Man jailed for attempting to rape a girl in 1986 - Oxford

09/05/2017

A man appeared at Oxford Crown Court today, Tuesday, 9 May 2017, and was jailed for 12 years for attempting to rape a teenage girl in Oxford in January 1986.

Phillip Spriggs, aged 52, formerly of Oxford, was sentenced today after being found guilty of the attempted rape last Thursday, 4 May 2017, following a three-day trial.

Susan Krikler, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "Late one January evening in 1986, the girl was walking near Pullens Lane, Oxford, when Phillip Spriggs appeared from the bushes wearing a balaclava, put a gloved hand over her mouth, dragged her to the ground in the woods, threatened her and attempted to rape her.

"The new and compelling evidence gathered by Thames Valley Police's Major Crime Review Team and presented by the CPS was so strong that Spriggs was found guilty of the attempted rape last week, by a jury, after a three-day trial.

"This case highlights the commitment of the police and CPS to prosecute cases involving violence against women. The outcome also demonstrates to people who commit such offences that they are never safe from justice and that our determination to ensure that justice is done remains undimmed, even years after offences are committed.

"This prosecution would not have been possible without scientific developments and the courage of the victim, who was willing to support proceedings. I commend her for her bravery. Time has not diminished the effect this incident has had on the victim's life. She has waited 31 long years for today's result. I hope that the conviction and today's sentence will offer some comfort to her after all these years. Our thoughts are very much with her at this time."

Pete Beirne, Head of Thames Valley Police's Major Crime Review Team, said: "This case highlights that no matter how much time has passed, the force's Major Crime Review Team will continue to investigate historic crimes, make arrests and charge individuals to bring them to justice.

"Thames Valley Police officers carried out a thorough investigation at the time of the offence, but no arrests were made. However, following the emergence of new DNA evidence last year, officers were able to identify Spriggs as a suspect. Subsequently, Spriggs was arrested and charged with the offence on 19 October last year.

"Spriggs, who is already in jail for a string of sexual offences, will face a further 12 years in custody.

"I hope the victim feels that justice has now been done now that this dangerous offender will have no prospect of freedom for many years."