acts of depravity

Cormac O’Keeffe: Kieran Creaven left a trail of destruction with acts of depravity

The trail of destruction and trauma Kieran Creaven has left behind can’t be erased by any prison sentence.

The 10 years he received at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, while, in legal terms, a relatively significant sentence, amounts to a year for each of his 10 charges.

The victims of his crimes ranged from babies to girls in their mid-teens and, in some of those cases, he travelled more than 11,000km to conduct his abuse.

These crimes – and those he was convicted of previously in Britain – are just the ones we know about.

Judge Melanie Greally said his behaviour was “degrading in the extreme” and involved “different degrees of depravity”.

Vigilantes

A sobering aspect of his case is that were it not for the role of vigilantes, or ‘paedophile hunters’, Kieran Creaven’s name would, most likely, never be known – nor his litany of crimes or the existence of his victims.

Just over four years ago, a group called Predator Exposure nabbed Creaven in a ‘sting’ operation outside a hotel in Leeds.

This was where he thought he was going to meet a girl, that he knew to be 13 years old, and intended to bring to a room he had booked.

The girl, with the name Keeley Nutton, was made up, created on Facebook by a mother in the vigilante group, to catch men trying to groom underage girls to sexually exploit or rape them.

Their confrontation with Creaven, a then RTÉ sports producer, was recorded and uploaded for the world to see by the group, who had also contacted local police.

When he was arrested by local police, Creaven had two boxes of condoms with him, a list of names of young girls and two mobile phones.

It subsequently emerged in the prosecution that he began grooming what he believed to be a real girl in July 2017 and continued it right up to his trip to Leeds.

Creaven had set up a fake profile on Facebook under the name of Jimmy Cee and made contact with Keely Nutton. Then aged 55, he told her he was in his 30s.

The prosecution said that “hundreds” of messages were sent and Creaven would flatter the girl, say “night night” and refer to her as “baby”.

The chats turned sexual and he told her he wished he could “smell your hair, kiss you and we’ll be together in the morning”.

He told her she looked “smouldering” in her profile picture.

She repeatedly told him she was 13.

At one stage, he sent her a photograph of his erect penis over Facebook Messenger. She told him she had never seen one before.

By October, he arranged to travel to Leeds, on the pretence of attending a Leeds United football match, and would take her to it, but the trip fell through. He set a new date in mid-November for the Queen’s Hotel, telling her she would need ID and that he would pretend to be her father.

Leeds Crown Court was told Creaven had an “addiction” to watching images of children being abused and this had been going on for a number of years. He said he watched videos of male and female children aged between eight and 17.

Leeds Crown Court was told Creaven had an ‘addiction’ to watching images of children being abused and this had been going on for a number of years. He said he watched videos of male and female children aged between eight and 17.

Creaven told police he had made online contact with 15 to 20 teenage girls, aged between 13 and 18.

In a further insight into his character, it turned out he tried to blackmail some of them by threatening to release information about them on Facebook.

He would offer at times to buy credit for girls’ phones so they could talk to him, but when they blocked him, he would get revenge, such as a post on Facebook that they had sent him naked photos.

The court heard Creaven’s wife, in a submitted letter, said he had been “in a dark place” for a number of years.

Creaven, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following grooming for a sexual purpose and of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

In March 2018, the trial judge told Creaven he had gone to “considerable lengths” in his attempt to meet the girl.

“You lost your job and your marriage has been shattered,” he said, imposing an 18-month sentence and subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order. 

Parallel investigation in Dublin

While all this was happening, a parallel investigation was continuing in Dublin, which had started after his ‘capture’ outside the Queen’s Hotel on November 17, 2017.

Specialist detectives from the Garda Online Child Exploitation Unit searched his home, on Adelaide Street, Dún Laoghaire, two days after his arrest. They also searched his office in RTÉ.

In the subsequent prosecution, Detective Garda Johanna Doyle said the warrant was obtained following Creaven’s arrest in England. A number of devices were seized and enquiries were made with Facebook, Skype and PayPal.

Two videos were found on a memory card, which revealed the depth of depravity Creaven had engaged in, many years before his attempt to trip to Leeds.

They showed him sexually assaulting a girl between the age of 10 and 12 in the Philippines in 2014. At times, another adult present took over the recording.

Creaven’s face was clearly visible as were his distinctive tattoos in the videos, 15 minutes and six minutes long respectively.

The videos were shot on two dates in October 2014 and involved the same child.

The horrific details don’t end there. There was a baby, aged under one, present on the first occasion who was lying on the same bed as the child Creaven was abusing. At one point, Creaven could be heard saying ‘Oh God, she is beautiful.” 

Gardaí found records of a Skype chat between Creaven and an account in the Philippines in November 2017.

During this chat, Creaven paid €40 to view a child’s private parts. He later told the adult operating the account that he was having trouble with his credit card and he asked for her address to send cash.

Gardaí discovered Creaven also engaged in sexual conversations with three children on Facebook in Ireland in June and July 2017.

He told one of the children: “After seeing your pic again, I’m a fair few years older than you, so probably shouldn’t be messaging you. My intentions are 100% naughty, ha.” 

He sent the children sexual images, graphic stories and videos, including photos of his erect penis.

One of the girls – then aged 16 – was in the care of Tusla at the time, the court heard.

Another of the children – a 14-year-old boy who was on Facebook under a girl’s name – told gardaí he almost vomited when Creaven sent him a video of a man masturbating. Creaven labelled it “a little spunky video for you”, the

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