Man gets 18 months for soliciting another to kill his estranged wife

 

A Dublin man has been jailed for 18 months for soliciting another person to kill his estranged wife. John Creighton (50), of Kiltipper Road, Tallaght, offered £5,000 to a man at Rumours nightclub in O'Connell Street, Dublin, to kill his wife, Gloria (44).

Creighton, who has spina bifida and has walked with the aid of crutches since he was a child, pleaded guilty to soliciting on March 26th, 1998, to have his wife murdered.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Judge Patrick McCartan said: "This is a case where a custodial sentence must be imposed." Imposing sentence, Judge McCartan said he would take Creighton's age and physical disability into account. But "I can't connect your matrimonial difficulties to the acrimonious ending of your wife's life. It is also quite clear that your wife, as well as your children, have been severely traumatised by your actions."

Det Garda Oliver Gavin told Mr Des Zaidan, prosecuting, that the man solicited by Creighton went to Store Street station and reported the matter. Creighton was arrested on March 28th, 1998, following a Garda surveillance operation. Ms Creighton broke down in tears as she told the court she suffered great trauma as a result and was afraid he might try it again. Ms Creighton said that following a divorce settlement in June 1998 she got interim custody of four of their five children.

Garda Gavin said Creighton told the man he met in the nightclub he wanted his wife "taken out" because she was putting him under severe financial pressure as a result of their legal separation. He told the man she wanted possession of their family home as well as property in Mayo.

Garda Gavin told Mr Zaidan the two met again the following night and the man said he would do it but it would cost Creighton a £5,000 down payment and £10,000 after the murder.

The man reported the matter to the gardai and said they were to meet in a disco bar the following night to finalise the deal. Detectives immediately set up a surveillance operation.

They met in the disco and Creighton drove the man to Marlborough Street, where he handed him five brown envelopes each containing £1,000 in cash, and which he gave later to the gardai.

Creighton subsequently made a full statement admitting his involvement. He said he was glad she had not been killed because he wouldn't have been able to live with himself. Mr Barry White SC, defending, pleaded with Judge McCartan to be lenient because of Creighton's medical problems which included heart disease and angina, as well as spina bifida. Mr White also asked him to bear in mind the sentiments his client expressed in his statement, which displayed great remorse and feelings that he still had for his wife.

Judge McCartan concluded it was a serious offence and one which carried a heavy penalty, but there were mitigating factors that had to be explored.