Three months jail for assault
Former Christian Brother Garry Creevey outside Cork District Court yesterday. photograph: daragh mcsweeney/cork courts
A former Christian Brother has been sentenced to 12 months in prison with nine months suspended after he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a young boy in a school in Cork city more than 40 years ago.
Garry Creevey (65) pleaded guilty to one count of indecently assaulting the boy in the North Monastery Primary School in Cork between September 1971 and July 1972.
Yesterday at Cork District Court, Judge Con O’Leary noted that Creevey, Citywest, Saggart, Co Dublin, had pleaded guilty to a similar offence at the school in 1971.
Judge O’Leary noted that in 2004, he had imposed a six-month sentence on Creevey but suspended it given his previous good record and a report from a sex abuse counsellor at the Granada Institute, which said he was at a low risk of reoffending.
However, Judge O’Leary also noted there was some ambiguity regarding Creevey’s remorse as a recent probation report, although assessing him as being at low risk of reoffending, also found he had “a poor level of insight into his personal responsibility” for his behaviour.
Creevey’s solicitor Frank Buttimer said his client had shown genuine and sincere remorse in this case, as evidenced by his co-operation with gardaí and his early guilty plea.
Mr Buttimer said a report from the Granada Institute in 2004 considered Creevey a low-risk offender and that nothing had occurred since then to change that.
Mr Buttimer said this offence occurred about the same time as the previous offence, which gave an indication of his client’s view at the time as to what was acceptable behaviour, but that had now changed considerably as a result of extensive counselling.
He said had the current complaint come to light at the same time as the previous complaint, it could well have been dealt with with the other complaint for which he received the suspended sentence in 2004.
Judge O’Leary said the consequence of the second complaint coming to light at the same time as the first complaint would have been the possibility of a custodial sentence being imposed, given that there would then have been two victims.
Mr Buttimer argued that given mitigating factors such as Creevey’s co-operation with gardaí, his guilty plea, his age and health problems including a heart condition, he believed the case could be dealt with without a custodial sentence.
However, Judge O’Leary said that, while he accepted the genuineness of Creevey’s remorse, both victims were “certainly very vulnerable persons” and he sentenced him to 12 months in jail. He suspended the final nine months on condition he keep the peace for two years.