Taxi driver who raped passenger jailed for 12 years

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He denied the offence but was found guilty by a jury following a five-day trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

A taxi driver who preyed upon a drunk passenger by driving her to a beach and raping her has been jailed.

Ian Phillips clocked off from his shift in the early hours of Sunday, February 12 last year and disabled his in-car camera, before waiting around outside the bars and pubs of Sunderland city centre.

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The victim had become separated from her group of friends, and was helped into Phillips’ vehicle by passers-by who asked the driver to take her home safely.

Instead, predatory Phillips drove the woman to a nearby beach before forcing himself upon her.

The victim reported the attack later that morning, and an investigation was swiftly launched by officers from Northumbria Police.

Phillips, 48, of Noble Street, Easington Colliery, was subsequently charged with rape. 

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He denied the offence but was found guilty by a jury following a five-day trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Phillips was jailed for 12 years at the same court on Friday (May 24), and he will be subject to strict licence conditions for a further five years.

He was also given a life-long order to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register and a restraining order.

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The officer leading the investigation against Phillips, Detective Constable Hayley Mcintosh, said: “Phillips is a calculating predator who targeted his victim and subjected her to a terrifying ordeal.

“He refused to accept responsibility for his disgusting actions and we absolutely welcome this lengthy prison sentence following his conviction.

“The victim has shown incredible bravery and strength to come forward and throughout the trial, and I hope this outcome will provide some form of closure and she is able to move forward with her life.”

Det Con Mcintosh added: “No-one should ever have to endure this type of assault, and this conviction should yet again serve as a warning to those with an unlawfully blurred view of consent.

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“Support is always available from our officers and the many fantastic partners we work with – we’re here for you and will do everything within our power to secure justice.”

Anyone who is a victim of a sexual offence should contact police via the ‘Report’ pages on the Northumbria Police website or contact 101.