'Dangerous' man jailed for 12 years for match.com rapes and sex attacks


A serial sex attacker who raped five women he met through dating website match.com has been jailed for life with a minimum of 12 years and six months.

Father-of-three Jason Lawrance, from Liphook, Hampshire, was also convicted by a jury at Derby Crown Court of sexually assaulting and attempting to rape two further victims.

Sentencing the 50-year-old for attacking all seven women, Judge Gregory Dickinson QC told him: "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."

After stressing that the minimum term equated only to the earliest stage at which Lawrance could be considered for release, Judge Dickinson told the self-employed builder: "I am compelled to the dreadful conclusion that you enjoyed raping women.

"After these terrible crimes you acted as if nothing had happened.

"You have shown no remorse - zero appreciation of the seriousness of these offences - for the pain you have inflicted on these ladies, their families and their friends.

"Your aim was to get (the victims) into a compromising situation and then to do whatever you liked to them - anticipating that they would be too frightened or embarrassed to make a complaint, or that they would not be believed if they did come forward."

Lawrance's trial was told that the former company director texted one of his victims after attacking her, apologising for "hurting her" and saying: "When you were crying out for me to stop I couldn't, I'm so mad at myself xxx."

The jury of six women and six men also heard that Lawrance raped another woman in the back of a van parked in a field in Northamptonshire, and a third was attacked at her home while her son was asleep in a nearby bedroom.

Explaining his decision to impose a life term, Judge Dickinson said: "There is a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm occasioned by the commission by you of further offences.

"That phrase is taken from an Act of Parliament. In plain English - you are a danger to women.

"Given the chance, you will rape again. I do not know when it may be safe to release you into the community.

"A sentence of life imprisonment means that you will not be released unless and until the Parole Board considers that it is safe to do so."

In a statement issued after the hearing, match.com said: "Having worked with the police on this case for more than a year, we welcome the jury's verdict and today's sentence.

"We are very sorry for those affected, and appalled by these terrible acts. Sadly, there is a tiny minority of people who set out to harm others.

"While this is not confined to dating sites or even the internet, those who do so should be convicted and sentenced, as has happened in this case.

"Our members' safety is our highest priority."

Match.com added that it was committed to working with the dating industry as a whole to raise standards and ensure the best possible protection and support for its users.