|When Susan sent me a message with a link to “that blog post” upset and angry at how she was going to protect her children from the man who was supposed to scare monsters from under the bed as oppose to behave like one I automatically wanted to help. I wanted to reach out and give her a hug and tell her that everything was going to be okay and that I understood the desire to protect your babies and she had my full support, whatever she needed. Then she asked me to share my story… I wasn’t sure I could do it and I’m still not sure whether the whole experience has been cathartic or somewhat damaging, but what I do know is that something has to be done because the hurt, pain and grief caused by the man in question is out of control and he has affected so many lives that it has to stop somewhere and Susan can’t fight it all on her own, she has tried and now it is time for all of us to stand up and be counted as opposed to hide in the shadows as we have done for so many years out of shame and embarrassment.
I spent many, many years feeling so terrible guilty and ashamed of the fact that I was unknowingly soley responsible for her unhappiness and that because of me two children might lose their father if she ever found out about me. I blamed myself and went through a period of severe depression and had such low self-esteem that even when I finally managed to get away from Andrew, I was so low and so susceptible to the manipulation and abuse that I merely went from one con man to another, even without direct contact he ruined a large portion of my life and I simply cannot say strongly enough just how damaging he is. It started back in 1999 and continued on and off for a period of 13 years… I was 17, I was halfway through a hairdressing apprenticeship and I was a reasonably well-adjusted person, I was at that point working 6 days a week in order to try and purchase the business I was working in and I had no real interest in finding a relationship. A friend had decided I needed a life and put a profile on an online dating site and I’m yet to decide if it was a good thing or a bad thing but, there was one response before I found out what she had done and made her take it down. He had introduced himself as Andrew, but his friends called him Andy, he was 27 and a commercial lawyer. It lasted about 3 months before I grew tired of “Houdini” as I had not so affectionately dubbed him and stopped answering his calls. He was either so full on he was suffocating or he was completely absent and I felt at the time I was far too busy to deal with a man of his age that didn’t have his shit together or know what he wanted.
I bought the salon in the December of 1999 and was happy just working, but in the January of 2000 I answered a call right on closing time, I remember hesitating whether to answer the phone or not and really wish now I hadn’t… I’m sure this is where my habit of call-screening originated! He asked for a few minutes of my time, I agreed and he went on to apologise for his behaviour, explaining to me that he had trouble with relationships in general due to his upbringing and that if I would allow him the chance he would like to tell me about it in further detail and that he knew that he had made mistakes but he wanted to learn and if I would help him that he promised to be completely open with me as he thought honesty was the best policy. We arranged to meet for a cup of coffee on the following Tuesday morning as it was the first day I had off that he was available as well.
From that coffee date we chatted on and off, but it wasn’t until the May that he told me that he wanted to call me his girlfriend and that he didn’t want to be pushy, but he wanted an exclusive relationship. I remember being somewhat offended by the suggestion that he assumed I was the type to sleep around or have multiple guys on the go and he went on to say that he was “somewhat concerned that I would even think that way, unless I was up to something.” I told him that he was already on shaky ground and unless he wanted to call me his ex-girlfriend he would be wise to back off. He did, I accepted the title of girlfriend and he ‘apparently’ appreciated the fact that I was a little feisty and from here on in he would often refer to me as his “little firecracker” whenever I called him out on his bullshit. Which I did quite a lot, he had a terrible air of arrogance even back then and it wasn’t unusual for me to tell him to pull his head in. Back then he would laugh about it and said he “liked the challenge” I provided him as not many people would talk back to him, as a lawyer he had a lot of respect. I quite promptly told him I didn’t care if he was the Queen of England, if he was acting like a dick I wouldn’t put up with it.
Somewhere in that first year he managed to put out my fire and slowly, but surely I ended up tolerating more and more and turning a blind eye to things that had previously annoyed and upset me. Things that should have had alarm bells ringing I would find my own logical explanation for prior to even asking him to justify his behaviour and I began to feel sorry for him. By this time he was working for Westpac and said he had been given the opportunity to take on the manager’s position, he discussed the role with me in great detail and I agreed that it would be great for him and that if it was something that he wanted to do then he should definitely go for it. By the November of 2000 he was managing Tassie, SA and NSW and would often take trips to Sydney for a week or more at a time and in a way I suppose I made it very easy for him as I was still working 6 days a week and I didn’t have a lot of spare time to think or put anything together, when I bought the salon I hadn’t realised just how bad the financials actually were and it was taking a lot of my time and effort to build it back up. He would often ask how it was going and (stupidly) I would tell him how well I had done and how far back in the black I had managed to drag things. He would often tell me that I should start using it to refinance and make things bigger and better and he would always push to become a business partner, but it was only just paying for itself and I had only just started taking a decent wage, it had become my baby and even though he said I was selfish for not wanting to, it was mine and I had invested so much of myself into that I wasn’t ready to share, but in his opinion he had invested so much into me that he accused me of hiding things from him.
By the end of 2000 I had started to notice his drinking getting way out of control, I’m not sure if it was because we hadn’t been able to spend so much time together or he was just not as good at hiding it anymore, but he would write himself off constantly and would even turn up at my house intoxicated enough that he definitely shouldn’t have been driving. He began to show an incredibly aggressive side that was more pronounced the more he drank and it was nothing for a bottle of whiskey to disappear in one night! I was (and still am) a non-drinker and I was always getting yelled at for being so boring and accused of all manner of things, the most ridiculous was that I wouldn’t drink around him because I had obviously poisoned his drinks, he would go off at the most petty little things even down to if I wore a different colour lipstick because I must have been seeing or trying to impress someone else because I knew he liked the “plum one” I used to wear… he was never physically abusive, but he made up for it verbally and these ‘episodes’ were becoming more frequent and he was way less guarded as to the things he would say and do… I never witnessed him smoking marijuana, but there is only so many times you can blame red eyes on “I got shampoo in my eye in the shower” before even the stupidest person is gonna tell you to keep your eyes shut and even though I have never experimented with it, it has its own very distinct aroma shall we say and I knew what it was, I questioned him once on why else would you reek so heavily of it and even taste like it? His response was that he had given a work mate a lift home and he had a joint in the car but he thought it was a rolled cigarette and it was probably just cigarette smoke I could taste, he had just put one out… I was a smoker myself, I knew the difference. He would often forget those times, I’m not sure if he really did forget or he just chose to pretend he did. He would after our relationship ended often say I was mentally unstable and tell people that I was a pathological liar.
I don’t really know why I tolerated it the way that I did, I began having anxiety attacks myself and I would always end up fearful every time he had a drink because I sort of knew what to expect and he was beginning to treat me as though I was nothing more than his personal punching bag, a door mat. He was always so nice to everyone else and they thought he was such a great guy but I knew a much darker side, nobody would have believed me if I had said anything anyway so I kept my mouth shut. The relationship was in its own way starting to fall apart, I was only half the person I was when we first got together and I spent more and more time at work, I think because it was the only place I felt normal, I could just be myself and my days were filled with clients that just wanted to chatter away, they wanted nothing from me. I had begun to put on a little bit of weight at this point but I didn’t care, I was downright miserable and each day was becoming the same.
He would speak when he felt like it, criticise me for any and all number of things and when he would cancel plans because he had a work dinner or a work function and I asked if I could go too he would reply with statements like “I don’t think you’re ready to be a bank manager’s wife just yet” and laugh like I had just asked him to bump his butt against the moon. I would ask why he never took me out anymore, I felt as though he was embarrassed by the fact that I had gained an extra dress size and he replied with “a bank manager would normally choose a woman of similar intelligence, with you I made an exception, but I don’t want to broadcast the fact.” Then came the night he told me I was getting too fat and my whole World fell apart. I should have just told him to shove it and left right then, but I was so low on myself that I blamed my own appearance for why he had lost interest in me! I actually went out of my way to watch everything that went into my mouth, I wore more makeup that I ever had before and I became a doll in a way, I spoke and behaved how he told me too and I began to crave his acceptance. If only I could go back in time and kick my own behind, tell myself just how pathetic I had become, but at the time I truly believed it when he told me that he was doing it for my own good and that I would thank him one day.
