Whitefield subway attempted rapist could be jailed for life

Bury Times: Bolton Crown Court Bolton Crown Court

A MAN has been told he could spend the rest of his life behind bars after admitting the attempted rape of a young woman in a Whitefield subway.

Phillip Williams, aged 45, of Kershaw Avenue, Prestwich, pleaded guilty to the sexual attack on a 20-year-old woman when he appeared before Bolton Crown Court on Monday.

And it was revealed to the court that Williams had been convicted of raping a teenage girl on a golf course 15 years ago.

His latest victim had been walking along the subway in Bury New Road, which runs under the junction 17 roundabout of the M60, shortly after 6pm on November 3 when she was approached by Williams.

He grabbed and sexually assaulted the woman, causing facial injuries.

He was disturbed by a passer-by but took the woman’s large black leather handbag before running off. A police hunt and media appeal followed, resulting in the arrest of Williams a few days later. Appearing before the court via video link from prison in Birmingham, Williams spoke only to confirm his name and plead guilty to four charges.

He admitted attempted rape, committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence, sexual assault by penetration and robbery.

He pleaded not guilty to actual bodily harm, which was allowed to remain on file.

The court heard that Williams had been previously convicted of a similar sex offence.

In 1998, Williams dragged a 17-year-old girl away from a passageway of a golf course onto a tee, and then raped her. Judge Timothy Clayson told Williams that he could be handed a life sentence, due to the nature of the crime and his previous conviction.

The court was told that Williams suffers from depression and anxiety, and that he takes medication for the conditions. The court also heard that Williams had little recollection of the incident, after having consumed a large quantity of alcohol prior to the attack.

Williams was remanded in custody. He will appear before Bolton Crown Court on February 3 for sentencing.

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