July 2004

Sex offender arrested in Majorca

A 53-year-old karate instructor who fled the country while on trial for sexually abusing his students has been captured in Spain.

Graham Phillips was arrested in Majorca earlier this week after spending more than six months on the run.

Phillips, from Rugeley, failed to turn up at Stafford Crown Court in December, 10 days into his case.

He had denied 10 counts of indecent assault against girls aged between 13 and 16, and was found guilty of seven.

Denied rape

He also denied a further two counts of rape, although the jury instead returned verdicts of indecent assault on those charges.

He was given a six-year jail term in his absence, placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from ever working with children again.

Staffordshire Police would only say that a 53-year-old man from the Rugeley area had been arrested on Tuesday, but confirmed they were no longer hunting Phillips.

A police spokesman told BBC News Online Phillips will be extradited to Britain, although this could take months if he challenges the process.