May 2023

Paedophile jailed for eight years at Oxford Crown Court

A rosary-wearing paedophile from Abingdon kept his head bowed in shame as his victim’s mum described his sick offending against her daughter as ‘a mother’s worst nightmare’.

The woman broke down as she detailed the terrible impact of Oxfordshire man William Swandle’s vile offending on her daughter.

“This is a mother’s worst nightmare,” said the woman.

“Every day I wake up living a nightmare and feel sick to my stomach.

“I see him everywhere I go in my mind.

“I feel so guilty. Why did I not see what was happening? How did I not notice it?”

She added: “I want to say how proud I am of my daughter for speaking up and being so brave.”

Jailing the 66-year-old for eight years at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday (May 25), Judge Maria Lamb said: “I know from having heard what her mother has said when she read out her victim personal statement the very many areas of her life in which this little girl is now suffering as a consequence of what you did to her, and the feelings of reproach that her mother has for not having realised what was going on.

“She should not [blame] herself. That is the evil of what you have done.”

As a sexual offender of particular concern, Swandle will spend an extra year being supervised by the probation service on licence.

He will remain on the sex offender register for life and is subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

Earlier, the court heard that Swandle was responsible for molesting the primary school-aged girl over some nine months from April 2022 until January this year.

When he was confronted by the girl’s mother and, later on, detectives from Thames Valley Police’s child abuse unit, he attempted to shift the blame onto his victim.

He later stepped back from that position, pleading guilty at an early hearing to multiple charges of sexually assaulting the girl.

But on Thursday, the court was told that Swandle claimed he had no sexual interest in children.

That assertion found no favour with Judge Lamb, who told the defendant: “It is a pity that you sought – unnecessarily – to seek both in the confrontation with your [victim’s mother] and at the time of your interview to shift responsibility for what you had done or attempted so to do upon your victim, who was of course utterly blameless.”

She added: “This little child was your victim.”

Swandle, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to sexual assault of a child under-13 by penetration and sexual assault of a child under-13.