A FORMER X-Factor contestant has appeared in court charged with a number of rapes and other sexual offences which took place in the late 1990s.

Phillip Blackwell, 55, is accused with four counts of rape, an attempted rape which took place in Frankly, and an indecent assault.

He appeared at Leamington Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday, January 27).

He spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and nationality and was remanded in custody until his next appearance at Warwick Crown Court on February 24.

Blackwell, of Western Road, Launceston in Cornwall, was arrested following a joint investigation between Warwickshire Police and West Midlands Police on January 22 and was charged January 26.

The alleged incidents occurred between 1997 and 1998.

A police spokesman said the investigation is continuing, and anyone who wishes to speak to the police can call 101 quoting log 253 of 26/01/20.

Blackwell appeared on the musical talent show in 2008 singing Spandau Ballet’s Gold.

He failed to impress judges Cheryl and Simon Cowell.