Murder-accused former jockey accused with historical sex offences including rape

Man appears at Newry court charged with rape of baby

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

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A former jockey currently charged with murder has appeared in court on a catalogue of historical offences including rape and false imprisonment.

The new charges, which span a 14 year period, have come to light in the course of the murder investigation.

Jonathan James Creswell (33) with an address which cannot be published at this time, appeared before Dungannon Magistrates Court on a total of 10 charges.

He was arrested at his bail address where he has resided following release by the High Court, charged with murdering his ex-partner’s sister last year, having claimed to have rescued her from hanging.

Katie Simpson (21) a talented showjumper from Armagh passed away on 9 August 2020 having never regained consciousness.

Creswell is now additionally charged with three counts of rape, two each of assault and  indecent assault, as well as single counts of grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and false imprisonment.

Two counts of rape allegedly occurred between 2005 and 2008, and the third between 2010 and 2013.

The majority of indecent and physical assaults allegedly occurred between 2004 and 2008, with false imprisonment between 2009 and 2011.

Finally between 2014 and 2016, it is alleged Creswell unlawfully and maliciously caused grievous bodily harm.

Asked if he understood the charges, Creswell replied, “Yes sir.”

Detective Sergeant James Brannigan confirmed the charges could be connected.

He explained from roughly 2004, Creswell had been in relationships with several women at the same time, while he resided in Caledon, County Tyrone,

While working as a jockey at stables in nearby Tynan he met more women, some of whom were very young.

A complainant has come forward to say she met Creswell at these stables while aged 12, when he began separating her from others. There were incidents of indecent assaults before she claims to have been raped in a stable.

Detective Brannigan said other women have raised concerns over Creswell’s behaviour and stressed he was jailed for brutal offences against another partner.

 “The modis operendi is replicated from that and a number of other women. We believe there are other victims. We are engaging with An Garda Siochana in respect of reports of similar issues in the Republic of Ireland.”

Objecting to bail, the detective stated: “The control he has over these women and what he has done in the past gives us cause for concern of what he may do if released. The pattern is the same - controlling phones, isolating them from others, then physical, emotional and sexual abuse.”

A defence barrister argued similar objections were put before the High Court in respect of the murder charge, but bail was still granted on strict terms.

The detective confirmed Creswell has not breached any terms and conceded police do not have formal complaints as yet from a number of other women who have spoken of alleged abuse.

Arguing bail should be granted the defence said, “Police appear to want to carry out multi-jurisdictional enquiries but haven’t done a scintilla about getting statements from the other alleged complainants. There will be extensive delay before this case is ready.”

After consideration, District Judge Michael Ranaghan ruled: “These are extremely serious issues. We’ve heard of a related case, a previous victim and other allegations. While objections were ventilated at High Court, the progress of this case has changed the perspective. These are serious allegations of coercive control, sexual offending and potential danger. Despite no breaches previously the risk is now higher and real. Bail is refused.”

Creswell was remanded in custody to appear by video-link later this month.

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