A judge has praised the courage of a victim whose testimony brought a double rapist to justice 15 years after he attacked her.
Samuel Phillips and the victim were both aged 14 when he raped her in 2008 and she went to the police only after learning that he had been jailed for a different rape in 2019.
She used a Victim Personal Statement to tell Exeter Crown Court how Phillips’s attack had left her with terrible psychological trauma, flashbacks, nightmares and suicidal thoughts.
She said she considers herself to be ‘broken but not beaten’ and is determined not to allow Phillips to destroy her life.
Phillips attacked the girl in her own home in Exmouth at a time when he was already over six foot, heavily built and able to use his extra strength to overpower her.
He pinned her to a bed, partially stripped her and ignored her demands and pleas to stop as he raped her. She did not report it at the time and only came forward after Phillips was jailed for eight years for raping another woman.
Phillips, aged 29, formerly of Imperial Road, Exmouth, but now an inmate at Dartmoor Prison, denied rape but was found guilty at a trial last month. He was jailed for 15 months by Judge David Evans.
He explained that the sentence was much shorter than it would normally be because Phillips was only 14 and of previous good character at the time of the offence.
The judge praised the victim’s courage in coming forward and enduring the ordeal of having to re-live the experience by giving evidence.
He said: “I would like to commend her. I hope I am not being condescending. I understand the situation you found yourself in when you learned through the media of his conviction.
“It must have produced all sorts of difficulties for you in deciding what to do about everything and all that you had experience and suffered as a result. I commend you for coming forward and sticking it through the trial process.”
During the trial, the victim, now an adult, told how Phillips raped her while visiting her home in the autumn of 2008. He claimed she agreed to sex but the jury rejected his defence.
Miss Emily Cook, defending, said Phillips’s culpability was reduced by his young age at the time, which led him to act immaturely and impulsively. She said: “There is no evidence of planning or premeditation. He did something very wrong in the heat of the moment.”