By 2002 he had (apparently) become the only person keeping Westpac going and he was spending more and more time away, he was allegedly buying houses because he got excellent deals through the bank and was constantly pushing me to allow him to grow my business for me. I had always hated credit cards so I refused outright, I still had enough sense left to know that it was a bad idea, especially seeing how hard I had had to work in the beginning just to keep things afloat. I did however allow him to come in as a somewhat silent partner, I’m still forever thankful that I never signed anything, but he would often waltz in to the salon with a “hello ladies” like it was all his and all my clients regardless of age would swoon as he walked past, he had charmed the pants off all of them and became a somewhat regular face, he was beginning to behave like I worked for him he went ahead and did some renovations and he changed a lot, I was still (thankfully) in charge of the daily running of the business and he never got his hands on any of those details, he spent a lot of money that I didn’t really have to spend though. He had also mentioned doing up an old store room out the back to offer extra services such as massage etc, I had a diploma in relaxation and remedial massage and he thought that would be a brilliant idea. I much preferred hairdressing, but I entertained the idea that it would potentially boost profits and I could bring in a third hairdresser to help out.
In the September he had gotten weird again and by the November things had gotten out of control, he was always away, his attitude had gone back to the nasty, spiteful person I hated and I couldn’t do anything right. He returned from a “business trip” to Sydney just before Christmas and informed me that he was starting his own property management business. At this stage he apparently had approx. 12 properties throughout Launceston and these would be the foundation of the business whilst he worked on getting more business managing other people’s properties. Then came the interesting part, I was to put my salon up as collateral for all his start-up costs and if I “proved myself worthy” he would send me back to school to get my real estate license and I would run his business because he was too busy with Westpac to give it his full attention. I didn’t care much for property so I had never really paid much attention to any of it, but he had essentially gone from bank manager to property tycoon overnight and I was happy being a lowly hairdresser, I didn’t want a new career.
When I confessed to him that I didn’t want to run his business and that I was actually really happy where I was, plus I didn’t think my little country salon would get him the $360,000 he was after anyway he lost it… by the time he was finished with me I was in tears and apologising for being so selfish… he proposed, I accepted and now apparently everything was “ours” not his and mine… thinking about it now I don’t even like to admit just how stupid I was, who in their right mind accepts a marriage proposal from someone who not 2 minutes before asking was quite politely calling you all the names under the sun and telling you exactly what type of piece of shit human being you really were?! In reality though, I felt like I owed it to him to say yes and that he was doing it for my benefit… I had honestly reached a point where I believed it when he told me he was doing me the favour of being with him and I should think myself lucky. I know, ridiculous right. Now I realise that he didn’t really plan to propose, it just worked to his advantage in providing a link that proved his devotion so that I would cough up the paperwork for the salon.
At this point he had begun to really ramp up his business plans, he showed me houses that he owned and he took me into some of them. He would walk up to the door, open it up and proceed to show me the process for doing a house inspection, explained all the things I would need to know if I had to do it on my own and was bragging about how much he had paid for this one or that one and said how he always had tenants because he was such a great landlord so we would never be short of business or money, he even had people on waiting lists to live in his houses! The scariest part of this story is not the obvious BS that was spewing out of his mouth, but the fact that he didn’t own any of them… I had been involved in god knows how many break and enters and had been an accomplice to invading someone’s privacy and I didn’t even know it! I sometimes think if I ever found out the poor people whose house I had been in I would love to apologise, I felt sick enough when I found out that it wasn’t legit, let alone how awful the person who lived there must have felt. Yet another thing to add to the list of things to berate myself for in the years following our breakup…
Come the June/July of 2003 I was starting to ask questions about when we were going to set a wedding date, we had been engaged for nearly 18 months and every time I brought it up he would deflect it by telling me he was too busy at work to talk about it and if I knew anything about him at all I would realise just how stressful his life had become and he couldn’t believe that I didn’t have better/more important things to think about. He had stopped hiding his drinking again and we were back to him getting drunk and either throwing up and passing out or having one of his tantrums, it was taking its toll on me and it was starting to show… I had gone from reasonably well-adjusted to thinking I must have been losing the plot and I had become somewhat obsessed with making sure I fit his image of the perfect woman, only he kept changing what that was! I didn’t know which way was up, I was barely functioning and I was starting to tire of what my life had become. He came ‘home’ (who knows where home actually was for him at the point!) after yet another trip to Sydney with a bottle of whiskey that he had apparently been given by another lawyer because he had helped him win a case and at the ¾ empty point I lost it… he hadn’t been back in my company for longer than half an hour before he began drinking and with each glass he got more and more critical, I could feel myself spiralling into the awful place I always went when he started to put me down and try to convince me I was worthless and I didn’t want to go there, I hated the anxiety attacks and I hated the after effects of them, they made me feel really sick for days as the adrenalin wore off and I snapped… I threw his ring at him so hard I left a mark right in the middle of his forehead, I said a lot of things that I wish I hadn’t said, not because I didn’t mean them but because I was annoyed that I had stooped so low to talk trash like he always did to me… I told him that it was over, there was no more and he could shove his “future” right up his a***, sideways for all I cared because I wanted nothing to do with a drunk and to forget that he ever knew me.
By the time I left I was shaking so badly I could barely walk, putting one foot in front of the other took so much concentration I wasn’t really sure how far I would make it before I had to give up. Standing up to someone who had so much control over you is never easy, but to stand up to someone you love (yes I hate to admit that I thought that was love, but in my defence I was 19/20 and had no real idea on anything) that takes courage. I managed to get just around the corner before the anxiety hit and I had to pull over and wait for it to pass. He never bothered to follow me. He did however call me and asked to talk. I met him in a coffee shop because I refused to be anywhere alone with him and he told me about how he had had this really bad case he was working on and that the bank was blaming him for things not going right and he just had to let off steam and he was so sorry…. The more he talked the more I hated what was coming out of his mouth, I hated his words and I hated him… I was putting pieces together while he was talking and right in the middle of his spiel on how he knew it was so hard on me when he was away so often I made the ridiculous statement “geez anybody would think you were already bloody married!” … the colour drained out of his face and I thought he was getting sick or something and for a split second I was concerned, that was until he said in a voice so quiet I almost misheard it “how did you know?”… well that was me done, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t do anything… I stood up threw my cup of coffee at him (dramatic I know, but he was really lucky in that moment he didn’t get the cup as well as the contents) and I walked away. I refused to answer his calls and after so many messages of apology he nearly blew up my poor old Nokia 3310 I changed my number. It was August 10th, a date I will never forget.
It was to be 6 years before I saw him again and as I mentioned before I had gone from one con man to another, I had gotten married during the time since I had left him and had 1 child. It was a hellish 5 years, my (ex) husband was a very violent, abusive man and by the time my daughter was 3 months old and my husband had run off with another one of his women, apparently in Melbourne for a week of training (now where have I heard that before) I got a message from Andrew on FaceBook. He was apparently divorced now and loving life and he just wanted to send me a message to see if I would allow him the chance to apologise for how he had behaved way back when. He assured me that he wanted nothing from me, just the chance to make amends and that he hoped that I could give him that. I sat there with my new mum really need a haircut ponytail and briefly noted the spew stain on my tshirt and laughed at the audacity, but if he knew the trainwreck that was hiding behind my pre-baby profile picture best of luck to him. So I sent him back a message saying that I wasn’t interested in his apology and if there was anything he felt he needed to say he could do so by return message. He sent me his phone number with the plea to allow him to speak directly to me, it was impersonal online and that I could put my number on private and I would never have to hear from him again. I didn’t bother calling.
