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Lloyd Phillips questioned by police over death of Lucy Simms
THE rapist who drugged a young woman before subjecting her to a nine hour sex assault has been quizzed on suspicion of murder following the death of a young mum, the Daily Echo can exclusively reveal.
Until now the Daily Echo has been unable to report details surrounding his arrest for legal reasons.
But today, in an unprecedented step, Hampshire police have confirmed that Phillips is the man they have quizzed and that he remains on bail as they continue to investigate how the 26-year-old died.
As previously reported, Lucy’s body was found by police called to a house in Vinery Road on the afternoon of June 4. Phillips is understood to have been at the property before she was found.
At that time he was on police bail, preparing to take the stand in a retrial concerning the rape of a 22-year-old Hampshire woman whom he drugged before wheeling her unconscious into a London hotel and attacking her as she lay motionless on a bed.
The 48-year-old, who lived with wife Alison in Portland Terrace, Southampton, was also awaiting a separate trial in Southampton Crown Court accused of possessing illegal drugs with intent.
Those charges related to drugs known as “Giggle” and “Magic” which he sold over the counter at his then shop, Lucid, in the Bargate Shopping Centre – but they were actually banned class B and C substances.
Phillips has since been jailed for 11 years after being convicted of two counts of rape and four counts of serious sexual assault. After dramatically changing his plea to guilty concerning the drugs charges last week, he was given a further 36 months on his tariff but it will be served concurrently.
But before he was sent to prison, and despite being quizzed over her death, Phillips had changed his Twitter profile picture to one which showed him and Lucy together.
Following her death, Lucy’s former partner Gary Willoughby paid an emotional tribute to the mother of his child and told how he was “numb with shock” at the news.
He described how he, together with Lucy’s family and many friends, have been left “tormented” by not knowing exactly how she had died.
After a post-mortem examination proved inconclusive, they were left to wait weeks while toxicology tests were carried out. The results of those tests are still being obtained by detectives leading the investigation from Hampshire’s major crime department.
Supt Stuart Murray told the Daily Echo: “We can confirm that Lloyd Phillips was arrested on June 4 in connection with the death of Lucy Simms.
“Lucy’s death remains unexplained. We are awaiting further toxicology results and our investigation is continuing.
“Although now in prison for rape, Phillips is still on bail in connection with Lucy’s death.
“Anyone with any information should call police on 101 quoting Operation Resolve. Alternatively they can call the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”