Portadown paedophile has conviction appeal thrown out


A convicted paedophile jailed for molesting three young girls over a two-year period has failed in a bid to clear his name.

Henry Creaney, 58, was seeking to overturn verdicts that he subjected the victims to a catalogue of abuse at his home in Portadown, Co Armagh.

But judges at the Court of Appeal rejected claims that an unbalanced charge to the jury cast doubt over the safety of the convictions.

Creaney, formerly of Churchill Park in the town, received a 10-year prison sentence at Craigavon Crown Court last year.

He had been found guilty on all 19 charges against him, including 12 counts of gross indecency with or towards a child and seven indecent assaults on a female.

His sex crimes spanned a period from June 2002 to October 2004.

At the time the three victims were variously aged between seven and 11.

During the period in question children in the area played at a community centre close to Creaney’s home.

The girls were said to have paid him visits, receiving sweets and drinks and being allowed to play on his daughter’s computer and watch TV.

In evidence it was detailed how Creaney played games with them which resulted in sex acts either being performed on or by him.

On some occasions two of the girls were involved at the same time, it was alleged.

They were also exposed to extreme porn after opening a file on the computer, the court heard.

Creaney, who had denied all the offences, appealed his convictions by claiming the trial judge’s charge favoured the prosecution.

His lawyers had also argued that there was strong evidence of collusion between the girls over a brand of aftershave alleged to have featured in the abuse.

However, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, sitting with Lord Justices Coghlin and Gillen, held that the issue of collusion was plainly put before the jury.

The judges also rejected submissions that the full circumstances of Creaney’s claim to have an innocent explanation was not fully recounted.

According to the appellant contact with the girls first occurred when he was sitting outside his home while they were playing nearby.

He said he asked them to do messages for him, giving out small amounts of money as reward.

But Sir Declan held that the trial judge had properly set out the scene and invited the jury to critically examine all the evidence.

Creaney, who was seen using a walking stick as he appeared by prison video link, shook his head as it became clear his appeal was to fail.

Dismissing the collusion claims, Sir Declan added that the differences in the girls’ accounts belied any suggestion that they plotted together.

He confirmed: “We are not left with any sense of unease about this conviction.”