A week later when my husband had returned home, he had one of his meltdowns (apparently I had ironed the wrong colour shirt for work that day) and I hit the deck (for the last time as it turned out), he left for work and my phone rang, I answered. I still don’t know how the hell he got my number but he immediately knew something was up… I was trying to settle my daughter, clean up the mess from the mug of coffee that had not that long ago gone flying past my head and hit the wall instead and determined not to cry… he picked up on my weird behaviour and continued to push until I finally broke down. He was apparently in Launceston, due to appear in court the next day and he was at my house within 30 minutes, I still don’t know how he knew where I lived and I hadn’t even invited him, he just showed up. My daughter was sleeping and I still regret letting him in, but I was still somewhat dazed and he knew what he was doing… he immediately showed genuine concern and gave me a hug… I ended up a bawling mess in front of the one person I disliked almost as much as my husband and found myself giving him a blow by blow account of the last 6 years of my life in between huge ridiculous sobs… I still to this day do not know why he bothered, if he was after what I’m fairly certain he was after he had knocked on the wrong door. I was desperate to get out and he knew it, I was scared and I had already confessed that I was sure that if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to and I was frightened what would happen to my daughter.
He told me to have all my stuff packed up by Monday (it was Friday at this point) that he would get this work case out of the way (he was working for Statewide by now) and he would be back for me, he would take me to his house and I would stay with him until he could help me get out of the relationship, but at least we would be safe. I still can’t believe I agreed to it especially knowing what I did, but in front of me was the Andrew I met 9 years before and I craved the nice guy I had before the shit storm had taken over my entire life… I wanted to go back to 18 when life was so easy… so it was settled I was going to Hobart.
On the Sunday my husband was in another one of his revolting moods so I put my daughter in the pram and we went for a walk… I took the longest possible route I could think of and halfway along the waterfront I heard someone call my name. I turned to see one of my clients (I had moved from one side of the river to the other after getting married and had bought my salon with me, but only worked here for 6 years) and she was motioning for me to stop and wait, so I did… she was getting out of a car and she waved me to come up towards her, as I did someone got out of the car beside her and she introduced her eldest son as someone she really wanted me to meet. He lifted his glasses up and went to shake my hand and in a split second my whole world changed. I wasn’t going to Hobart and I most definitely wasn’t staying where I was. Turns out that day I met the one person who would make up for nearly a decade of my life, I just didn’t know it, but I did know that when you feel that kind of connection to someone and you just know everything is going to be okay even though you don’t know how that you just have to trust it… when I went home my husband had gone to the pub so I called Andrew to let him know that I had changed my mind. He didn’t ask why and he sounded distracted saying that he would get back to me later, he was really busy.
He called me back a couple of hours later and said that he was still in Launceston and that his case was taking longer than it should, but he really wanted to talk to me about what was going on so could I meet him for breakfast the next day, I agreed, thinking that he had been good enough to try and help me so the least I could do was give him an explanation. He sent a message at 7am to say that he was running late so to come to his hotel room and he would order room service so we could have coffee and eat while he was getting himself organised. I had already dropped my daughter off with my mother and in the car ready to leave so I went with it. When I arrived he opened the door and I knew that nothing had changed, the alcohol fumes were so strong I was nearly drunk just standing in the doorway and he was visibly erratic, he invited me in and showed me where the kettle was, apparently if I wanted coffee I was making my own. He started talking immediately saying that he couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to be with him, I explained that I never said I did, he had offered to help me and I had accepted I definitely wasn’t asking for a relationship… he went on to say how much he loved me and how he always had and then shoved a whole heap of papers at me and said that all of it was mine if I stayed with him, he was giving it all to me… I sort of looked at it but I didn’t know what he was on about and he went on to say that he had spent all night writing up documents and that 2 million dollars of his assets were all mine, he didn’t care for them, he just wanted me… they had a proper looking letterhead and I was still none-the-wiser to what he was really like remember… but I explained to him as tactfully as I could what happened the day before and that I couldn’t really explain to him why, but I just couldn’t go… and he turned on me asking whether it was because he wasn’t worth enough money, was the other guy worth 3 mill and on and on and on he went… I have no idea whose house he was going to give me, but I didn’t want any of it and I certainly didn’t want a relationship with him, I hadn’t even gotten out of the situation I was already in let alone thought about starting a new one!
I walked out of the hotel room and slammed the door behind me, nothing had changed and I had dodged a bullet. I was thankful only for the fact that by his turning up I had been able to admit what was going on in my life and once I made it real then I could fight it… I left my husband that night and it was to be 3 years before I began another relationship, with the same guy that I had met that fateful Sunday afternoon. Once my ex-husband found out that I had started a new relationship he decided that he wanted to make my life somewhat difficult and he came after the house which stupidly had remained in joint names as I was a single mother at the time and couldn’t get a loan to keep it in my name so I paid for it and he remained on the title until such time as I could work full-time and take it on, under the guise of making sure his daughter had somewhere to live. I was a week away from getting kicked out, I had nowhere to go and I was trying to get hold of Andrew as he had told me once that when he and Susan split up there was a loophole he had found that meant that he could remain in part ownership so out of sheer desperation I tried to track him down, he had disappeared off FaceBook so I messaged the one person I assumed would know where he was… and so here I am telling my story to the World in an attempt to help save 3 little boys and back up a friend I think very highly of and whose strength I admire yet have never actually met.
I have known Susan since we were kids, going through both primary and high school with her. We re-connected again after we found ourselves working for the same company some years later, and then I met Andy after he also started working for the same company.
On first impressions, Andy seemed a really lovely guy, always very friendly, but as time went on, and I spent more time with him, it became clear that he had some troubles.
As it was some time ago, my memory doesn’t have everything in order but below are a few instances that took me aback.
On the evening of the birth of one of his children to Susan, he called me to ‘see if I was free for a visit’ as Susan would be ‘out of action’ for a while. At the time, I actually thought he was joking, I later realised he was dead serious!
After Susan had the 3 boys, there was a time with the youngest was only a baby, and she had said she was having trouble trying to get her oldest child to school while managing the baby. I lived near the school and offered to look after the baby while she did the drop off / pick up. It was nearly all arranged when he called to tell me that it wasn’t needed; Susan would just have to deal with it –trying to distance friends.
He stopped me on the side of the road after leaving their house after a visit one time to tell me that Susan was having trouble coming to terms with dealing with having three children, and it would be better if I just stayed away. He said that she didn’t really like me anyway, and that it would be better for all of us. Again, distancing friends.
There was a time when Andy told me they had split up and that it was better if I didn’t contact Susan as she was ‘getting over the shock of it’. That was when I was just so over it all, and I called Susan and said that he had told me all of that, and was she ok. They hadn’t split up at all, it was again another lie.
It ended with me becoming distant from Suse, and thankfully over time we’ve reconnected.
|Ive known Suse for nearly 20 years and have been privy to many a story along the way.
Even after deciding to leave him, he was still such a suffocating part of her life.
My earliest memory was after they had first met and he seemed to have moved in within no time at all and had so many outrageous stories to tell and I wasn’t sure if he was just trying to impress or whether he was just a wanker lying his way through life.
I was in regular contact with Suse over the years until she moved to Hobart and remember when she was still in Launceston, hearing they had broken up..which I found very strange as they were still very much together and in the final stages of their last pregnancy. I mentioned this when I went to visit her and she said it wasn’t the first time she had heard it that week.
Another memory that comes to light is when he gave us a huge Coles bag full of marijuana leaf asking if we knew any one who would want it…it was evidence that had been taken during a ‘raid’ he’d done during his undercover work.
Another memory is Suse telling me how he made her think that SHE was the one going insane. He’d tell a a story and then he’d recount it at a late date and she knew it wasn’t what he’d originally said and when she questioned him he would talk his way out of it, like she hadn’t heard the full story properly. In the end to protect her sanity she told me she had started a diary to keep notes of what he was saying so she could recheck facts he’d previously stated.
I remember her telling me he said he’d been overseas for work and came back with the pumpkin patch stuff for the kids, went on a hovercraft and bought a heap of duty free alcohol…all bullshit as he’d been in QLD with his other woman. When Suse questioned him on where the duty free alcohol was, that he didn’t have on him after he got home, he secretly called a cab and ordered alcohol to be delivered. Not long after the doorbell rang and he guessed it was the cab delivering the supposed duty free alcohol he’d left behind. I believe he’d paid for it on the credit card so he was easily caught out later on.
