Dangerous serial rapist sentenced to life imprisonment

|News, Sexual offences

A serial sex offender who carried out a string of stranger and domestic rapes spanning 22 years has been given a life sentence today (27 July 2020).

Phillip Blackwell, 56, initially appeared at Warwick Crown Court in February 2020 where he pleaded guilty to 11 counts of sexual offences against five separate victims over 15 months between February 1997 and May 1998.

He later admitted a further 20 counts in May 2020, which included nine counts of rape, four counts of sexual assault, two counts of assault by penetration and three counts of voyeurism against three women between 2005 and 2019. He also pleaded guilty to one count of taking indecent photographs of a child and a count of voyeurism concerning the same child.

Today at Warwick Crown Court, he was jailed for life with a minimum term of nine years' imprisonment.

Blackwell targeted lone females in the 1990s in the early hours of the morning, subjecting them to rape and other sexual offences and he went undetected for many years. He was caught in 2019 after his DNA was matched to the 1990s rape.

The CPS built a strong case against Blackwell which included strong DNA evidence, witness testimony and numerous videos of him committing sexual offences against some of his victims.

Karen Hackett, Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “The sentence handed down today rightly reflects the seriousness of Blackwell’s offending. He caused significant trauma to his victims over two decades; this sentence ensures he will no longer be a danger to the public.

"The prosecution team would like to commend the victims for their courage during this difficult time. While this sentence cannot undo the emotional trauma they have suffered, I hope it brings some comfort that justice has been achieved.”

Lawrence English, Head of the West Midlands Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) Unit, said: “What makes this case so exceptional, is that Blackwell serially raped women in the 1990s, and again in the 2000s.  Furthermore, it shows he remains an extremely dangerous predator in that recent chilling footage was recovered of him following young women in his car, and then getting ahead of them and doubling back toward them - the same technique that he used in some of the 1990s rapes.”

Notes to editors

  •  Karen Hackett is the Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands
  • Lawrence English is the Head of Rape and Serious Sexual Offences for CPS West Midlands
  • Phillip Blackwell will serve a life sentence with a minimum term of nine years' imprisonment. He will be placed on the sex offenders register and served with a sexual harm prevention order.

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