A horrifying incident unfolded in Caerphilly as a 34-year-old convicted paedophile, Jonathan Swift, sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl he encountered on the street. The distressing assault involved invasive touching, forced kissing, and the confiscation of the victim’s mobile phone. The ordeal took place on April 9 at approximately 5:45 pm when Swift, a stranger to the young girl, approached her and requested a lighter. As the interaction progressed, he inquired about her relationship status and upon learning her age, deceitfully remarked that she appeared older than she actually was.
During the subsequent sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court, it was revealed that Swift had pursued his victim, forcefully grabbing her hand and pulling her onto a bench. Despite her efforts to break free and leave, he forcibly kissed her, prompting her to push him away and express her desire to go home. Ignoring her pleas, Swift pulled her back onto the bench and forcefully kissed her, intruding his tongue into her mouth.
Prosecutor Ffion Tomos detailed the appalling sequence of events, stating that Swift proceeded to touch the victim’s breasts after putting his hands down her top while she continued to resist. Shockingly, he then exposed his genitals for a distressing two to three minutes and proposed finding a more secluded location. However, as a passerby approached, Swift hastily concealed himself.
Showing no remorse or consideration for his victim’s well-being, Swift continued his reprehensible actions by placing his hands down her trousers and sexually assaulting her. The victim later described the assault as “painful” and managed to remove his hand from her trousers. Swift persisted in his advances, urging her to accompany him to his residence, but she steadfastly reiterated her desire to go home and tried to walk away.
Swift relentlessly pursued the young girl, even going so far as to inquire if she used Snapchat. Eventually, he forcibly took hold of her phone and entered his mobile number before the victim finally managed to escape his clutches. Distressed, she alerted a friend, who promptly contacted the police. The following day, Swift was apprehended and subsequently interviewed by law enforcement. During the interview, he claimed that his sexual contact with the victim had been consensual, attempting to absolve himself of guilt. However, he later pleaded guilty to charges of assault by penetration and sexual assault.
The court also learned of Swift’s troubling criminal history, which further illuminated his predatory nature. In 2010, he was convicted of sexual assault after attacking a woman at a bus stop. Additionally, he had breached a Sexual Harm Prevention Order by approaching a 13-year-old, resulting in a seven-year prison sentence in 2017 for engaging in sexual activity with a minor under the age of 16 in an alleyway. Shockingly, Swift committed the most recent offence while still on parole.
During the court proceedings, the victim’s impact statement was read aloud, conveying the profound emotional and psychological toll the assault had inflicted upon her. The 16-year-old expressed how her independence and confidence had been utterly shattered, leaving her fearful and distrustful of unfamiliar individuals. Previously able to enjoy outings with friends without concern, she now lives in constant fear of another attack, perpetually glancing over her shoulder. The trauma has disrupted her schoolwork, causing her to lose focus, and invades her sleep as she endures vivid flashbacks of the incident.
Addressing the court, the victim firmly asserted that no teenager should have to endure what she had experienced, expressing satisfaction that Swift had been sentenced to prison. She emphasised her belief that he belonged behind bars and urged the court to recognise him as a dangerous individual who posed a significant risk to the public, particularly young girls and women.
In an attempt to mitigate his client’s actions, defence David Rees claimed that Swift was deeply remorseful and heavily intoxicated at the time of the assault. Rees also highlighted the negative consequences Swift had faced since being exposed as a convicted sex offender the previous November, which included repercussions, abuse, and threats.
During the sentencing, Judge Lucy Crowther unequivocally condemned Swift’s behavior, emphasising his complete lack of understanding regarding the impact of his crimes. She criticised his attempts to downplay and justify his actions, which mirrored his behavior in previous instances. Unwavering in her assessment, Judge Crowther labeled Swift as a sexual predator and a severe threat to the public, specifically young girls and women.
As a result, Swift received a custodial sentence of eight years, accompanied by an extended license period of six years. He will be eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of his sentence. Additionally, a restraining order was imposed, prohibiting him from contacting the victim for 30 years. Swift remains subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and sex offender notification requirements for life.