NewsCrime Desk

Bonnie and Clyde rapist unmasked

Gerard Creighton
Gerard Creighton

This is the first picture of the convicted rapist who lived it up in posh hotel rooms by carrying out a string of ‘Bonnie and Clyde’-style armed robberies across the capital.

Gerard Creighton (46), used the proceeds of the robberies to hole himself and a female accomplice up in hotel rooms around the capital while on the run.

The rapist flouted repeated court orders under the Sex Offenders Act to keep authorities informed of his address.

The Sunday World can reveal that Creighton is the chief suspect in a dozen hold-ups of small businesses throughout Dublin’s city centre in the months before his arrest.

Two of the businesses, a coffee shop and a fast-food restaurant, were raided twice in the alleged spree.

Dubliner Creighton was finally picked up by gardai, who launched an operation which saw officers flood Dublin city centre areas at the times he was known to operate.

An investigation by this newspaper can also reveal that despite being brought to court and prosecuted five times by gardai for breaching court orders, he was repeatedly allowed to walk free.

The father of two was jailed for nine years in 2003 for the rape and unlawful detention of a woman in 1998.

Creighton was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury in 2003. Mr Justice Paul Carney described Creighton’s crime as a particularly brutal and vicious attack.

The father of two was released from jail in January 2010, but he was soon before the courts again after detectives keeping a watch on the dangerous thug discovered he had moved out of the hostel he was supposed to stay in.

Creighton’s disappearance in August 2010 sparked a hunt that led to his arrest at a north Dublin hotel.

But when he was then brought to the District Court, Judge Patrick Clyne granted him bail, despite garda objections. The judge also issued an order preventing the media from publishing details of the rapist’s location, saying this was for “the protection of third parties”.

Later in 2010 Creighton appeared before Justice Carney again.

A senior source said last night: “It’s very frustrating when a court releases a sex offender who gardai have put energy and resources into watching and who is repeatedly in breach of his release conditions.”

But last month, Judge Martin Nolan jailed him for three years for an attempted robbery on a Dublin city bookmakers in January 2014.

Creighton is the only suspect in a dozen hold-ups of small businesses in the months before his arrest.

His then girlfriend Lauren Connolly (22), kept watch while he robbed staff in a Dublin cafe and bookshop with an imitation firearm.

On February 28 last year, gardai swooped on the pair after Creighton had held up yet another premises.

Connolly pleaded guilty to robbery at Cafe Sol, Clare Street, Dublin 2, last February 17 and Book Value, South Great George’s Street, last February 8.

The court heard a man entered the bookshop at 3.40pm, produced an imitation firearm and robbed a staff member of €130. In the second incident €1,000 was taken.

Gardai seized evidence which showed Creighton and Connolly celebrating their robberies in hotel rooms around the city.

In one photo taken on a mobile phone, Connolly poses as a masked raider and points an imitation firearm at the camera. Other pictures show bags of stolen cash.

At his court appearance, Creighton’s lawyers said he has a dependency on cocaine and also heroin.

 

- Declan Brennan