Rhodri Colwyn Philipps, 4th Viscount St Davids (born 16 September 1966), is a British peer, the eldest son of Colwyn Philipps, 3rd Viscount St Davids, and Augusta Victoria Correa y Larraín (a Chilean national, from Santiago).
As of July 2017, Philipps had been declared bankrupt three times, had a criminal conviction for financial mismanagement and two further convictions for menacing communications. On 13 July, he was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison.
Besides his viscountcy, which he inherited on the death of his father in 2009, he holds the older titles of Baron Strange of Knockin (1299), Baron Hungerford (1426), and Baron de Moleyns (1445), and the baronetcy of Picton Castle (1621). He is also a co-heir to the barony of Grey de Ruthyn.
Philipps is married to the interior decorator Sarah Louise Butcher, who holds the title Viscountess St Davids. The heir presumptive to the viscountcy is his younger brother Roland.
Philipps has received attention since at least the early 2000s, in relation to his business and legal affairs. He was first declared bankrupt in 2002, and subsequently held directorships in several companies. In September 2008, having been denied bail as a flight risk, Philipps spent more than a year in prison in Nuremberg. Claims were investigated that he used more than £350,000 of company funds on promoting an opera singer, £12,000 to rent a private jet and £5,000 on a shotgun from James Purdey. He was eventually given a two-year suspended prison sentence by a German court for mismanagement of funds related to his construction company Hans Brochier, from which he transferred a seven-figure sum to a newly registered company in the UK in 2005. In 2009 he appealed against the sentence.
In September 2010, Philipps' West Sussex property, Strange Place, in Northchapel, was repossessed by Barclays Bank. In March 2011, he was declared bankrupt for a second time, and in November 2011 his wife, Viscountess St Davids, was sued for unpaid debts.
In March 2012, Philipps unsuccessfully sued offshore legal advisors Corporate & Chancery Group for £110 million in the Supreme Court of Mauritius, alleging fraud and mismanagement. In February 2016, he was declared bankrupt for a third time.
Following a complaint made in November 2016, Philipps was arrested in January 2017 by Metropolitan Police officers investigating online abuse against a 51-year-old woman. In March 2017, he was charged with malicious communications with racially aggravated factors, over alleged threats against Gina Miller, who was behind a successful legal challenge against the UK government's intention to give notice to leave the European Union without an act of parliament. Among other communications, he posted "£5,000 for the first person to 'accidentally' run over this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant" and "If this is what we should expect from immigrants, send them back to their stinking jungles" on Facebook. He pleaded 'not guilty' to three charges of menacing communication under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 2 May 2017. At the May hearing, the prosecution said the crown would seek an extended sentence because of the racial aggravation factor. He was found guilty of two charges at his trial on 11 July 2017, at which he defended himself. Philipps was also convicted for comments made in response to a news article about an immigrant, in which he had written: "I will open the bidding. £2,000 in cash for the first person to carve Arnold Sube into pieces. Piece of shit". Philipps, who described his own comments as "satire", was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison. He was released on bail, pending an appeal. The appeal was abandoned by Philipps on 25 August 2017 some fifteen minutes after Judge Deborah Taylor informed Southwark Crown Court that there was a risk his sentence could be increased. Philipps will now serve the remainder of his original sentence.
Following an article about Sube, in September 2016, Philipps wrote: "Please will someone 'smoke' this ghastly insult to our country. Why should I pay tax to feed these monkeys. A return to Planet of the apes is not acceptable." He admitted to posting this comment but was acquitted of the charge after it was not found to be menacing.