Cheshire parish councillor found guilty of three sexual assaults on men
A Cheshire parish councillor has been found guilty of sexually assaulting three men, including a police officer and a taxi driver.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Kieran Reed, 37, who is a parish councillor for Hale Bank, committed the offences on three occasions, on 13, 21 and 22 August 2020.
On 13 August around 5.30pm, three police officers attended Squires Avenue in Widnes and spotted Mr Reed apparently drunk and unsteady on his feet.
They asked him how old he was and he began to make sexualised comments to the officers, including “So young and so gorgeous.”
The officers decided to take him back to his home in Church Street, Widnes. Mr Reed said he appreciated the help of the officers and said he worked with senior police officers in his role as a parish councillor and would tell them about the help they’d given him.
However, during the journey he touched the hand and squeezed one the officers’ legs and repeated, “so young and so good looking”. The officer told him to stop but Mr Reed continued to make sexualised comments.
This incident was captured on the Police Body Worn camera. The officer who had been touched by Reed told his colleagues as they left that he had felt shaken by the incident.
On 21 August, Mr Reed began a similar pattern of behaviour with a man at the Bradley Pub in Widnes.
Mr Reed had drank both lager and spirits and was drunk. He invited the man to come home with him and spend the night. The man knew him and tried to laugh it off but Mr Reed persisted and then touched him in a sexual way. The victim later said this had left him feeling vulnerable and shaken.
The next night on 22 August, around 10pm, Mr Reed left the Simms Cross pub in a taxi. He again invited the driver to spend the night with him and tried to touch his penis before the taxi driver moved away. The driver felt this was becoming threatening and increasingly sexual and eventually stopped the car. He went round to the passenger seat and asked Mr Reed to get out.
The driver went back to the pub to ask who the passenger had been. He was told it was Kieran Reed, a parish councillor. The driver felt that Mr Reed had behaved the way he did as he thought he could get away with it because of his position.
On 23 August Mr Reed was interviewed at Widnes Police Station and denied that any of the touching had been sexual or that he had engaged in sexualised comments.
He said he wanted to show his appreciation to the police officer. He said he had told the other victims that he was under investigation by the police for this incident and that they had then decided to make a malicious allegation against him.
He did, however, admit in interview that he had been in “a dark place” since a relative had died and that he was struggling with alcohol dependency.
He was charged with three counts of sexual assault on a man and pleaded Not Guilty. At Crewe Magistrates' Court on 22 April 2021, he was found guilty by District Judge Sanders. He will be sentenced on 11 May 2021 at Chester Magistrates’ Court.
Crown Prosecutor Luke Unsworth of CPS Mersey Cheshire said: “It is clear that Kieran Reed is struggling at the moment and has issues with alcohol.
“But his actions on these three occasions were totally unacceptable. He left his victims feeling vulnerable, shaken and violated - as sexual assaults do.
“One man knew him, the other two were simply trying to do their jobs when they were subjected to sexualised talk and assaults.
“Two of his victims said they felt that Mr Reed thought he could get away with this behaviour because he was a parish councillor.
“Surely his position in the community meant that others could expect a high standard of behaviour from him? He has betrayed the trust of the people who elected him and left his victims badly shaken.”