Father of three jailed for life after raping women he met on match.com in Spalding and St Ives

Jason Lawrence

Jason Lawrence

A father-of-three has been jailed for life after being found guilty of raping five women after meeting them on internet dating site match.com.

Jason Lawrance, described by police as a “sexual predator”, contacted thousands of women online and committed three sex attacks months after getting married to someone he met via the site.

The 50-year-old was also found guilty of attempting to rape and sexually assault two other women after chatting to them online.

Today, Thursday March 3, he was jailed for life with a minimum term of 12 years and 6 months.

Derby Crown Court heard that in July 2013 Lawrance met a 54-year-old woman through match.com and the pair went for drinks near the woman’s home in Spalding.

They then returned to her home where he asked if he could stay over. The woman agreed on the condition that he sleeps on the sofa.

During the night, the woman woke up with an “awful weight” on her while Lawrance attempted to rape her. The victim called out for her 16-year-old son and Lawrance grabs his clothes and leaves.

In October 2014 Lawrance met a woman via the website and they had consensual sex in a hotel in St Ives in Cambridgeshire, before going out for a walk and a meal.

The woman then asked to use the toilet in Lawrance’s room before she drove home. At this point, he ripped her tights off, tied her hands behind her back and raped her.

Sentencing the 50-year-old for attacking seven women in total, 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.”

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.