Failed Marriage Blamed on Abuse
Guy Swales Told the Court His Second Wife Complained He Was Cold and Distant

By Peter Geigen-Miller
London Free Press [Canada]
June 18, 2003

A Port Stanley man testified yesterday he's had trouble maintaining intimate relationships in the aftermath of sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic priest. Guy Swales told a civil trial his second wife complained he was cold and distant when their marriage failed in the late 1990s.

Swales said he was wed for about a year when the marriage fell apart. His first marriage, which ended in the mid-1980s, lasted less than a year, he testified.

The parting from his first wife was "less than amicable," he said. The relationship produced a son he has never met.

He and his second wife had a daughter with whom he maintains a relationship.

He said his daughter is with him every second weekend and he finds fun things for her to do on visits to Port Stanley, where he makes his home.

Swales said the second marriage failed because he couldn't get close to his wife.

He said he has problems with relationships because he's not a good communicator.

"I'm told I don't express my feelings."

Swales, his brothers John and Ed and their family are suing Catholic priest Barry Glendinning and the Roman Catholic Diocese of London for sexual abuse they say they suffered as children.

The civil trial, being heard by Justice John Kerr, is in its second week.

Guy Swales has testified he and his brothers engaged in sexual acts and nude massages and body painting during visits to Glendinning's quarters at the seminary.

He testified how his life went off the rails following Glendinning's arrest in 1974 on charges of sexually abusing children. Glendinning was convicted in 1974 of gross indecency involving the Swales.

Swales said he went through an 11-year period after 1974 when he engaged in male prostitution, sold drugs to make a living and consumed marijuana, LSD and speed.

He also acquired a criminal record, including convictions for break and enter, breach of probation and assault. He spent a total of nearly two years behind bars.

He described one assault that occurred while he was walking on Wortley Road and having an argument with his girlfriend.

He said a car pulled up and a man jumped out and pushed him against his girlfriend, who fell to the ground.

In the fight that resulted, the man was left at the side of the road, bleeding, Swales said. The man required stitches around the eyes.

Swales said he he eventually managed to end his use of speed and cocaine and find steady employment.

Under cross-examination, he conceded some of his answers varied from ones he'd given during pre-trial proceedings.

The trial continues.


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