Regional: Dating site predator found guilty of rape

A 'prolific sexual predator' serving a life sentence for a series of rapes has been further convicted of attacks on five more women he met on dating websites, including one from Northamptonshire.

Jason Lawrance was found guilty of five counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of assault by penetration at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday, July 31). He was acquitted of two charges of rape.

Police news

Police news

The 53-year-old, of HMP Nottingham, sexually assaulted the women in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Suffolk, after meeting four of them on Match.com and one on Dating Direct.

Detective Sergeant Rachael North, of East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “Lawrance is a prolific sexual predator and I hope this case acts as reassurance to the public that just because a defendant may already be in prison, we are committed to taking all reports of sexual assault seriously and will investigate allegations we receive.”

Lawrance was jailed for life with a minimum term of 12 and a half years for five rapes, one attempted rape and one sexual assault in 2016, meeting his victims on Match.com.

Following publicity during and after the court case, further women contacted police to say they too had been sexually assaulted by Lawrance after meeting him through the same site and Dating Direct.

Jason Lawrance

Jason Lawrance

A new investigation team looked into these claims and in January this year, Lawrance was charged with seven offences. He was additionally charged in May with two further offences of rape.

Det Sgt North said: “These new charges brought against Lawrance are a testament to the investigation team to bring justice for those women subjected to his crimes.

“As a result of the publicity surrounding his previous conviction, more victims came forward, and we have worked tirelessly to gather evidence to be able to put these further charges to him and have him face the courts once again.

“Praise must be given to these victims who have attended, and those who have given evidence at, court. It’s been extremely difficult for them to sit and hear their accounts being challenged and disputed and they have shown tremendous strength and courage throughout the investigation and the court process."

Lawrance will be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on October 3.