Convicted murderer denies sex attacks

A CONVICTED murderer accused of attempting to rape a 16-year-old girl while he was on day release from a Suffolk prison has denied getting “a sexual thrill” by terrifying her.

A CONVICTED murderer accused of attempting to rape a 16-year-old girl while he was on day release from a Suffolk prison has denied getting “a sexual thrill” by terrifying her.

David Lant, 62, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that the teenager had offered to let him do whatever he wanted to her for £50 and he had not forced her to do anything she wasn't happy with.

Asked by prosecution counsel Charles Myatt: “She was your complete and utter plaything for £50?”, Lant replied: “Yes, that's what it amounted to”.

Lant explained that a medical condition meant that he was unable to get an erection but said he had got pleasure from kissing and caressing the girl.


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He denied a suggestion by Mr Myatt that he had been “hell bent” on getting whatever sexual gratification he could from the girl and that he found her powerlessness exciting.

Lant has pleaded not guilty to attempting to rape the girl and five offences of sexually assaulting her.

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It has been alleged that he committed the offences on October 28, 2004 while he was on day release from Hollesley Bay open prison, near Woodbridge.

The court has heard that, as part of his re-integration into society, Lant had been allowed to leave the prison on a daily basis to work at the Salvation Army Hostel in Ipswich, but had to return to the prison each evening.

It has been alleged that he got to know the 16-year-old girl and her boyfriend while he was working at the hostel and had offered to give her money to send to her boyfriend when he was sent to prison.

Lant had allegedly arranged to meet the girl on October 28, 2004, to give her money and had driven her to a caravan he owned with his French wife Christine in Thurston.

There he allegedly offered to pay her £200 a month to have sex with him and when she refused he allegedly threw a knife across the caravan.

He had then allegedly told her he was serving a life sentence for murder before locking the caravan door, drawing the curtains and sexually assaulting her.

Lant had then driven the girl to Barham and Hollesley Common where further sexual assaults allegedly took place in the back of his car. He claims the sexual contact he had with the girl at the caravan and in his car had been entirely with her consent.

The girl was eventually dropped off in Ipswich more than five hours after her alleged ordeal began.

Giving evidence, Lant told the court that after serving 25 years of a life sentence for murder he had been moved to Hollesley Bay in 2002 and six months later had been allowed to leave the prison on day release. He had been due for full release from prison in April 2005.

He told the court he had been in some form of detention since the age of nine and had a number of previous convictions.

Lant told the court that after being in some form of detention for 50 years he had attached “great importance” to the freedom he was allowed on day release.

Giving evidence Christine Lant, a physiotherapist, said she and Lant had met through mutual friends who told her that he needed a proof reader for French Braille. After working together Lant had asked her to write to him and several months later she had visited him in Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight.

They had married in 1997 in Nottingham Prison but had never consummated their marriage because of Lant's sexual problems.

After his arrest for the alleged attack on the 16-year-old girl she had felt “shocked and betrayed” but had forgiven him after he had explained the circumstances to her. “I have love for him and a lot of affection,” she told the court.

The trial continues today.

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