Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Revenge porn conman exposed: Northern Ireland career criminal adds sex charge to his shocking rap sheet

 

Johnny Swales
Johnny Swales
Ciaran Barnes

By Ciaran Barnes

A jealous fraudster arranged for a sex video of his ex-girlfriend to be sent to her new partner in a desperate bid to ruin their relationship.

Devious Johnny 'King Con' Swales - who is now going by the name Dean Bird - is facing jail on Friday after pleading guilty to a revenge porn charge.

The former girlfriend targeted by the seedy sex shamer told Sunday Life: "Johnny is a danger to every woman in Northern Ireland. He is a violent liar who tried to ruin my life, made it a misery, and who has left me suicidal."

Career criminal and convicted pensioner mugger Swales has has been told to expect six months behind bars after a Belfast district judge invoked a previous suspended jail term for fraud.

The 43-year-old compulsive liar - who has changed his name by deed poll more than a dozen times - is understood to be holed up in Scotland ahead of being sentenced.

The ex-girlfriend whose sex tape Swales shared was in a relationship with him for nine years, loyally standing by him when he was jailed for multiple frauds.

She finally saw sense in December 2017 - dumping the north Belfast born conman who was cheating on her and who has since piled on the pounds.

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Johnny Swales
Johnny Swales

However, she made the mistake of going on a pre-paid holiday from hell to Turkey with him in July 2018.

"The holiday was already paid for so I went along with Johnny to Marmaris even though we weren't together," explained the frightened young woman who this newspaper is referring to as 'Carla'.

"Johnny is a very controlling man, he gets paranoid, and he wouldn't let me go out. He also kept checking my phone, the location of which he was tracking online, and demanding to know who I was speaking to."

Carla revealed how Swales later attacked her in a jealous fit and had to be dragged off by hotel staff. He flew into a rage after discovering she was in a relationship with another man.

She said: "He beat me black and blue and had to be pulled off by the hotel receptionist."

Consumed with anger, scheming Swales used social media to track down the English ex-girlfriend of Carla's new boyfriend.

Fake passports hidden inside the soles of slippers
Fake passports hidden inside the soles of slippers

In October 2018, he sent her old explicit images and videos of him and Carla having sex. Jealous Swales instructed the woman to send them to his ex's new boyfriend in the hope he would wrongly believe they had rekindled their relationship.

But in the recording, Carla was missing a back tattoo she had inked in July 2018. This proved that the sex video had been recorded before then and Swales' claims about seeing her again were lies.

Carla contacted police who arrested and charged the conman with the improper use of public communications - an offence he pleaded guilty to last Tuesday.

Sipping a coffee in a Belfast cafe while telling of her nine years with Swales, it is clear the toxic relationship has had a devastating effect on the young mum.

In their time together she explained how he had changed his name by deed poll a dozen times to commit fraud, using the identities Dean Bird, Jonathan Jones, Owen Gardner, Onatatgo Gardner, Stephen McClean, Leslie Mitchell, Simon Wood and John Smith.

"Johnny uses a website to track down people with the same date of birth as him and then he changes his name by deed poll to their names," explained Carla.

"He basically steals their identity and takes out credit cards in their names and gets finance on luxury cars that he doesn't pay a penny on.

"He also has a scam going that involves selling burner phones to criminals, mostly in the south. Johnny is very tech-savvy and he uses these skills to commit crime.

"He's hardly worked a day in his life, and when he was with me never claimed benefits, yet he drives a top of the range car and always has thousands of pounds of cash on him.

"His latest racket is producing fake electoral and university cards, and SIA (Security Industry Authority) licences."

Swales is nicknamed King Con by fellow criminals and with more than 70 convictions is regarded by cops as being among Northern Ireland's most prolific fraudsters.

In May 2018, he had a four-month prison sentence suspended for two years at Craigavon Magistrates court for his role in a mobile phone fraud racket. In 2012, Swales was jailed for 15 months for running a Spanish passport scam which involved fake documents being sent from Nigeria, hidden inside slippers, to a home he was renting on the Shankill Road in Belfast.

The passports were then sold for £7,000 each to illegal immigrants who used them to claim benefits and find work in Northern Ireland as Spain is an EU country.

Swales' criminal rap sheet also includes burglary and other dishonesty offences.

But his most sinister convictions are from the mid-1990s when he mugged several pensioners living alone in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast, where he grew up.

The thug would select a bungalow, call to the door, and hold the old person down while an accomplice ransacked the property. This led to Swales, who was a soldier in the King's Regiment at the time, being jailed for four years and getting kicked out of the Army. He was also branded the 'Serial Mugger' in press articles.

Earlier this year, Sunday Life exposed more of Swales' lies and how he was falsely claiming to provide security for 50 Shades of Grey and The Fall star Jamie Dornan and the five-star Merchant Hotel.

We also revealed how he had reinvented himself as a car salesman, flogging luxury second-hand vehicles to unsuspecting buyers that included Porsches, Hummers, BMWs and Mercedes.

Proudly showing off the fleet on social media, a friend asked the fraudster: "They all yours?"

Swales replied: "Yep, trying to get one for every day of the week."

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