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Predatory taxi driver jailed after switching off cab CCTV to rape passenger in Sunderland

Updated: Jun 3

Image credit: Northumbria Police

A taxi driver who raped a passenger after disabling his in-car camera has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Ian Phillips, 48, clocked off his shift in Sunderland in the early hours of February 12 last year. After disabling his vehicle's camera, he lingered outside city centre bars and pubs. When a drunken woman, separated from her friends, was helped into his taxi by passers-by, Phillips was asked to take her home safely.

Instead, Phillips drove her to a nearby beach and raped her. The victim reported the attack later that morning, prompting a swift investigation by Northumbria Police.

Phillips denied the offence but was found guilty by a jury after a five-day trial at Newcastle Crown Court. Alongside his 12-year sentence, Phillips will face strict licence conditions for five years post-release. He has also been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for life and is subject to a restraining order.

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.

“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.

“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.”


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