James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Serial Match.com rapist has jail term extended
3 October 2019, 18:34
A serial dating site rapist has had his prison term extended by two and a half years after sex attacks on a further five women.
Father-of-three Jason Lawrance, contacted thousands of women on Match.com or its partner company Dating Direct between 2009 and 2014, attacking 12 of them in what a judge described as a "campaign of rape".
Lawrance, 54, was convicted of lying about having a vasectomy after he got one woman pregnant in what is believed to be the first case of its kind.
Lawrence messaged his victim the following day to tell her: "I have a confession. I'm still fertile. Sorry."
He later passed the attack off as "just banter".
At his second trial at Nottingham Crown Court in July, jurors found Lawrence guilty of five counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one charge of assault by penetration, as well as clearing him of two rape charges.
The former self-employed builder had previously been jailed for life with a minimum term of 12 years and six months at Derby Crown Court in 2016, for sexually violating seven women.
On Thursday, his minimum term, which was handed to him at Derby Crown Court, was increased by two and a half years to 15 years.
Extending Lawerence's prison term, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said: "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 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 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."