Life sentence stands for bodybuilder after rape

Anthony Phillips
Anthony Phillips

A Chorley bodybuilder who was jailed for the brutal rape of a woman in her own home today lost an appeal against his life sentence.

But 38-year-old Anthony Phillips, who left his victim with 50 separate injuries, had his minimum term slashed by top judges from 11 years to 10 years.

The Court of Appeal heard Phillips had only recently been released from another prison sentence when he forced himself upon his victim in 2012.

She was on medication, having previously been seriously assaulted, when he attacked her on her bed.

She escaped by getting him drunk, racing from her Chorley flat and calling police.

Phillips was jailed for life for rape, two assaults occasioning actual bodily harm and one assault by beating at Preston Crown Court last March.

The sentencing judge said the purpose of the offences had been “to control, subjugate and humiliate” his victim.

Taken with his previous convictions, including twice raping a woman in the 1990s, the attacks justified a life sentence, the judge said.

Last November, he appealed against the life sentence and the 11-year minimum which he must serve before he can apply for release on licence.

His barrister, Ben Hargreaves, argued that there was insufficient evidence to say that Phillips is a “dangerous” offender.

Giving judgment today, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, said he agreed with the sentencing judge’s assessment of Phillips’ dangerousness.

“This was a planned, sustained campaign of violence, including sexual violence,” he said.

“By any measure, he is highly dangerous.

“By the time he committed the rape, he had already inflicted over 50 injuries.

“He showed no remorse at any stage. Given his previous history, this offence and the offences associated with it plainly justified a sentence of life imprisonment.”

The judge, who heard the appeal with Mr Justice Mitting and Mrs Justice Thirlwall, nevertheless cut the term Phillips must serve before being reviewed by the Parole Board to 10 years.