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Convicted sex attacker guilty of raping woman twice in Suffolk home

PUBLISHED: 15:27 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:39 02 August 2019

Nottingham Crown Court  Picture: PETER WALSH

Nottingham Crown Court Picture: PETER WALSH

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A 'devious predator' has been convicted of raping a woman in her Suffolk home.

Jason Lawrance was found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of further sex attacks on a series of women he met on an internet dating site  Picture: HANDOUT/PAJason Lawrance was found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of further sex attacks on a series of women he met on an internet dating site Picture: HANDOUT/PA

Jason Lawrance was found guilty of seven sex offences against five women at Nottingham Crown Court this week.

Some of the victims came forward after Lawrance was jailed for life in 2016 for the rape, attempted rape and sexual assault of seven other women.

On Wednesday, the 54-year-old was found guilty of five rapes, one count of sexual assault and one count of assault by penetration.

The father-of-three, who was cleared of two other rape charges, met the 12 women on internet dating sites between 2009 and 2014.

Jurors were told of the former builder's convictions following a previous trial at Derby Crown Court, where a judge labelled him a "devious" predator.

Nottingham Crown Court heard how Lawrance twice raped a woman in her Suffolk home - making her pregnant - after lying about having a vasectomy.

The next day, he sent a message to the victim, saying: "I have a confession. I'm still fertile. Sorry."

Lawrance, formerly of Liphook, Hampshire, met the women through Match.com or its partner company, Dating Direct.

Three victims were raped in Cambridgeshire, Rutland and Derbyshire after he married a woman from Match.com in 2014.

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He attacked one woman in her Northamptonshire home in late 2012, another in the back of a van in Bradgate Park, Leicestershire in January 2014, and another in a wooded area of Market Harborough in 2009.

Opening the case last month, Clive Stockwell QC said the women were exploited to satisfy Lawrance's selfish sexual need.

In the previous trial, a judge called for a review of online dating safety measures after expressing concern that four victims complained to Match.com before three others were raped.

A spokeswoman for Match said member safety was a priority, adding: "We were appalled by the terrible acts committed by Jason Lawrance and commend the individuals for their courage in reporting these to the authorities.

"We have supported the police throughout both investigations and welcome the jury's verdict.

"Match has a zero-tolerance policy for reports of serious offences and we encourage anyone who has felt exposed to unsafe behaviour, whether through our services or anywhere else, to speak to the police."

Suffolk police received a report in September 2015 that a woman had been raped in the county in 2014.

Officers referred the information to the East Midlands special operations unit leading the investigation into other linked incidents.

Detective Superintendent Marina Ericson said: "We hope the conviction of Jason Lawrance for a series of serious sexual assaults will give some measure of confidence to victims to come forward and report to police, regardless of the length of time that may have passed since the incident.

"Anyone who is a victim of rape, or any offence, can be reassured that all complaints are taken seriously, and we continue to work with partner agencies to provide victims appropriate support, while conducting a robust and thorough investigation."

Lawrance was remanded in custody by Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, to be sentenced at the same court on October 3.

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