I recall him also telling my partner when we were visiting about this very rare and highly expensive whiskey that had been given to him at work and offered him a glass. Later that day we were at the bottleshop stocking up on alcohol and there on the shelf was this ‘rare’ and very expensive whiskey as standard stock.
There’s other random stories that I recall over the years as they popped up, but don’t have enough detail to describe and list them here.
All through this Suse has tried to make the separation as painless as possible for the boys, letting them see him and be a part of their lives.
She always made a point of never bagging Andrew out to boys, as he was still their father, but just couldn’t explain his behaviour sometimes to them.
She never had to ask much anyway as the boys would always report back what strange things had happened on their last visit to Dad.
Hopefully getting this story out will help Suse move on with her life and protect others from the crazy ways of Andrew.
My experience with Andy was relatively brief however confusing and disturbing all the same. A friend whom had connected with him on Facebook suggested that I contact him since we both lived in Tasmania. I messaged him on 27th March 2008 and he was pretty quick to reply. He told me that he had 3 sons, aged 5, 3 and 2. He told me that he was a lawyer, that he had recently left channel 9 and had started with Wesfarmers Insurance. He claimed to be still married but separated for the last 6 months. I had asked if he just had the three boys or any other children, and he said, and I quote ”I have my 3 boys and no hidden ones I know about..”. He also claimed that he had not been seeing anyone during the past 6 months, that he wasn’t really interested and was happy focusing on his work. We had a few dates in amongst many messages and emails over a period of about 5 months, before I told him that I wouldn’t accept being treated so poorly. We’d catch up and have a wonderful time, he would talk about our plans for the future with ease and excitement, but then cease contact for a week or two, sometimes even more. I guess that was to be expected with the amount of women he was investing time into. Andy has no regard for anyone other than himself and his behaviour is disgusting. He talked about growing old together, traveling and meeting all of my family, that he couldn’t wait to meet my daughter and for me to meet his boys. He expressed his feelings so openly it actually was a little surprising. The details in which he gave about his life and the information of mine that he retained made it almost impossible to believe that he was anything but genuine. The only good thing to come out of meeting Andy has been the wonderful women it has put me in touch with once we realised the truth about him and I’m very grateful to have not let myself get too close to him. I’m sorry for all the women he has lied to and am pleased to see him fully exposed!
Im not sure where to start but i will give it a go.
I met Andy around 2008 and from word go he was full on texting, calling, visiting.. and from a naieve woman i was i believed every word he told me. He told me he was a commercial lawyer working for channel 7 and also working as an under cover police officer. He was huge at dropping names and also promised to get tickets to the filming of shows on the mainland due to his contacts…funnily enough i never saw them. He would splash cash around, buy gifts etc.
Back then i fell for this man, believed everything he said…the work trips away, the lack of communication as he was in meetings all the time. Id introduced him to my friends…one friend in particular saw straight through his lies…she called channel 7 and tried to track him down…and of course there was no andy tchappat that worked there. I confronted him and he blew it off saying she must have called the wrong department or something like that.
Due to andys increasing non communication and my friends nagging doubts… i left him… i would get texts and phone calls saying how he loved me how we were meant to be together…how we needed to have total honest and open communication for a realtionship to work. And of course that didnt happen so i went my own way. It wasnt until a few years later i ran into him…and the messages started again. He still loved me..we should be together blah blah… we did catch up for coffee and he told me he was part owner of a brothel in sydney and was making over $80 000 a year in just that.. he also said one of his tasmanian friends was over there running it for him. He also said he was regional manager for a lightning company and travelled a lot for work…and he said i should travel with him as his new girlfriend! I was already wary of him…i knew he’d lied in the past…so didnt jump to any conclusions.
He also told me that his dad died a few years ago in a car accident. I didnt doubt him..but never checked up on it either. This last time we so called reconnected we were supposed to meet up for dinner etc…but when i text after a few days of no contact he texts back saying he had been busy on the mainland with meetings for his company.
After reading other womens stories…the constant stream of similar lies… this man will only continue to hurt those around him. I applaud his ex wife for speaking up and i fully support her for solely raising her sons. I had no idea the depth and extent of his lies and deception. All i can say is share this and get word out.
This is the story I never wanted to put into written words
Why am I doing this, you may ask?
I’ve spent sixteen years in what can only be described as exhaustive and soul-destroying damage control and handling of the situation with Andrew that has negatively impacted every facet of my and my family’s life. I have turned a blind eye to most to protect my sanity, limit its interference on my life and create a stable and happy future for myself and my boys, but it has nonetheless consumed me in the background as I’ve had to keep tabs on the behaviour so that I know my children are safe enough when they’ve had to see their father.
The catalyst to my finally speaking out was a recent lie regarding his inability to be here for his children on Father’s Day and then a few days later cancelling his agreed time to see the boys due to an extremely important trip to Melbourne where he was required to make 459 (yeah very accurate) people redundant from his company, Gerard Lighting. He was so stressed about this; that’s the approach he uses to make you feel like you can’t complain at him letting you down because obviously you have to recognise that what he is going through is hell! Upon calling bullshit here, in my usual fashion I googled and googled and there was nothing in regards to such a large loss of jobs which would most definitely have been in the media. I googled his name and his company and found “THE BLOG” and my world changed. Once again damage control and child protection instincts kicked in. Enough was ENOUGH.
I promised myself that I would face this head on from here. I will not live knowing this monster any longer, nor will I allow him to influence my amazing children a day longer.
In light of that, I want to help provide an insight to anyone out there that may be in a struggle to comprehend the aftermath of knowing him and potentially dealing with the violation of their personal rights. I hope this provides some answers or clarity to those who may be seeking them.
I did find this this incredibly hard to compile. I’ve left out SO much. Some of it is probably even important and relevant but I’ve learned to block a lot of this part of my life in order to move forward. I’m constantly reminded by friends of occasions that I’d forgotten about whilst we were together and which had clearly had left them in shock and disbelief.
I have known Andrew since 1999, and we began a relationship in March 2000 when he was 22. From the start it was very full on and we were inseparable. He had been living with a friend since he’d been broken up with his ex girlfriend but I don’t think he ever went back there since the day we met, other than to “move out” his belongings. I was shocked when he turned up to my place and I saw they were all contained in one cardboard box. No furniture, no household goods, nothing other than some clothes and couple of photos really. He had nothing other than that and his bomby car. He said he’d left it all with his ex as she had their son and needed it more.
Andrew had discussed a lot about his family, but I hadn’t met them due to his excommunication from their life and religion. He had told me part truths, along with some ridiculously big lies as it turns out. It seems as though he’s forever been obsessed with law and extravagance and name dropping. He told myself and my family that his mother was a QC in Sydney where he was born and raised (he was born in Launceston) and that the reason they had to relocate to Tasmania was due to her involvement in the infamous Ivan Milat case. This was according to Andrew, for their safety.
In these early days, Andrew also told us all he was suffering from a form of Cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and he had been receiving highly expensive and experimental treatment which was only new to Australia and his parents were supposedly funding this. Completely untrue. These are just a couple of examples to highlight the type of lies that are part of who he is, always has been and forever will be.
Within a month or two the lease to my 2 bedroom unit was up and we signed a lease on a new cottage in town. The day before we were due to move, I came home from work to find Andrew had left. I was distraught. I drove around in circles not knowing what to do. As I mentioned, I had never met his family, but I drove to the house he said they lived and was about to knock on the door. It didn’t seem right and his car wasn’t there so I left it. Turns out this elaborate house with a lift was never their house so I’m glad. For some reason I drove to City Park (weird, I never go there) and eventually found him. Even back then he was irresponsible with money. A month or so later his car was repossessed. He wouldn’t answer the finance company’s phone calls or letters so I made arrangements to return it. He had a terrible track record with finances and was bankrupt at this stage. I have always been pedantic about paying bills so I took control.
