Tele/ The Bowral News: James Swan – Top cop convicted of domestic violence offences

A police officer who left a woman in need of surgery and blamed her for his actions has been convicted of choking and domestic violence assault offences.

A brave woman who was choked and bashed by a senior NSW police officer has stared him down in court and told of the devastating impact his alcohol fuelled domestic violence had on her.

James William Swan, 42, was found guilty of choking the woman and assaulting her another three times between Christmas Day in 2018 to June 2019.

The Queanbeyan resident, who worked as a senior constable with traffic and highway patrol, had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Moss Vale Local Court heard that during one of the assaults, Swan broke the woman’s nose and left her in need of hospitalisation and rhinoplasty.

The woman Swan targeted told the court she had to work three jobs to save enough money to pay for the surgery to fix her nose.

“The one person who was supposed to keep the community safe was the person who made my life hell,” she said.

“Just because you enforce the law doesn’t mean you’re above the law.

“You broke my heart, my soul, my body and my spirit.”

The court heard the assaults took place at a time when Swan and his family were going through extreme distress due to the death of his sister.

While magistrate Roger Clisdell acknowledged the “tragedies that affected his immediate family in the period leading up to the offending behaviour”, he said Swan chose to use alcohol to self-medicate.

“The reality is that every time an offence occurred, he was intoxicated,” magistrate Clisdell said.

The court heard Swan tried to blame the woman for the domestic violence because she had relationships with other men.

“He said it was my fault he became a monster and my fault he laid hands on me,” the woman told the court.

Mr Swan’s lawyer said his client’s actions were “isolated incidents” that occurred because of the troubled relationship.

When James William Swan was charged 2019 he was suspended from working as a police officer, but he continued to get paid.

The prosecutor in the case said Swan had continually denied he was guilty and deserved no leniency.

“The offender has shown no remorse or regret for his actions,” the prosecutor said.

Magistrate Clisdell said Swan’s “fall from grace” as a police officer following his sentencing would factor as part of his punishment.

“Although the offending is serious and is domestic violence related, we are talking about a man of good character who has served as a police officer and has been in the army reserves,” he said.

Swan was convicted of three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of intentionally choking a person without their consent.

He was sentenced to a two-year community corrections order which requires him to be of good behaviour and continue to abide by a mental health treatment plan.

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