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Wrotham rapist Ian John Phipps jailed for 15 years attack in 1991

PUBLISHED: 17:16 05 April 2013 | UPDATED: 17:16 05 April 2013

Ian John Phipps was jailed for 15 years

Ian John Phipps was jailed for 15 years

Archant

Ian John Phipps, 50, of West Malling, was jailed today for 15 years for two historic sex attacks on women in Wrotham and Halling.

He pleaded guilty to two rapes in 1991 and 1986 at Maidstone Crown Court.

On Wednesday, 8 January 1986, Phipps attacked a 14-year-old school girl on her way home along a secluded public footpath in Halling.

Following her ordeal, she ran home crying and told her family what had happened and the police were called. An investigation into the attack was launched, with subsequent media appeals made on Crimewatch but a suspect was never identified.

On Thursday, 6 June, 1991, a 23-year-old woman was attacked along an unmarked footpath in Cooper’s Wood, Wrotham, with Phipps continuously threatening to hit his victim if she screamed.

When Phipps fled the scene, the victim made her way to a nearby pub where bar staff notified the police.

In both attacks, Phipps was described as “chubby” and wearing army-style trousers and subsequent appeals for witnesses established a link between the attack and the 1991 rape in Halling.

A review of the attacks carried out in 2012, in which evidence gathered from the two offences was re-examined, discovered the DNA of the attacker belonged to Phipps.

He was arrested on 16 October and initially denied the attacks but further DNA analysis proved there was less than a one in a billion chance the attacker was anyone else but Phipps.

Today Phipps confessed to the historic rapes and was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Det Supt Rob Vinson of the Cold Case Investigation Team said: “Phipps targeted these women knowing he could overpower them in secluded locations.

“He threatened the use of violence throughout their ordeal but they were brave and courageous enough to come forward and notify the police.

“This man thought he had got away with his crimes after so many years but he didn’t - the team constantly review the most serious of undetected crimes using new forensic advances and I’m pleased Phipps has been brought to justice and made to answer for his horrendous offences.”

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