He was working casually at Telstra call centre at this stage and earning next to nothing so I was carrying most of the costs. I then started working for Westpac and loved it so encouraged him to apply there too as he needed to get his act together and work fulltime so we could afford to buy a house and get married, etc. He and I worked together at Westpac from 2000. We married in late 2001. On our wedding day, it was quite a running joke that Andrew stumbled on the vows…on the word, “f-f-f-f-faithful.” It wasn’t really a joke.
Andrew used to work as a bouncer occasionally and I would collect him from work at 2-3am when the pubs closed (we only had one car now). This type of security work excited him, and he then started telling me about one of the bouncers who owned a security business and who did private security work. He said he was asked to do some as well to which I agreed as it would be extra cash. He then used to disappear a lot and come home with elaborate stories of what he’d had to do. This would often involve being a security guard for prostitutes and following people. Sounded strange but I didn’t question it at the time.
Meanwhile, he would receive calls at times asking him to drive trucks for someone he used to know from when he worked at Gunns Timber. He would often disappear for the day driving a truck somewhere, often Georgetown where I now know he had another relationship going on. It seemed odd that he rarely came back with any pay from these and had to chase for it. I would become quite sus about it, but then some money would come so I let it go. I believe this money that turned up could have been as a result of gambling, or at least that was how he explained it off down the track.
I bought a house before we got married, as Andrew was bankrupt and unable to. Once he was discharged from bankruptcy, we refinanced the mortgage in his name too so that he could establish a credit rating again – clearly he’s taken off over the years and maxed himself to the hilt again.
I became pregnant with our first son in around March 2002, and Andrew was quite excited and attentive. Our 2nd son was on the way in around November 2003. It was during that 2nd pregnancy that the cracks became wide. He was absent – fully. He told me that through his security work he’d actually become part of the undercover police force. He would vanish nearly every night all night nearly, often coming home at 3-4am and never allow me to know where he was as it was “confidential due to the nature of the work”. I often questioned where the pay was for this work, and again was fobbed off with excuses. I even witnessed fake phone calls where he’d call the Commander of Police asking when his pay would be ready. He was holding down his Westpac Team Leader role during this time also.
In reading this you’re probably wondering why I let things go, even though I was suspicious? Now that I’m so far detached from this life I wonder the same thing. Firstly, the quick and detailed response when questioned is not what you’d expect from catching any normal person lying. There were none of the normal tell-tale ear pulling, weak stories, twitchy responses. I would know he was lying but I just couldn’t prove most of it. I did however, keep a diary of suspected lies in the hope that they would be exposed down the track and there would maybe be a good reason for the lie. Unfortunately, I no longer have this diary. Also, I guess part of me wanted to believe that my husband could not be so deceitful with such underhanded motives.
It was throughout this time that he started hiding his car behind our house so it couldn’t be seen from the street. His excuse was that it was necessary to prevent anyone he had been investigating from following him and seeing where he lived; it was for our safety. It turns out this was due to the fact that he’d been telling all his women “friends” that we had separated, he no longer lived there and that I had cheated on him/he’d caught me in bed with a woman/I had a new boyfriend, etc…whatever shocking, “feel sorry for me, she’s a bitch excuse” he could think of at the time. It was ridiculous: I was a housebound new mum!!
The night I went into labour with my 2nd son he wasn’t home. He turned up just after I’d had a couple of contractions about 11pm. He had been drinking, although maintained he’d been at the undercover headquarters. I later discovered he’d actually taken out his main other girlfriend to dinner.
When my 2nd son was around 8 months old, I went to Hobart to the sleep clinic for 8 days. When I returned home, I found a wedding photo had been moved into his bedside drawer, the one on the wall was crooked as if it had been removed and put back. It confused me and when I asked about it, I don’t even recall the answer but it was something regarding him cleaning. Sounded ridiculous but I couldn’t prove anything so let it slide. As it turned out, a woman he’d been seeing didn’t believe that he had moved out so whilst I was in hospital he invited her around after clearing out all his clothes to the shed and hiding everything that linked us as married so that she could see. She picked up on this as he made a point of taking her into our bedroom and showing her empty cupboards, but she noticed a couple of dropped coat hangers on the doorstep.
Andrew began to spiral out of control. At times he appeared to be quite psychotic. I recall late one night he came tearing home screaming at me to get the sleeping boys (newborn and toddler) out of their bedrooms, that we had to sleep in the lounge room as it wasn’t safe in the front of the house as dangerous people were following him and cars were going to crash through their bedrooms. That alarmed me. I refused to wake the boys and live in irrational fear. It was apparent he was under the influence of something that night.
It wasn’t at all unusual for Andrew to be under the influence of something. Whilst I never saw any illegal drug use personally, he had no problems in discussing this with others. He would regularly drink to excess, often vomiting. My mother once caught my eldest son who was perhaps 3 at the time, bent over a toilet making a loud noise. When asked what he was doing, my son replied, “vomiting like Daddy.” Andrew did have an addiction to prescription pain killers, under the guise of back/neck pain or headaches and he seemed to doctor shop to attain these. I’m aware he still does this.
During this “undercover” work he said his “partner” was xxxx. I knew her as she also worked at Westpac. He told elaborate stories of her and how she handled herself with a gun. I didn’t know her well so I didn’t feel like I could ask her about it. He would have me pack up the babies and drop him at her house so he could have drinks with her (imaginary) boyfriend. He had me drop him at the police station and various other places for work, and then she would come and collect him I guess. I occasionally received odd phone calls from people on the home phone looking for Andrew. I’d say he wasn’t home and they’d hang up.
At the same time, a couple of people from Westpac had asked if I was ok as they’d heard we had broken up but each time I questioned him over this he talked his way out of it. I can’t recall all the excuses and cover ups – there were so many. One night, a good friend of mine called again and said she’d heard we’d split and she was concerned. I’d had enough. I confronted him when he arrived home and pushed very hard until he started admitting part truths including a long term affair and a pregnancy (this ended in termination) – with his undercover partner. This was extremely overwhelming.
This is the point that I wanted to leave. He then proceeded to claim he had mental health issues, possibly bipolar and convinced me he felt remorse and regret and couldn’t live without me or his boys. He begged me to help. I felt obliged to help this man….my husband and father of my babies. So over the following few months we attended psychiatric appointments. My father and I both witnessed him lie to and manipulate professionals, and eventually he was given the diagnosis of bipolar he was aiming for in an attempt to validate his behaviour. Though I feel foolish, having given him the chance to get help and seeing that it is just another one of his games I am now much wiser to this part of his emotional manipulation. Saying he needs help is Andrew’s last resort, when all other ploys for empathy and sympathy, and all threats, have failed.
During this time, he was sacked from his role as a Team Leader with Westpac for sexual harassment. I wasn’t able to gain full details at the time, but later managed to attain some of the summary of allegations, which was rather humiliating. Without going into enormous detail, the allegations were from approximately six or seven members of his team who provided statements regarding his constant inappropriate sexual discussions, his absenteeism (particularly during weekend shifts when management was scarce) and subsequent return with suggestion he had fulfilled a need. He would also threaten anyone who suggested warning me of his infidelity.
Andrew then gained employment doing security patrolling of a shopping centre and security checks of buildings overnight which was meant to have him working until about 1-2am. This work was offered to him by a friend who owned a security company. He again started disappearing for entire nights, nearly every night. He was uncontactable. He would often say he’d gone straight to “undercover” from this job. So immediately after he finishing getting pyschiatric treatment he reverted straight back to his deceitful behaviour. Eventually, he lost this security job and it’s only come to light to me in the past few weeks that this was due to harassment (sending indecent photos to) of a minor who was working in one of the shops in the centre.
The lies got more constant…. trips to the shop for cigarettes as he’d lost his packet; the hardware store for the 3rd time that day because he’d forgotten a type of nail and he’d be gone for 4 hours; the out of hours court hearings that the Commander of Police had called our home phone and requested he attend. His lies were elaborate and he’d been seen in a phone box on many occasions as calls were obviously not trackable. He would explain in great detail how he was handcuffed on a flight to Melbourne to extradite a dangerous criminal, giving full information on names, crimes, appearance, mannerisms of the criminal…often. He would frequently be required to investigate and be involved in chasing criminals whilst performing surveillance of poppy fields.
