Convicted Rapist Michael Phillips To Be Sentenced Over Flashing

Rapist Exposed Himself Despite Being Under Police Surveillance

A convicted rapist who sexually assaulted a woman and exposed himself to two others, despite being under police surveillance, will be sentenced today.

Michael Phillips, 35, sexually assaulted a 28-year-old woman in Church Street, Brighton, East Sussex, on September 1 last year, almost a month after he indecently exposed himself to a 35-year-old woman in Madeira Drive, Brighton, on August 9, and another woman, aged 23, at Dukes Mound, Brighton, on August 11.

He had only been released from a 10-year prison sentence in July 2011 for the rape and indecent assault of an 18-year-old woman in Brighton, when he committed the offences.

A jury at Lewes Crown Court convicted him of all three offences last month.

Phillips had previously been released on licence but was recalled to prison after being convicted of offences of exposure in Hove in 2008.

Police said Phillips was not the subject of an indeterminate prison sentence because his conviction pre-dated that legislation.

This meant that Sussex Police was the lead agency for managing him under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (Mappa) as a registered sex offender.

He was being managed at Level 3, which is the highest level under Mappa, a Sussex Police spokeswoman said.

Detective Superintendent Nev Kemp, who led the surveillance operation called Sherbrooke, said this meant that police had to wait for Phillips to commit or attempt to commit an offence, making sure officers were in a position to intervene so that he could be arrested and the public could be protected.

He said Phillips was arrested on suspicion of exposing himself to a woman in Southover Street, Brighton, on July 17 last year, just two days after his release, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told the police there was insufficient evidence to justify criminal proceedings.

Officers were present when Phillips committed indecent exposures on August 9 and 11 but it was not possible for them to make an arrest. The CPS also said there was insufficient evidence for a successful prosecution.

During the early hours of September 1, officers were watching when Phillips attacked and sexually assaulted a woman walking on her own in Church Street, Brighton. He was arrested minutes later.

He will be sentenced at Lewes Crown Court this afternoon.


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