Sunday 8 December 2019

Trial of man accused of raping five women he met on to resume tomorrow

Alexander Britton

The jury in the trial of a man accused of raping five women he met on has been sent home for the day.

Jason Lawrance, 50, is also accused of attempting to rape another woman and sexually assaulting a seventh.

The two-week trial at Derby Crown Court heard that Lawrance used two profiles on the internet dating site - KeepItStraightToday and StraightMan_Looking - but was keen to start talking with the women by text message or email.

Prosecutor Shaun Smith QC said: "We suggest that's because he was keen to engineer a situation where he persuaded women to make contact with him privately by phone or text message or email so he was not being watched by the website."

He added the jury have to ask if Lawrance, of Liphook, Hampshire, was "a defendant who is a rapist, a sexual predator who will not take no for an answer.

"Or (is he) some innocent lothario who, as he claims, is a man who has sexual intercourse with women who submit to him and fall for his charm?"

The jury heard that Lawrance texted one of the women after raping her at her home in Buxton, Derbyshire, 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".

Another of the women was allegedly raped in the back of a van which Lawrance had parked in a field in Northamptonshire, while a third was attacked at her home while her son was asleep in a nearby bedroom.

Lawrance, who denies all the charges, told the court the alleged victims were lying about him and said the women consented.

The jury will resume deliberations at 10am on Tuesday.

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