I recall an incident where he came home distraught after being at a scene where someone had died and he recounted how they had fallen against a bar heater and effectively melted. If only I was less naïve and google was as useful back then and I was as proficient in my detective skills as I am today, I may have uncovered more extravagant rubbish.
Andrew then began working for a commercial cleaning chemical company – Johnson Diversey as a sales rep. He essentially sold and installed dispensers for detergents and chemicals in businesses, hospitals, supermarket delis, etc. On finding condoms in his wallet once, he had yet another elaborate story as having been provided them by work as a hygenic cover for his drill when installing dispensers as they caught the shavings and prevented contamination. (Yes you can laugh now, I didn’t believe it completely but this guy can convince someone they’re insane.)
He said he would fly out to oil rigs and would be out of contact for days as he had to install equipment on them. He often used to say he had to travel to Woolnorth for the same thing. He would use any remote location and the excuse that he would be uncontactable due to poor mobile coverage.
He would pilfer things from every employer and not just a pen or box of staples but huge quantities of commercial size washing power, cleaning chemicals and dispensers from one employer, giving them to friends and family and goodness knows where else. He had a corporate credit card and misused this, leading to his loss of employment with this company. I believe he was using it for personal travel, building materials to build a gazebo for a woman he was having an affair with, and excessive amounts of alcohol for “his customers” as thank you gifts.
Andrew had (and still has) a powerful knack of isolating you from feeling safe in talking to family and friends and I felt so ashamed and confused that I’d ended up in this situation. However, I was in a headspace at this point in our marriage where I was 99% sure I needed to get out and was trying to work out how on earth and when I was going to do this on my own. I was still on maternity leave from my job at Westpac at this point and whilst spending my days juggling mum duties and investigating Andrew, I discovered some emails from a secret account. I became aware that his “undercover partner” was again, pregnant. Whilst assessing my position with this new and shocking news over the next week I also discovered I was pregnant with our 3rd son. This changed my whole position and ability to escape. I had a lot to comprehend.
This period culminated in another trip to the psych and a change in medication, and a promise from Andrew that he intended to keep our family together whatever it took, and he agreed he would not acknowledge the other woman/child moving forward. He was particularly careful in limiting and/or hiding any contact over the period of time before our 3rd child was born in March 2006, but I later became aware he had attended the birth of the other daughter in the same hospital just weeks before showing his face in the same place for the delivery of our 3rd son. Disgusting, humiliating and shocking.
Johnson-Diversey moved us to Hobart in April 2007. I was all for a fresh start as I’d since felt pressure to resign from my role with Westpac due to the extreme humiliation and shame he’d caused. Whilst at this point I was starting to plan my escape again, I was agreeable to leaving Launceston for a fresh start and I perhaps held a glimmer of hope that maybe he was finally on some medication that was going to “fix” him.
In August 2007 it was my birthday and Andrew said he had to go overseas with Johnson-Diversey to Singapore for a week and couldn’t get out of it. He took cash advances from the credit card (which he knew I was dead against) as he said it wasn’t safe to use credit cards overseas. He then disappeared for a week, leaving me with the children (4, 3, 1) in a new city with no support network and making no contact. I spent the week trying to find information on his trip, whilst also setting myself up to escape. Eventually, I discovered flights to Brisbane with the woman he’d been having an affair and child with. When he returned and was confronted he adamantly refused to admit it, maintaining he’d only paid for her to fly to Brisbane for a holiday (in lieu of child support) and that he flew on to Singapore. He then went into elaborate detail as only Andrew can about the scenery, the weather, the hovercraft ride he went on from Singapore to Macau (yes I googled that and I know it’s ridiculous). He brought home a map of Macau, Pumpkin Patch winter clothes for the boys – AS IF they would sell those in Singapore – a pair of havianas for me and an ugly top. All of which I am sure were purchased at Brisbane airport.
Confronting Andrew achieves nothing, other than the two occasions I pushed and ended up with bruises. Not the bashing type, but the forceful grabbing, twisting of an arm and throwing against furniture type. These were seen by my family. He doesn’t like to be challenged and will lash out when he is. Andrew always resorts to threats and intimidation. He uses fear tactics to control. He has an uncanny knack of recalling any possible dirt he thinks will rattle you and will threaten to use it against you.
I was leaving. I was scared. Another one of his tactics was to isolate me from friends, who he always told me had been talking about me behind my back, and I had no family around. For the sake of my children I had to go and I’d financially planned around escaping so I was ready. Andrew then admitted himself into a psych clinic in a desperate attempt to control me and make me stay. I attended appointments with the psychiatrist and discussed my concerns regarding his actual diagnosis. I explained my research and belief that he was not bipolar but a sociopath with a plethora of high functioning personality disorders. He agreed. I asked what could be done to help someone like that and will always recall the answer, “Nothing really……other than therapy which may help a bit but essentially he will be as he is” I was then told in a very indirect and tactful way to flee from the relationship for the sake of my children and my own sanity/safety.
The months that followed were horrendous. He attempted to tell my family that I was bipolar and it was ME that had mental health problems. He tried his best to discredit me to my parents in an attempt to stop them believing what I was about to reveal. I still investigated because I was concerned about his contact with the children, and I saw things online that made me feel ill.
His womanising continued in a disgraceful way. It was becoming apparent that the number of women that he was now interacting with had magnified immensely. I was aware that he was seeing handfuls of women at the same time, telling them elaborate stories about his wealth, numerous assets (land, cars, boats, houses, pubs) . Now he was posing as a lawyer for Channel 7. It made me feel sick but I was free from him on a personal level so I had to choose not to care.
I was extremely uncomfortable with him having any custody of the boys as they were very young, but I allowed it initially thinking it would be in their best interests to see their father. I would then hear stories (both from my 5 year old and later the woman that briefly lived with him) that he was feeding them alcohol, taking various drugs, drink driving with them, not supervising them appropriately – ie he’d be hungover and wouldn’t get up in the morning other than to turn the TV on for the boys and go back to bed. This frightened me as my youngest was under 2, barely walking and there was a large staircase in his house. I also once discovered a gun behind his couch when I dropped off my children. My youngest went to pull it out and asked him what it was. He didn’t have a gun licence.
These issues led me to seek full custody. I collated information and went to see a lawyer. Andrew harassed me constantly and intimidated me so much I was living in fear. He would call my phone repeatedly, 20 times or more until I answered. He would send text after text making demands. He would go from begging and pleading to abusive name calling and threatening to fight me for the children. On several occasions when I turned my phone off and refused to answer, he turned up on my doorstep to continue. My then partner was also witness to this harassment and verbal abuse. I applied and was approved for an FVO to ensure he kept his distance from myself and the children in an emotionally or verbally abusive way. So since 2008 I have had sole parental responsibility for my boys and he only sees them at times agreed by both parties. As time went on and the children became less demanding (ie not in nappies) I relented and gave him more time: weekends, and one weeknight. However he would often cancel due to “work commitments”.
Mid 2008 he moved in with a girlfriend who became his new enabler, his base relationship to come back to. He needs this type of person and their financial stability and attention to maintain a façade, particularly one of being in a stable family environment. This woman has been there consistently throughout my boys’ lives for 8 years and is largely the reason I had allowed him the custody to the level he has enjoyed as he is unstable and untrustworthy on his own. During this 8 year period I have always been aware that he has continued his cheating and multiple relationships and living his delusions of grandeur lifestyles, putting her at risk financially, emotionally and physically. I have found it extremely hard to stand by and watch this happen, but until someone is ready to accept the truth of what Andrew is about there is little anyone can do. I have been approached on a number of occasions and relayed my information, but he has been able to talk his way out of things and convince her to stay with him every time.
Later in 2008 he continued to conduct several additional relationships. One in particular involved the children. He would take them to her (well known) family functions and parade them around acting as though he was a model parent. This woman and I have had numerous conversations since and I was made aware he had again claimed to have Cancer. This was particularly close to this woman given that she lost her mother to the illness. It’s abhorrent to think anyone could lie about having something so serious and sensitive to many people. He was also simultaneously conducting a very full on relationship in Adelaide with a woman, introducing her to work colleagues and discussing buying a house over there. I was disgusted he was displaying this brazen polygamous behaviour around impressionable young boys. After speaking with many women, Andrew was confronted and cornered and again played the, “yeah I’ve got a problem card” again.
I became aware of a Sydney girlfriend in perhaps 2013 when the children kept mentioning her name. Upon questioning him, he maintained she worked with him (his usual reason for knowing all his female “friends”) and that she had a husband (everyone does conveniently). Over the next 3 years my children would often debrief with me about this woman. He made them call her when he had them, sing happy birthday to her, talk to her kids. The boys would tell me they felt really weird about it, because it was never in front of the woman they knew as their father’s partner. What children should ever have to deal with such crap at such a young age!!!! The poor kids were often introduced to their dad’s “friends” over coffee dates or meetups in a park. Lying to adults is disgusting, but lying and deceiving your children like that is a whole other level!!
His absenteeism was also a constant theme in the boys’ lives. Weekends away, supposed work trips to Bali for conferences and functions on Hamilton Island, you name it….he was always away. And somehow, he managed to make us feel guilty for the boys feeling let down. His social media use has always been secretive and he’s only ever been linked to people in certain aspects of his life, none in reality. What father wouldn’t want to be his childrens’ first friend on Facebook?
And now I fast forward to the past few weeks. The behaviour was getting to the point where I was about to lose the plot. Every week there was a let down: he couldn’t see his boys on Father’s Day as he was away in Sydney for “work”. The following weekend it was that he was called to Melbourne in his capacity as a Tasmanian Regional Manager (hmm) to make 459 people redundant from his company, Gerard Lighting. Wow, big news and so traumatic for him. How could anyone possibly challenge him on letting his children down given he had to do something like this?! I knew it was lies, and I’d had enough as I was the one seeing the upset children again and again. And sure enough, after substantial research I could see no media reporting about massive job losses.
With some more googling of his name and his company I discovered Jo’s blog…and out came my answers and the release of the demons I’ve been supressing for years.
As it turns out, Andrew has been for the last 8 years (more if you count the affairs when I was married) living multiple lives, living in multiple relationships, juggling multiple everything!!! He had his Tasmanian relationship of 8 years in the background, he’d been seeing someone for 3 years in Sydney who he’d been burning thousands and thousands of dollars on and who he became engaged to in March 2016. All of this whilst online dating on Tinder and various other dating sites and frequenting sex workers several times a week, and seeking out goodness knows how many women on social media. Nearly everyone was under the impression he was a lawyer and worked for a TV station, and had a lot of famous name friends. Scarily enough, he’d managed to attain and suck in some big name friends. He can sell ice to the eskimos and he can sell you his story and you’ll believe it no matter how smart you are.
This cyclic behaviour has happened more times than I care to recall since I left. I managed to feign an amicable relationship with Andrew for sometime by turning a blind eye to his behaviours. It gets tiring being consumed by what he is up to, and you have to switch it off for your own sanity. I always tracked and saw the lies – particularly annoying was the insistence that he was a commercial lawyer – but until such point as they impact my children, I have chosen to ignore them and focus on my and my boys’ lives. It is now severely impacting their lives and I can no longer pretend it isn’t happening.
I cannot stress enough how much this man will make you believe anything, even though you have your mind in a headspace beforehand to not be sucked in by his elaborate, emotionally charged stories, and the tears and false emotions. To this day, he still has that creepy power over me so I feel for everyone out there who doesn’t know him like I do and fall for it every time. This man does not know how to feel empathy, nor does he feel genuine feelings of guilt or remorse for anything. I firmly believe this no matter how much he tries to convince you otherwise.
8 years after leaving this man, I have once again been financially affected by his irresponsibility. He had convinced me some 3 years ago to sell my car (which I fully owned) because it was ageing and needed some expensive mechanical work. He acknowledged that he’d destroyed me in the past and financially gained at my expense, and now he was in a financial position to put things right and help get me into a new car, so that his children were travelling in safety. I declined for some time, but foolishly I accepted thinking he was putting his children first, selling my car for cash and contributing this towards a new car – he was paying the difference. He told me that this was possible due to the extra money he’d been earning through his brothel ownership in Sydney and that it wasn’t really him paying for it but “pussy paying for my car.” so I shouldn’t feel bad. As it turns out, he had done this under finance over 5 years, and upon investigation I have discovered now that there is over $10000 remaining which I am now responsible for, or my car will be repossessed. Another kick in the guts.
I could honestly go on for days writing this but it has been more than draining on my self esteem and my family has suffered long enough from his ability to control my life and my thoughts. I need this to stop. I need him to stop. I simply want people to know that you cannot trust this man, you cannot save this man, you cannot allow yourself to accept a call from this man. I promise you, he will always manage to make you doubt everything you know as real and right. If I can ask you to do one thing after reading all of these, it’s PLEASE share your experience to expose the magnitude of people he has attempted to destroy. If you are confused then contact me, I will answer anything to help. My boys will no longer be seeing him, and I will fight with everything I’ve got to protect them from the emotional manipulation and damage that someone like him will cause.
I was reacquainted with Andy on Facebook on 23rd April 2008. He was a year below me in Highschool and his ice breaker to me was he had a crush on me back then. He seemed to know a lot about me already so I didn’t doubt him.
The following week he came up to lton..and we had dinner. Straight up he was telling me he loved me and wanted to be with me. Over the next couple of months he told me he was extremely busy at work and it was necessary for him to travel to Adelaide often to help set up the new branch of his company, Statewide. When he was away I was lucky to get an email or text once a day..i questioned him on this and he told me to be patient and things would go back to normal soon. At this point also I might add he convinced me to deactivate my Facebook account.
May 10th he went to Adelaide for “business” and I hardly heard from him. When he returned he told me he had smashed his phone and lost my number..he was very frantic when I called him. June 4th Id had enough waiting and being patient and told him to go sort his sh$$ out and come back to me only when he had. He cried on the phone and told me he loved me etc etc..he even told me he was applying for a transfer and we were going to move away together!! I didn’t hear from him again until last week, I changed my mobile number and texted my whole contact list with my new number..forgot he was on it. He phoned me straight away told me he couldn’t live without me etc etc and we arranged to meet (last night) to discuss things. He told me about you XXXXX, he said you were an old work friend whom he had kept in contact with and he caught up with you and your husband, Nick regularly. There is so much more I could add regarding the lies he told. Things like referencing that Grant Tucker (a local lawyer) had passed the bar at the same time as he did. He also claimed he had represented Mick Gatto! He mentioned he’d previously had testicular cancer to gain sympathy I can only assume? He talked a lot about his relationship with his ex wife, Susan saying that they were still great friends but that her best friend had tried to join him in the shower at one point, so she shouldn’t be trusted. He mentioned when he was with living with xxxxxx briefly after Susan and he had split that she refused to allow him any photos of his kids in the house, but plastered hers all around. I knew there was something off about Andy from the word go so I kept him at arms length, my instincts were right!!! He also caused trouble for me because I’d dated someone in local government in the past and he falsely told people that this person was the father of my children and had been violent towards me. All fabrications, which infuriated the man concerned obviously. Things constantly come back to me regarding the crap he told me. He doesn’t scare me at all. I hope this helps in some way to warn others and stop him.
Andy dated me for a bit too. Around the end of 2011, finishing up early 2012.
We met in a night club when he was on a ‘bucks night’, although I don’t really remember any other males around at the time.
He started texting and ringing, He flew me to Melbourne for the cup, enticing me by saying we’d be partying with the Sunrise crew, which we just never happened to run into, and also told me he’d booked us business class tickets to Hong Kong for a week holiday, which we never got around to doing (?)
There was never any mention of past partners or children. I kind of saw him as a bloke who was a bit socially awkward, so that might have explained why he hadn’t been in relationships before.
