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Skewen child sex offender jailed for more than 10 years

Gareth Phillips

A man from Neath Port Talbot has been jailed for multiple child sexual offences.

Gareth Phillips, 32, from Skewen, had sex with his then-14-year-old victim in his car in March 2019. Two months later, he began meeting the same victim for sex on a regular basis. In November 2019, they made their relationship ‘official’ – but Phillips asked the victim to keep this a secret.

In May 2021, Phillips raped the same victim while staying at a hotel.

He has been sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison at Swansea Crown Court after being convicted of four counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of rape.

Detective Sergeant David Connick said:

“Gareth Phillips is an incredibly dangerous individual who preyed upon his underage victim for a number of years. He displayed increasingly controlling behaviour during their relationship, and would find excuses to remain close with the victim’s unknowing family to ensure he had easy access to the victim.

“When his victim attempted to break off the relationship, he would exhibit coercive control in order to stop this, including threatening suicide.

“I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of the victim in coming forward after years of abuse by Gareth Phillips. The victim has shown tremendous courage throughout the investigation and trial.

“South Wales Police remains committed to tackling all forms of sexual abuse and have specially trained officers who are assigned to each case. We work alongside our partner agencies to support those effected by this type of abuse, and I would encourage anyone to report abuse in any form to police. All reports will be thoroughly investigated.”