Flashing Brighton rapist was under police surveillance

A convicted rapist has been found guilty of a sexual assault and twice indecently exposing himself while under police surveillance.

Michael Stanley Phillips, 35, was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court of the offences which took place in Brighton between 9 August and 1 September 2011.

Phillips was considered a danger upon his release from prison in July after serving a 10 year sentence for rape.

Police said they had to wait for him to commit an offence before arresting him.

'Watching women'

At the hearing on Wednesday, the jury convicted Phillips of sexually assaulting a 28-year-old woman in Church Street, Brighton on 1 September 2011.

He was also found guilty of indecently exposing himself to a 35-year-old woman in Madeira Drive, Brighton, on 9 August, and another woman, aged 23, at Dukes Mound, Brighton, on 11 August.

Det Supt Nev Kemp, of Sussex Police, said agencies dealing with Phillips all agreed that he posed a high risk of re-offending.

When he was released last July, Phillips was placed under the highest level of surveillance, with up to 25 officers a day watching him.

Mr Kemp said: "Officers observed Phillips hiding in bushes, watching women and often changing his clothes in an effort to reduce the likelihood of his being identified.

"The very uncomfortable reality for us was that we had to wait for Phillips to commit or attempt to commit an offence, whilst doing our best to ensure that if he did, we were in a position to intervene to protect the public and bring him to justice."

Phillips will be sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on 22 March.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites