"Again, I'm very sorry to the person I offended."
CONTENT WARNING: This article contains discussion of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.
A 23-year-old aspiring rapper, Eli Engwicht, aka Lil Swift, has appeared in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court this week where he apologised to media personality Yumi Stynes for sending obscene and threatening messages via social media, as reported by news.com.au.
Engwicht had pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to harass, menace, or offend.
The troubling incident occurred on July 19 when Engwicht sent a message to Stynes, in which he made explicit and menacing threats.
Engwicht, who has reportedly been striving to reform his life, addressed reporters outside the courtroom after magistrate Megan Greenwood agreed to adjourn his sentencing proceedings for six weeks while he attends a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
"I've been doing a lot of self-work. I've got two jobs at the moment, I've kicked all bad habits, I'm doing better than ever. I appreciate the support of all my friends and family. Again, I'm very sorry to the person I offended."
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“I think I’ll get what I deserve. I believe that’s up to the judge, that’s not up to me to decide.”
Eli Engwicht, known as Lil Swift, is an aspiring musician who has shared numerous videos of himself rapping via social media, now says he hopes to use his platform to inform others.
"I was headed down a bad direction, and after this is all done, I'm going to use my music and my voice to show the youth and people in my situation that you can overcome tough times," he said.
Under the conditions of an interim apprehended violence order taken out by the police, Engwicht is prohibited from threatening, harassing, stalking, or intimidating Yumi Stynes. The order also prevents him from approaching, contacting, or locating Stynes.
Yumi Stynes, who reported feeling terrorised by the threatening message, shared it publicly in an effort to shed light on the online abuse she has experienced following the release of her controversial sex education book, Welcome to Sex: Your No-Silly-Questions Guide to Sexuality, Pleasure, and Figuring it Out.
The book, co-authored by Dolly Doctor’s Dr. Melissa Kang, has been met with both support and backlash for its frank discussions of sexual topics intended for children aged 10 and older.
In response to the controversial nature of the book, it has been pulled from the shelves of Big W and Target following an online protest campaign and incidents of staff members being verbally abused.
Engwicht is scheduled to return to court for his sentencing in December.