His stories were constantly changing, and didn’t really ever follow logical patterns. He was a ‘Lawyer’ who also “owned a traffic control company” which he “sold his share for $4M”. He previously “worked at a channel 7 lawyer”. I didn’t have a lot of interest in anything flashy – I’m not from a ritzy background, it appeared that thee stories became more elaborate the less interested I became. He took me to Tassie, once we had to leave a restaurant because ‘a client who he’d put in jail who got out of jail walked in, so we had to go’. He drove me around pointing out houses that he ‘owned’ which was kind of weird also. I have no interest in property. I never met any of his friends, but he really wanted to become a part of my friend circle. He told me he loved me a few times – which was completely out of the norm – we barely knew each other. I would never return the phrase. He constantly wanted me to feel as though he was very wealthy and happy to flash cash around. He befriended my Mum, that definitely made me uncomfortable. That was a massive red flag. We lived in separate states, he rocked up at my front door one night – which apparently he’d organised with my mum – and I was shocked – and gave a massive “what the fuck are you doing here”. He also asked to be part of my family Christmas, which I wouldn’t invite him to. He made a big effort to make me feel bad for excluding him from this. He still sends me messages occasionally. Strange picture messages of a dog, or lines of cocaine or something to do with my profession. Occasionally I reply and shrug it off, most of the time I just leave the messages unread. I?m very lucky by comparison. It makes me really sad to hear the stories of these other ladies and his children. I’m not sure what he wanted from me, or what he got from me. But I’m disappointed to read what he’s put so many other ladies through. Stay strong Queens.
I could write a book! but lets keep it simple:
These are the lies I was told by Andrew Tchappat:
Out of the blue one day in 2008 I got a phone call. He introduced himself as ‘Andy’ and told me he was my friend’s boyfriend. He was calling me because she needed Family Law advice. He told me HE WAS A LAWYER but specialized in Commercial and Corporate, but that he was helping her by preparing her papers and affidavit and just wanted to make sure he was on the right track as Family Law was not his area.
Andy called me several times. At first it was strictly business’ preparing court documents for my friend. But he was never with her and wouldn’t let me speak to her.
At the time I had just left my ex-husband, who was a violent narcissist.
Andy said he could help me. He said he had been AN UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICER and still had ties within the force.
I gave him the advice he needed, told him how to edit the affidavits (which I found a little odd? all lawyers know hearsay is inadmissible but he didn’t seem to realise, anyway?). He told me that she would be representing herself as he was not able to appear in the Family Court (but strange given it is a National Court, but again, whatever!) Throughout this whole process he stressed I should not talk to my friend. Now, reading her story, it seems he was claiming we talked for hours every night. Wonder who he was talking to??? Also, given his property law experience and that he was LEGAL COUNSEL FOR WESFARMERS on a national level, I actually asked him legal advice for my work!!! He responded in email, from his work address, with a signature block that said he was ‘legal counsel’! He said he had NUMEROUS PROPERTIES in Tasmania. It didn’t take much research to find out that the properties he said he owned were not his. He claimed he had them in different names to avoid child support payments. He said he was a CORPORATE LAWYER, but didn’t seem to know the first thing about legal practice. He didn’t even recognize the most well-known cases from law school. His company was looking to expand into the Canberra space and he was looking at a potential office space. He listed the address of the space, which was already leased. And to a local liquidation company! not Wesfarmers! After a month or so, he told me he had broken up with my friend. That things weren,t working out. I messaged her over FB to see she was OK, but she didn,t know what I was talking about. It seemed odd. I told him so. He turned on me and told me not to talk to her anymore, that SHE WAS CRAZY. He must have told her the same about me ? because she stopped speaking to me too? I received an email one day from a girl (not my friend) claiming to be his girlfriend. She suspected he was cheating on her and was gathering information. I spoke to her, and his ex-wife and suddenly there were about 10 different girls whom, he was either pursuing or in a ,relationship, with. These girls were in NSW, SA and Tas. After I questioned him about all of this, HE THREATENED ME that if I ever told anyone about any of this story he would ruin me. I remember being so scared I turned my phone off for days. The most dangerous thing about Andrew is that he somehow gets you to believe so strongly in the things he tells you that you just go with it. Despite now reading back on all this I feel stupid, and gullible, and most of all like a really bad friend? How could I turn my back on my friend and trust him just because he told me to??? Luckily, he didn,t succeed in pulling my friend and I apart. Through his lies, we are closer. The network of friends I have made through this situation is amazing. If you,re reading this and you too have been a victim of his lies, please know you are not alone and that we are all here to support you. Love and light, Queens!
27th August 2008
To whom it concerns,
I, xxxxxxxxxx, have know Andrew David Tchappat since March 2000 in his capacity as partner to my sister, Susan, and father to my nephews xxxxxxxxxxt. In that time I have found him to be an abuser of alcohol, a drug user, a narcissist and severely dishonest.
He has on multiple occasions glorified the abuse of alcohol in front of his children, and to his children. I remember one particular instance when xxxxxxxxxxwas about 2 years old of him holding the beer he was drinking up to xxxxxxxxxx’s mouth and encouraging him to drink it. This behaviour resulted in xxxxxxxxxx often asking for beer to drink, which I understood as an effort to copy his father. Andrew would laugh about this and show no recognition to xxxxxxxxxx of the potential for alcohol to be a dangerous substance. I often witnessed Andrew drink alcohol to excess in front of the children and he would be disengaged and unhelpful with all tasks related to caring for the children, leaving all the work to Susan.
On many occasions Andrew confessed his drug use to me, he would regularly smoke marijuana and try to hide it from Susan. He also claimed to regularly use ecstasy and cocaine when it was available to him. This drug abuse became apparent to me, when one night he arrived home in a psychotic state and cowered in the dark in the lounge room fearful and believing that he was being followed. Susan took him to hospital to be assessed, and he was given a perfunctory diagnosis of bi-polar disorder. I was present when he subsequently admitted that this episode was brought about by his drug use that night. I have no reason to believe that Andrew has changed his ways in this regard.
Over the years I have known Andrew he has displayed the ability to weave extremely complex and intricate stories that are relayed as fact, but which in actuality are tremendous lies. I believe that Andrew is particularly skilled in deception. An example I experienced was when he told Susan that he was required to leave her and the three children on Susan’s birthday and travel to Singapore for his work as the South-East Asian manager of Johnson-Diversey (a lie in itself). In a subsequent confession he admitted that he had in actual fact been in Brisbane conducting an illicit extra-marital affair. The level of detail he went to to maintain this lie was uncanny. He would describe his surroundings and experiences in great detail on the phone and we had little choice but to assume nothing was amiss.
This aspect of Andrew’s personality is already showing signs of rubbing off on his children. xxxxxxxxxx has developed a habit of telling complex, detailed and blatantly false stories too, which he also presents as fact. I worry that his father’s continued influence will reinforce this habit and nurture it from imaginative play to deliberate lying. In my experience from when Andrew and Susan were still together, Andrew was generally inattentive towards his children. Susan was almost solely responsible for both practical care-giving and discipline, comfort and emotional security. The attention Andrew did pay the boys always had the appearance of “putting on a show”. He would sometimes effuse about how much he loved them, but I never once saw him play with them and he rarely took them on solo outings except at Susan’s insistence. This inattentiveness hasn’t changed since his separation from Susan. For example at 6:30pm on the 13th of August 2008 I rang Andrew’s house where the children were staying that night to speak to xxxxxxxxxx to wish him a happy birthday. Andrew told me that I couldn’t speak to xxxxxxxxxx because he had been put to bed. This was a whole hour earlier than the boys usual bedtime and is consistent with the testimony of Andrew’s former live-in lover xxxxxxxxxx, that he would put the boys to bed as early as possible so he didn’t have to deal with them. It is my belief that Andrew Tchappat is unfit to have unsupervised access to his children. I believe the harm inflicted upon xxxxxxxxxx by his example is unbearable. His poor standard of care and his dishonesty make him unsuitable to take care of himself let alone take care of his children. I sincerely hope that any access to his children in the immediate future is only allowed with the supervision of a functioning adult. Yours Sincerely, xxxxxxxxxx