Steven Swift successfully prosecutes man for 2001 rape of 11-year-old girl

September 25, 2019

Criminal Barrister, Steven Swift from Exchange Chambers has successfully prosecuted a man for raping an 11-year-old girl while he was evading police over the brutal murder of a widow at Bury bus station.

Ian O’Callaghan was wearing his bus driver uniform when he attacked the child in 2001 and told her: ‘Let’s see if you can keep this secret.’

The terrified youngster did not report the crime for 15 years or tell her parents as she ‘genuinely believed’ O’Callaghan would kill her.

During this 15-year period she faced her attacker when catching a bus with her family and noticed his profile on the website Friends Reunited.

The victim gained the strength to come forward in 2016 in the knowledge that O’Callaghan had been jailed for 28 years for killing 66-year-old widow Shirley Leach.

O’Callaghan was convicted of the 2001 rape following a trial at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester. A former Territorial Army soldier, he was jailed for 16 years which will run alongside his term for murdering Ms Leach.

Steven Swift is a member of the criminal team at Exchange Chambers. With over 25 years’ experience at the Criminal Bar, Steven is highly regarded and has a successful heavyweight criminal practice.

The case received local press coverage: