September 2017

Schoolgirl victim of sex assault was changed by ordeal, says her mum

The mother of a schoolgirl who was sexually assaulted in Washington has said she feels like she hardly knows her daughter any more.

Ricky Swallow, 29, was jailed for 34 months at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting sexual assault. He plied the girl with alcohol, kissed her and then sexually assaulted her.

The girl’s mother said her daughter had been “traumatised” by the incident. “She has gone from being a bubbly, outgoing girl to being very paranoid,” she said in a victim impact statement read to the court.

“She feels she will never be able to trust anyone again. Before this we were really close, but now I feel I don’t know my own daughter.”

The girl’s father is now worried about being alone with her in case she is nervous about what might happen, her mother said.

Jonathan Devlin, prosecuting, said Swallow had given the girl alcopops and shots which left her “dancing around and being stupid”.

Swallow, of Joyce Close, Wardley, Gateshead, admitted that he himself had been under the influence of alcohol and cocaine at the time.

“The defendant asked her if she was okay while stroking her hair,” said Mr Devlin. “He began to kiss her and was telling her that he loved her. He kept kissing her for five minutes.”

The court heard Swallow went on to grope the girl, even though she repeatedly told him ‘no’.

The girl said in her victim impact statement that she has had problems at school since Swallow assaulted her.

“I have had nightmares, I wake up in the middle of the night,” she said. “I always think the worst, get really sensitive and cry over nothing, which I never did before. What he did on that day will live with me forever.”

Judge Stephen Earl jailed Swallow for 34 months and made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

“This was a determined effort to sexually assault her,” he said. “I cannot comprehend the fear or terror or anxiety that must have caused to a girl. “You were under the influence of drugs and alcohol, which reduced your ability to control yourself.

“You indicated that you couldn’t remember that night and that you simply couldn’t have done it, and you maintained that position for a year.

“While you have accepted your guilt, you have not shown full remorse.”