Philip Blackwell, a former contestant on UK's 'X-Factor', has been jailed for life after using a "rape kit" to sexually assault nine women while he taped their eyes shut and used a camcorder to film the rape in horrific attacks spanning over two decades.
Blackwell, 56, from Cornwall, United Kingdom, admitted to committing 31 sex offences since launching his first assault in 1997. Blackwell pleaded guilty to offences including rape, attempted rape, indecent assault, assault by penetration, voyeurism and false imprisonment.
A 'Dangerous and Manipulative Sexual Predator'
A former teacher at Launceston College, he "carefully" targeted young women who were walking home alone at night across Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Birmingham. He also carried out offences on four women in the Launceston area of Cornwall.
Blackwell was caught after a woman in 2017 said he raped her in her sleep. Investigators took his DNA and tied it to his first assault in 1997. He was branded a "dangerous and manipulative sexual predator" after he admitted to being a serial rapist at Warwick Crown Court.
Sentencing Judge Peter Cooke said Blackwell was the most dangerous offender he had ever dealt with in his 35-year career, apart from murderers. Blackwell equipped himself with a rape kit including a balaclava and tape to bind his victims and cover their eyes while he filmed videos of them with his camcorder for later enjoyment.
Warwickshire Police recovered videos from Blackwell's hard drive of him performing gross sexual acts on his victims while they were 'comatose'. Police recovered 53 videos of the monster carrying out his crimes on some sleeping or unconscious victims, who were plied with alcohol.
The serial rapist received 17 life sentences to run concurrently, with the possibility of a parole review after serving a nine-year term.
Blackwell went viral for his rendition of Spandau Ballet's Gold on the ITV talent show in 2008 when he failed to impress judges Cheryl Cole, Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh. He later went on to tour the county and perform alongside other stars at the X-Factor Live events in 2009 which featured Alexandra Burke and JLS.
Following attacks in the late 1990s in the Midlands, Blackwell carried out offences on women in the Launceston area between 2005 and 2019, before and after his time on the show. Watch the video of his audition below: