Dating site predator who raped woman in Suffolk home has prison term extended
- Credit: Archant
A serial dating site predator who raped a woman in her Suffolk home has had his prison term extended by two-and-a-half years.
Jason Lawrance, 54, was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court today for further sex attacks on five different women after being found guilty at the same court on July 31.
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.
The father-of-three, formerly of Liphook, Hampshire, contacted thousands of women on Match.com and its partner company Dating Direct between 2009 and 2014, attacking 12 of them to "satisfy a selfish sexual need".
During the trial at Nottingham Crown Court, jurors heard how Lawrance twice raped a woman in her Suffolk home - making her pregnant - after lying about having a vasectomy.
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The next day, he sent a message to the victim, saying: "I have a confession. I'm still fertile. Sorry."
Three victims were raped in Cambridgeshire, Rutland and Derbyshire after he married a woman from Match.com in 2014.
MORE: Convicted sex attacker guilty of raping woman twice in Suffolk homeHe 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.
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Opening the case in July, Clive Stockwell QC said the women were exploited to satisfy Lawrance's selfish sexual need.
Today his minimum term, which was handed to him at Derby Crown Court, was increased by two and a half years to 15 years.
Extending the former businessman's prison term, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said: "I have had the benefit of reading the sentencing remarks from the earlier hearing in 2016, from which it is apparent that you were sentenced for what was in effect a campaign of rape and other sexual offences, committed against women who met you over a dating website known as Match.com.
"Those women were mature, intelligent individuals who were looking for companionship and intimacy, whilst you were looking for women who you could and did overpower for your own sexual gratification.
"In reality the offences for which this court has to sentence you form part of that campaign of rape, as each of the women you raped or otherwise sexually abused were also mature intelligent individuals who were looking for companionship and intimacy, whilst the only thing that you were looking for was sexual gratification."
In victim impact statements read to the court by the prosecution, some of the women described how they felt after the attacks, with many saying they felt "sick", "humiliated" and "embarrassed".
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.
In a statement, a Match.com spokeswoman said: "At Match, member safety is our primary priority.
"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 welcomed the jury's verdict, as we now welcome the judge's delivery of this fit and proper punishment.
"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.
"The dating industry faces similar challenges to those that affect society as a whole. Sadly, there is a tiny minority of people who set out to harm others and the methods of doing so are always evolving."
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.