September 2018

Child sex abuse victim’s life ‘destroyed’ by attacker who was jailed for four years

A child sexual abuse victim told a court how her life was “completely destroyed” by her attacker who was jailed for four years.

Thomas McPhillips assaulted the girl when she was a teenager, Newport Crown Court heard.

The 59-year-old, from Abergavenny, was sentenced after a jury last month found him guilty of abusing her between 2012 and 2013.

Prosecutor Rebecca Griffiths read out a victim impact statement from the victim who is now a woman.

She said: “He completely destroyed my life and a chance of living a comfortable and normal life.

“Giving evidence (in my trial) was frightening and traumatic but it has made me a stronger person.

“The time is right for me to seek professional help. I am glad that justice has been done.”

The court heard how McPhillips had one previous conviction for making a false representation to obtain benefits for which he received a suspended prison sentence just over a decade ago.

The judge, Recorder Caroline Rees QC, said McPhillips “doesn’t do himself any favours” following the Probation Service’s pre-sentence reports and that he continued to protest his innocence.

Mr Roberts answered: “He is sorry for what she (his victim) was put through.”

Passing sentence Recorder Rees told the defendant: “Anyone hearing the evidence couldn’t doubt the effect you had on her. She was a damaged woman.

“There is no evidence of any remorse in this case.”

After jailing him, the judge added that McPhillips is subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and will have to register as a sex offender for life.

The defendant, now of Forge Vennel, Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland, must also pay a victim surcharge upon release from prison.