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The X Factor hopeful sang a Spandau Ballet tune in an odd performance (Image: ITV)

‘Pure evil’ former X Factor contestant jailed for sex attacks on 9 women over 22 years

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Phillip Blackwell, known for his bizarre rendition of a Spandau Ballet tune on the ITV talent show, has been sentenced after admitting historical sexual offences against nine women

A “pure evil” serial predator known for his oddball appearance on reality TV show X Factor has been jailed for life for raping and sexually assaulting multiple women.

Sex attacker Phillip Blackwell, 55, is of Launceston, Cornwall in England, was jailed today having pleaded guilty to committing a multitude of sexual offences.

A court previously heard he was “calm and calculated” as he launched sex attacks against nine women over a 22-year period in Cornwall, the West Midlands and Warwickshire.

Despite taking steps to disguise himself by putting on a “soft Irish accent” and wearing a balaclava or mask while attacking his victims, the court was told how Blackwell’s fear of being caught did not match his desire for “notoriety and fame”.

Warwick Crown Court heard the five young women he “carefully targeted” were walking alone in the early hours of the morning when they were attacked from behind, before being raped or subjected to other sexual offences.

The serial sex attacker pleaded guilty to the historical rapes in court earlier this year (Image: SWNS)

Four of his victims were attacked in Birmingham in 1997 and 1998 and one in Nuneaton in 1998.

Blackwell also attacked another four women in the Launceston area of Cornwall between 2005 and 2019.

At previous court hearings, Blackwell pleaded guilty to 31 sex offences, including rape, attempted rape, indecent assault, assault by penetration, voyeurism and false imprisonment.

The former classroom supervisor captured attention when he appeared on X Factor back in 2008 and gave a bizarre audition, before criticising the judges.

He stunned judges and the audience when he ended his version of Spandau Ballet’s hit Gold by singing the last note for almost 30 seconds.

Describing Blackwell’s “predatory instincts” to the court at his plea hearing in February, prosecutor Adrian Langdale QC said: “He’s a serial rapist whose campaign of abuse has spanned over 22 years.

“He identified young females dressed in a particular way that he found attractive, followed them in his car… got in front of his victims and got into a place where he could carry out his attack.

“It was cold, calculated behaviour.”

Mr Langdale told the court some of Blackwell’s attacks were carried out on women who were unconscious, saying he “plied victims with alcohol in order to get compliance”.

He often used “delusional terms” while attacking his victims, as one woman was told: “If I met a girl like you, I would want to marry you. I want you to enjoy this.”

Another woman was told: “I’m not going to hurt you, we’re just going to make

love if that’s OK?”

Mr Langdale said Blackwell took steps to conceal his true identity, with his first victim being told to “close her eyes and count to 100” after he had finished attacking her.

One victim managed to persuade Blackwell to remove his balaclava and not to rape her – as he said she “should be a social worker for talking him out of it”.

He also threatened his victims in order to prevent them from telling the police, with one woman being told: “I know where you live. You have a beautiful body and I can do this over and over again because I know where you live.”

Mr Langdale told the court how Blackwell often “grabbed” his victims from behind by their neck or head and “rammed” them to the floor before raping or sexually assaulting them.

Victim personal statements of some of the women were read to the court, with one woman describing him as “pure evil”.

The court was told how one woman was left “feeling really horrible and dirty” and how he had made her feel “frightened and nervous”.

Another victim said she had “lived in fear for so long” and one woman said the attack on her had had a “devastating and long-lasting effect”.

In February, Blackwell pleaded guilty to sex offences against five women, four of which occurred in Birmingham over 1997 and 1998 and one in Nuneaton in May 1998.

He admitted four counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, five counts of indecent assault and one count of false imprisonment.

He previously appeared via video link where he pleaded guilty to a further 20 sexual offences against four victims women.

This included nine counts of rape, four counts of sexual assault, two counts of assault by penetration and three counts of voyeurism.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of taking indecent photographs of a child and another count of voyeurism in relation to that same child.

Following Blackwell’s appearance on X Factor, he accused Girls Aloud singer Cheryl of sucking up to Simon Cowell when she backed the judge’s decision to boot him off the show.

The supply teacher even called pop star Cheryl “gutless.”

Blackwell said at the time: “Louis loved me but Simon didn’t so it was left to Cheryl. I knew she wouldn’t have the guts to go against Simon. She’s gutless.”



About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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