herald

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Disgraced RTE man admits he groomed '13-year-old girl' for sex

Kieran Creaven is filmed by a member of the Predator Exposure group arriving at court. Photo: Mark Condren/Independent News & Media
Kieran Creaven is filmed by a member of the Predator Exposure group arriving at court. Photo: Mark Condren/Independent News & Media

RTE sports producer Kieran Creaven faces a maximum of 14 years in an English prison for grooming and inciting a "child" to engage in sexual activity.

The 55-year-old admitted the offences when he appeared before Leeds Crown Court in West Yorkshire yesterday.

The grooming took place over a four-month period, in which he sent vile messages to a "13-year-old girl".

However, the "girl" was an adult member of a vigilante group acting as a decoy.

Creaven was arrested last month after he was confronted in Leeds city centre by Predator Exposure, a group of paedophile hunters, in a sting operation.

He arrived at Leeds Crown Court shortly before 9.30am and admitted attempting to meet or communicate with a 13-year-old girl following grooming.

This offence carries a maximum prison term of 10 years under the UK Sexual Offences Act 2003.

He also admitted attempting to engage or inciting a girl aged between 13 and 15 to engage in sexual activity.

This carries a maximum prison term of 14 years.

Guilty

Both offences were committed between July 1, when Creaven began speaking online with the decoy, and November 18, when he was confronted in Leeds as he tried to meet a child.

The RTE producer spoke in court to confirm his name, nationality and date of birth. He was asked if he was Kieran Creaven, and responded, "I am".

When the two charges were read out, Creaven responded "guilty" to both counts.

His solicitor stated that they would be contesting aspects of the case in relation to Creaven attempting to meet a 13-year-old girl at the Queens Hotel in Leeds city centre.

Defence counsel stated that details relating to the hotel were "not accepted" and that messages exchanged between Creaven and the decoy would "explain the full situation".

He also said that police would assist with compiling the psychologist's report.

Judge Peter Collier stated that Creaven would receive "credit for his guilty plea" and adjourned the matter for sentencing on February 12.

Creaven was remanded on continuing bail on the condition that he resides at an address given to the court, that he has no unsupervised contact with children under 16 and that he makes any devices with internet capabilities available to British police if requested.

It means that the disgraced national broadcaster employee will be a free man over Christmas.

Wearing a black overcoat, a black woolly hat and a scarf partially covering his face, Creaven refused to comment after leaving court.

An earlier hearing heard how Creaven told the girl he was "horny" during a stream of perverted texts.

Laptop

When the Herald asked RTE if Creaven would be sacked, it said: "[We are] not in a position to comment today, but will be making a statement shortly."

It is expected gardai will take more than six months to analyse a laptop computer and other devices seized from Creaven's Dublin home.

The gardai investigation is being led by the Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB) backed by the Garda Cyber Crime Bureau (GCCB).

"It will be many months before a full analysis of the devices will be complete," a senior source said last night.

"Only then will a decision be made as to how best to proceed with this investigation."

Gardai have also been in contact with social media company Facebook in an attempt to find out who Creaven had been in contact with before he was arrested in Leeds.

Predator Exposure has claimed that the now-deleted Facebook profile linked to Creaven had more than 50 friends, most of whom appeared to be schoolgirls.

The group expects gardai to liaise with foreign police forces as part of their investigation because Creaven made many overseas trips in recent years.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News