Northern Ireland news

Irish TV producer tricked into travelling to Britain to meet '13-year-old girl' jailed for 18 months

Kieran Creaven arriving at Leeds Crown Court yesterday. Picture by RTE

IRISH TV producer Kieran Creaven, who was tricked by a 'paedophile hunter' group into travelling to Britain to meet what he thought was a 13-year-old girl, has been jailed for 18 months.

Creaven (55), who worked as a sports producer for RTE, flew from Dublin to Leeds to meet the "girl" he had groomed outside the city's Queens Hotel.

But the fictional teenager - Keeley Nutton - had been created by Leeds-based group Predator Exposure.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday how the married man was living in a "cyber-world of internet pornography".

Kitty Colley, prosecuting, said he told police he viewed sex abuse images of children as young as eight.

He admitted he had made online contact with 15 to 20 teenage girls, aged between 13 and 18, blackmailing some of them by threatening to release information about them on Facebook.

The prosecutor said Creaven thought he was flying to meet Keeley on November 18, after inviting her to stay in the Queens Hotel and go to a Leeds United match with him.

He had made a fake online profile, telling the girl he was a man in his late 30s called Jimmy Cee.

The prosecutor said the pair exchanged hundreds of messages between July and November last year.

Creaven was jailed after pleading guilty at a previous hearing to attempting to meet a child following grooming for a sexual purpose and of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity, namely kissing and cuddling.

A spokesperson for NSPCC Northern Ireland last night said Creaven's victim "may have been fictitious, but the threat he poses to children is very real".

"The effects of sexual abuse can last a lifetime and – where there are real-life victims – significant help and support will be required.

"This case shows just how vital it is for parents and others talk to children about how to stay safe online.

"Online safety advice is available on our Net Aware and Share Aware websites, or via the NSPCC and O2's online safety helpline on 0808 800 5002."

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