Predatory Taxi Driver Jailed for 12 Years After Raping Woman in Secluded Spot

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Home Breaking Predatory Taxi Driver Jailed for 12 Years After Raping Woman in Secluded Spot

Predatory Taxi Driver Jailed for 12 Years After Raping Woman in Secluded Spot

Predatory Taxi Driver Jailed For 12 Years After Raping Woman In Secluded Spot

A predatory taxi driver who laid in wait for his victim before taking her to a secluded spot and raping her has been jailed for 12 years.

Predatory Taxi Driver Jailed For 12 Years After Raping Woman In Secluded Spot

Ian Phillips, 48, worked for a cab firm but had clocked off and disabled his in-car camera to lurk near pubs and bars in Sunderland city centre in the early hours, seeking potential prey.

Predatory Taxi Driver Jailed For 12 Years After Raping Woman In Secluded Spot

Newcastle Crown Court heard that a heavily intoxicated woman, who was “ten out of ten drunk,” lost the rest of her group and got into his car alone before being driven to the Hendon beach area and attacked.

Predatory Taxi Driver Jailed For 12 Years After Raping Woman In Secluded Spot

The victim had been helped into Phillips’ vehicle by two well-meaning strangers who noticed her struggling while waiting alone for a cab home.

Predatory Taxi Driver Jailed For 12 Years After Raping Woman In Secluded Spot

Married dad Phillips, of Easington Colliery, Durham, denied rape but was found guilty by a jury after a trial.

Predatory Taxi Driver Jailed For 12 Years After Raping Woman In Secluded Spot

Phillips claimed he had clocked off to do cash-in-hand work that night and that the victim consented to what happened.

Predatory Taxi Driver Jailed For 12 Years After Raping Woman In Secluded Spot

The court heard that the victim had been out in Sunderland city centre and was not a regular drinker but ended up, in her own words, “mortal drunk.

In the early hours of the morning, she became separated from her group but spoke to one of them on the phone who told her to get a taxi home, thinking she would be safe.

She sat outside Gatsby’s bar, struggling to see her phone screen, and was helped into Phillips’ taxi by two kind passers-by, who had no reason to suspect they were putting her in danger.

The victim’s recollection of what happened next is patchy, but she remembers being driven to a back lane and then to Hendon Beach before waking up at her mother’s home with injuries and ripped clothing.

In an impact statement, the victim said her life has been “turned upside down” by the attack, and she suffers from flashbacks and terrors.

Judge Spragg said Phillips’ reason for clocking off was not to get cash-in-hand work. “Your motive was far more sinister, trying to get lone, drunken women to your car,” the judge stated. You were acting as a hackney driver, which you were not. You had deliberately turned the cameras off in your car, there was no good reason to turn the cameras off. I find you were parked there in the hope a drunken woman would get in the car and you could take advantage of her.

Judge Spragg continued, “When the complainant was delivered to you, it was just what you were waiting for, you were waiting there in the hope a woman on her own would get into your taxi. This was planned by you, you were waiting there for a woman to present herself to you. If it had not been her, you would have waited to get someone else.”

The judge added that Phillips’ behaviour was driven by an “overwhelming sense of sexual entitlement” and a desire for control. The victim was far too drunk to consent to anything, and Phillips is deemed a “high risk to members of the public.”

Judge Spragg stressed that the majority of taxi drivers are “trustful and are trusted.

In addition to the 12-year jail term, Judge Spragg imposed a five-year extended license period. Phillips must also abide by a sexual harm prevention order and sex offender registration requirements for life.

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