UPDATE: Prolific rapist Jason Lawrance gets life in prison
A serial rapist who has been found guilty of attacking seven women he met on Match.com, including three victims in Derbyshire, has been jailed for life.
Derby Crown Court heard the Jury's conviction yesterday and today the father of three is handed a life sentence with a minimum of 12 and a half years to be served in prison.
Lawrance was found guilty of attacking seven women across five counties, including five counts of rape, an attempted rape and a further count of sexual assault, all between 2011 and 2014.
He used dating website match.com to meet the women, all either divorcees or widows, and may have met hundreds more.
The rapist, 50, from Liphook, Hampshire, was described as a 'dangerous sexual predator' who 'went from victim to victim targeting them through online dating sites, by prosecutor Shaun Smith QC.
In sentencing Judge Gregory Dickinson QC said: “I am convinced that you are devious, manipulative and highly dangerous to women.
“In my judgment these offences taken together – so many victims, the trail of terror and agony for which you are responsible – mean that the imposition of a sentence of imprisonment for life is fully justified.”
Derbyshire police said: "After meeting his victims in person, Lawrance then raped, tried to rape, or sexually assaulted the seven victims."
Detective Chief Inspector Allison Rigby, who led the police investigation, said: “The bravery of Jason Lawrance’s victims has undoubtedly prevented further rape of other women.
“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.
“The victims are completely unconnected to one another and from different areas of the country, but they have all told a similar story about Jason Lawrance.
“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.”
he added after sentencing: "“The length of the sentence today reflects the severity of his crimes and I am pleased that we have been able to achieve justice for the victims.
“The life sentence he has been given means that he may never be released. He will not be able to apply for parole for nearly 12 years and it may be that, if he is still deemed to be a danger to women, he may spend the rest of his life in prison.
“It is important to remember that this trial has not just been about Jason Lawrance.
“There are seven women who were abused at his hands, who had to relive their ordeals in front of complete strangers at court.
“I hope that yesterday’s verdict and the substantial sentence handed to Jason Lawrance today will bring them some comfort.
“This has been a long, complex police investigation and I am pleased that, at its conclusion, we have been able to put a dangerous sexual predator behind bars.”
Anyone who feels affected by the Jason Lawrance case, or wants to talk about any kind of sexual offence, can find out more by visiting www.derbyshire.police.uk.
There is a dedicated Sexual Assault Support Hub on the Derbyshire police website with information about independent charities and organisations that can help.
If you want to report a crime, you can call Derbyshire police on 101. You can also give anonymous information to Crimestoppers, the independent charity, by calling 0800 555 111.