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Gardai arrest known rapist -- then judge sets him free

A high-profile Dublin rapist was arrested by gardai -- only to be released on bail 24 hours later.

Violent sex attacker Gerard Creighton, from Crumlin, was was let go from custody despite gardai expressing the fear that he is a "flight risk".

The decision to bail the rapist and kidnapper -- who is accused of failing to inform gardai of a change of address -- was described as "very concerning" by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

The 41-year-old was arrested at a city hotel on Wednesday after moving address without telling authorities, which he was required to do under the Sex Offenders Act.

When he was brought to the district court, Judge Patrick Clyne granted him bail, despite garda objections.

The judge issued an order preventing the media from publishing details of the rapist's location, saying this was for "the protection of third parties".

Creighton was released from prison early, last January, after serving just seven years of a nine-year sentence for the rape and unlawful detention of a woman in 1998.

Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop, chief executive of the Rape Crisis Centre, told the Herald that Creighton's non-adherence to his early release conditions was a "very serious" matter.

"The fact that he is given bail, we would question that because the whole area of giving bail is an area that needs to be looked at in general. But in a specific situation with sex offenders, we believe if a sex offender breaks the requirements (of the legislation), there is something wrong there. They are not committed so that would be worrying from our perspective," Ms O'Malley-Dunlop said.

She added: "We would be very concerned that a sex offender would be given bail in these circumstances."

At the district court hearing, last Thursday, Judge Clyne prohibited reporting of the garda station Creighton will now have to sign on at, also to protect third parties.

Ms O'Malley-Dunlop said: "I think that the people who need to know where he lives are the probation services and the gardai.

"We would trust that the probation services and gardai -- they are the ones appropriately trained to supervise. Obviously this man broke his supervision order, he broke the terms of the legislation and the gardai, rightly, arrested him so he is being properly supervised."

She added: "We really feel it's imperative that any sex offender leaving jail should be risk assessed before leaving."

Creighton, with previous addresses at Cashel Street and Sundrive Road in Crumlin, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for the rape and unlawful detention of a woman in 1998.

He was released from jail in January 2010 after serving only seven years.

He was under a post-release supervision order but the High Court heard this week he had failed to disclose a change of address and did not attend several meetings with the Probation and Welfare Service.

Creighton's disappearance sparked a garda hunt that ended when he was arrested at a north Dublin hotel on Wednesday.

hnews@herald.ie