RTÉ producer’s social media history to be examined by Garda
Officers seize devices at home of Kieran Creaven who is charged with sex offences in UK
Kieran Creaven: It is alleged he made contact via a Facebook account with a girl in Leeds that he thought was 13 years old
Gardaí are to examine the social media history of an Irish man charged with sex offences in the UK to determine if any offences were committed in the Republic.
The Dublin home of Kieran Creaven has already been visited by gardaí and a number of electronic devices were seized. They will now be studied by Garda personnel in an effort to determine whether any offences were committed using them.
Search warrants were expected to be sought to examine the 55-year-old married man’s use of social media messaging. It is alleged he made contact via a Facebook account with a girl in Leeds that he thought was 13 years old.
Garda sources said a study of that account would now be a central part of the inquiry to determine if any other alleged criminal activity was identified.
The RTÉ TV producer’s travel history also forms part of the criminal inquiry. The Garda will crosscheck his social media messaging activity against his travel history in a bid to determine if there is any possible link to alleged crimes abroad.
Mr Creaven, who has no criminal record, appeared in court in the UK on Monday accused of grooming a child for sexual activity. He also faces a second charge of attempting to cause or incite the child to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity.
Fake online identity
It is alleged he flew from Ireland to meet up at the Queens Hotel in Leeds with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl. This person was in fact a fake online identity created by a group which seeks to expose adults trying to contact children for sexual purposes.
Members of the group confronted him on the street in Leeds on last Saturday, November 18th. They broadcast the confrontation and their exchange with him live on Facebook until the local police arrived on the scene.
Mr Creaven was then arrested. He was held in police custody on Saturday and Sunday night ahead of his court appearance.
The court heard the offences were said to have taken place from July 1st – when the defendant first contacted the “girl” – to last Saturday when he arrived at the hotel in Leeds.
He was bailed on Monday to appear at Leeds Crown Court on December 19th.
He has also been suspended by RTÉ.
His bail conditions are that he resides at an address in Ireland given to the court, that he has no unsupervised contact with any child aged under 16 and, if requested by police, that he hand over any device that is internet-enabled to them.
Meanwhile, two men living in Co Louth have been interviewed by gardaí after they were confronted on the streets in separate incidents last weekend.
In similar tactics used by the vigilante group that confronted Mr Creaven, another group challenged two men on Sunday – one at his home and another at a public location.
The videos of the confrontations were broadcast live online. Members of the vigilante group accused them of exchanging sexually explicit messages via Facebook with users they believed were underage girls.
However, the vigilantes claimed the men were actually in contact with decoy accounts purporting to be young girls.
The men have been spoken to by the Garda and have given statements, though neither was arrested. Electronic devices have also been taken for examination as part of the inquiry.