Man who sexually assaulted woman as she slept at home in Tower Hamlets jailed

Darrel Phillips, 44, of Essex, was sentenced on Tuesday  (via Metropolitan Police)
Darrel Phillips, 44, of Essex, was sentenced on Tuesday (via Metropolitan Police)

A man who sexually assaulted a woman as she slept in her own home in east London has been jailed for three years.

Darrel Phillips, 44, who was known to the woman, travelled to her home in Tower Hamlets in July 2020 with plans to stay in the spare room.

In the early hours on July 12 he told the woman he wanted to have sex with her, but she rejected his advances.

“After leaving the room and thinking she would be safe in her own bedroom, she woke up in pain the following morning, and realised that her clothing had been removed by someone from the waist down,” the Metropolitan Police said on Wednesday.

“She also recalled a memory of Phillips in her bed and pushing him away, saying ‘no’.”

The woman reported the incident to the police and detectives from the Central East Command Unit began investigating.

Phillips, from Essex, was arrested, but in interview he declined to answer questions and denied all allegations.

The Crown Prosecution Service authorised a charge of assault by penetration.

Following a five-day trial at Southwark Crown Court, a jury found Phillips guilty on July 14.

In a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, he received an indefinite restraining order against the victim, and has been listed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Detective Sergeant Michael Dixon from the Central East Safeguarding Team, said: “Phillips showed no regard to the rights of a woman and he attacked her whist she slept.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the victim-survivor, who has shown enormous courage throughout this process and fought for justice.

“We fully understand that reporting a sexual crime can be traumatic for anyone. I would urge anyone in this position to get in contact with the police – you will be listened to and supported by specially trained officers.”

Sexual Offences Investigative Techniques Officer (SOIT) Thomas Coe from the Central East Safeguarding team added: “I would strongly encourage any person who has been subjected to a sexual offence to report to police, and visit a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) or Haven.

“Part of the reason that this conviction was secured is because it was reported immediately, and vital forensic evidence was gathered at the earliest opportunity. I hope this sends a strong signal to victim-survivors that we are absolutely committed to investigating these crimes fully.”

If you have been a victim of sexual assault or rape or you have information about an offender, contact police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Further information, including details of agencies and charities that can offer support can be found on the Metropolitan Police website.