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Former RTÉ producer videoed himself sexually abusing a child in the Philippines, court hears

He called the child “beautiful” during the assault.

Image: RTE

FORMER RTÉ PRODUCER, Kieran Creaven, videoed himself sexually abusing a child in the Philippines while saying she was “beautiful”, a court heard today.

The 59-year-old said, via a letter of apology to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, that he was glad he was arrested because it took him away from the “dark and disturbing spiral” his mind had entered.

Creaven had pleaded guilty to offences in 2017 following his arrest in Leeds as a result of a vigilante group’s sting operation. The former sports producer had been trying to meet a child for sexual activity. He was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.

Last year, Creaven, of Adelaide Street, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, was charged by the Gardaí for a number of offences relating to child exploitation, sexual assault and possession of child abuse material.

He pleaded guilty to 10 counts, including four of child exploitation, two of sexually assaulting a child and four of child pornography. The offences took place in Ireland, the UK and the Philippines in 2014 and 2017.

Creaven has been in custody since October last year. He appeared before the court through a video link for his sentence hearing today.

Upon his arrest in 2017, a home search was conducted, Detective Garda Johanna Doyle told Keirda Naidoo SC, prosecuting. A number of devices were seized by gardaí, who also contacted Facebook, Skype and Paypal, among other online companies.

The court heard that on one memory card, two videos showed Creaven videoing himself sexually assaulting a girl between the ages of 10 and 12 in the Philippines in 2014. Another adult was present and recorded the video at times.

His “distinctive tattoos” made Creaven identifiable, as well as the fact that his face was clearly visible.

Both videos involved the same child and were shot on different dates in October 2014. In the first, a baby under the age of one was present and on the same bed as the child who Creaven had abused. At one stage, he could be heard asking the child to look at him as he sexually assaulted her, and said, “Oh God, she is beautiful.”

During the investigation, gardaí found records of a Skype chat in which Creaven had paid €40 to view the private parts of a child. He later told the adult operating the account that he was having trouble with his credit card, asking for an address to send the cash to instead.

Creaven also engaged in sexual conversations with three children in Ireland through Facebook in June and July 2017, gardaí discovered.

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.

One of the children, a 14-year-old boy who was on Facebook under a girl’s name, told gardaí that he almost vomited when Creaven sent a video of a man masturbating, with the label, ‘a little spunky video for you’. The boy left the platform after that and never reopened the account.

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Child abuse images and videos, including one involving a two-year-old, were found on a USB key that had been seized from Creaven in the UK.

There were no victim impact statements from any children in court.

Detective Garda Doyle said that she “begged” Creaven to give her more information on who the child in the Philippines was during an interview by the gardaí in 2019, but he made no comment.

Earlier this year, however, Creaven met with the detective in prison and gave more information. The child has not been identified despite this.

In his letter to the court, Creaven wanted to offer his sincere apologies to those he hurt, in particular, the girl in the Philippines.

He said he had lost touch with his “moral compass”.

Judge Melanie Greally will sentence Creaven on 3 December.

About the author:

Isabel Hayes

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