Monday 26 September 2016

'When you were crying out for me to stop I couldn't, I'm so mad at myself xxx' - Match.com rapist who sent text to victim is jailed for life

Published 03/03/2016 | 09:57

Derbyshire Police undated handout photo of of Jason Lawrence, 50
Derbyshire Police undated handout photo of of Jason Lawrence, 50

A "sexual predator" has been jailed for life after being found guilty of raping five women he met through internet dating site match.com.

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Father-of-three Jason Lawrance contacted thousands of women online and committed three sex attacks months after getting married to someone he met via the site.

Serial rapist Lawrance will serve a minimum term of 12 years and six months years, he was told at sentencing at Derby Crown Court today.

The 50-year-old, of Liphook, Hampshire, was also found guilty of attempting to rape and sexually assault two other women after chatting to them online.

Lawrance, a former company director turned self-employed builder, texted one of his victims after attacking her apologising for "hurting her" and saying: "When you were crying out for me to stop I couldn't, I'm so mad at myself xxx."

After Lawrance was unanimously found guilty, a judge raised concerns about the safety of dating websites.

Judge Gregory Dickinson QC asked prosecutors: “Is there any form of supervision on the use of dating sites? I would like to see if lessons can be learned from the use of such sites.”

The jury of six women and six men heard that Lawrance raped another woman in the back of a van which he had parked in a field in Northamptonshire, while a third was attacked at her home while her son was asleep in a nearby bedroom.

He was arrested after a friend of a woman who was raped in Derbyshire in November 2014 went to police.

Investigations revealed he had sexually attacked another six women he met through the site since June 2011.

Prosecuting, Shaun Smith QC told the jury that Lawrance - who used the site with the profile names KeepItStraightToday and StraightMan_Looking - was a Jekyll and Hyde character and that he targeted "vulnerable, naive, lonely women".

Derby Crown Court heard that four of the victims complained about Lawrance to match.com, and one of the women was told administrators could not do anything because he had not sent abusive messages through the site.

Detective Chief Inspector Allison Rigby, from Derbyshire Police, said the trial had been "devastating" for the victims.

Speaking on the steps of Derby Crown Court after the verdict, she said: "Jason Lawrance is a prolific, serial rapist who preyed on women he had contacted through match.com.

"These women were looking for companionship and instead what they found was a man who was willing to commit serious sexual offences against them.

"After contacting his victims online, Lawrance would quickly move the conversation outside match.com system.

"He then raped, tried to rape, or sexually assaulted these women, and afterwards he tried to defend his actions by claiming they had consented to it. They absolutely did not."

She added that it was "possible" other victims of Lawrance were yet to come forward.

Lawrance had denied all the charges and said the sex was consensual in all five charges of rape, that the attempted rape was a misunderstanding and that the sexual assault where he grabbed a woman's breast was a "loving touch" which she objected to, so he apologised.

He was emotionless as the verdicts were read out in court after 10 hours of jury deliberations.

Judge Gregory Dickinson remanded him in custody until his sentencing on Thursday morning.

Press Association

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