Kiama sex predator Andrew Swallow wins reduction in sentence

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A Kiama serial sex pest subjected to jailhouse attacks for threatening to publish intimate videos of a woman he met on Tinder has failed in a bid to have his identity suppressed in court.

Andrew Peter Swallow was in the midst of appealing his 13-month prison sentence in Wollongong District Court last week when he sought a legal media ban on all reporting of his case out of fear for his personal safety behind bars.

Swallow, whose Facebook page reveals he once worked as a male stripper, told the court he had been targeted in jail as a result of earlier publicity of his case.

He said he had boiling water thrown over him in one incident and was knocked unconscious by an inmate who knew his victim in another.

Judge Robert Sutherland SC refused the application, saying it was in the public interest that Swallow’s identity and the result of his appeal be known.

However, he did agree to reduce Swallow’s minimum prison sentence to 10 months after defence lawyer Melissa Humphries argued her client would benefit from extended guidance from Community Corrections staff while on parole. 

“The community will ultimately be better served by him receiving some supervision,” Judge Sutherland said.

The decision comes as the Mercury can for the first time reveal the alarming cases of two other females who fell victim to Swallow’s obsessive behaviour – and the apology letter he wrote to the court promising to change his ways.

A history of predatory behaviour...

The vindictive attitude Swallow displayed towards his most recent victim had been honed during intimate interactions with at least two other women in recent years: it each case, Swallow had only known the woman for a matter of weeks before a deterioration in their relationship exposed his vengeful side.

In 2014, Swallow dated a woman for four weeks before he ended their courtship one night via text message. However, the court heard Swallow then continued to harass the woman, sending flowers to her work and contacting her relatives on Facebook when she wouldn’t speak with him.

She said she received a series of Snapchat messages from Swallow one evening featuring naked pictures of herself that she’d either sent him or he’d taken while they were together, along with a message that she should contact him within 24 hours or he would post the photos on Facebook.

The woman reported the matter to police who took out an emergency AVO on her behalf and contacted Swallow telling him not to publish the pictures.

However, Swallow ignored the police warning and posted the images on his Facebook page for up to 30 minutes, leaving the victim feeling “humiliated, threatened and violated”.

He was charged with intimidation offences and convicted in court.

Yet two years later, Swallow was at it again, this time harassing a woman he met through Tinder.

Court documents said the pair had been dating for less than a month when Swallow became possessive and controlling, bombarding her with phone calls and absuive test messages when she tried to end their relationship.

At one stage he told her “this isn’t going to end well for you”, prompting the woman to take her concerns to police in early November 2016.

Swallow called the woman three times while she was with police, who eventually answered the phone and warned Swallow not to contact the victim again.

An interim AVO banning contact between the pair was served on Swallow three days later. He breached the order by sending the woman another threatening text messages just hours later.

Swallow was arrested and charged with intimidation and breach AVO offences.

He was sentenced to an intensive corrections order, which was breached in July 2017 when he threatened to publish his Tinder date’s intimate video after she refused to see him again.

However, the Mercury can reveal Swallow believes he is now a changed man.

‘Quit being so immature’

In a typed letter of apology tendered in court, Swallow says his time behind bars has been a “huge wake-up call” and given him time to reflect on his behaviour towards his victims.

“I feel terribly ashamed and extremely disappointed in myself for my silly and immature conduct,” he wrote.

“At the time of sending the inappropriate messages I was careless and had no regard to the harm they may cause.

“It is very clear to me that I need to continue to address my mental health problems which include anger issues….I need to learn to manage and control the situations in my life.”

Swallow also spoke about his pain at being away from his young son for an extended period of time, saying he wanted to be a good role model in the future.

“I am confident in being able to turn my life around as these months in prison have been a huge wake-up call that I need to quit being so immature and reactionary.”