Soldier guilty of raping teenagers

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The Independent Online

A soldier was facing prison today after being convicted of raping three teenagers and trying to abduct two schoolgirls.

Jonathan Haynes, 30, was found guilty of six counts of rape, two of kidnap and two of attempting to kidnap following a three week trial at Bristol Crown Court.

He meticulously planned his attacks for weeks as he prowled the streets of Chippenham, Wiltshire, late at night looking for young victims.

Haynes raped the girls after abducting them from the streets of the town and also attacked a University of Glamorgan first year student after breaking into halls of residence.

The Royal Logistics Corp lance corporal, who was based at Buckley Barracks, Hullavington, near Chippenham, also tried to snatch two 14-year-old girls from a country lane.

Haynes, who wore grey trousers and a grey shirt and tie, stood expressionless between two dock officers as the jury forewoman returned 10 unanimous guilty verdicts after less than a day's deliberations.

Members of the public, who were sitting in court, wiped away tears and hugged each other following the verdicts.

Defence barrister Ian Bourne QC asked for an adjournment for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Recorder of Bristol Judge Neil Ford QC agreed and fixed sentencing for September 8.

He told Haynes: "Mr Haynes, you will be sentenced on September 8.

"I have ordered a pre-sentence report and it will be in your best interest to co-operate.

"In the meantime, you will be remanded into custody."

After Haynes was led away, the judge thanked the jury of seven men and five women for their attention to what he described as a "distressing" case.

Jurors heard the first kidnap and rape happened on September 13, 2009 in Chippenham as the 16-year-old made her way home from a night out at the Karma nightclub.

Just 13 days later he raped the 18-year-old student after forcing entry to halls of residence in Pontypridd, South Wales.

The following February, he attempted to snatch the two schoolgirls late at night from a country lane near Chippenham.

Weeks later Haynes, who also worked part time as a doorman at the Market Tavern in Stroud, Gloucestershire, kidnapped a 17-year-old girl from the streets of Chippenham and repeatedly raped her.

He wore a black balaclava and gloves and would grab his victims by the throat and drag them into his car.

Haynes tied their hands, covered their faces and threatened to stab them if they screamed.

He would then drive the terrified teenagers to a secluded spot near his Army barracks where he repeatedly raped them and then photographed them intimately.

The soldier then ordered them to wipe themselves clean with towels or wet wipes in order to destroy forensic evidence and also told them to shower.

In the weeks before the first attack Haynes had used an Audi hire car, which unknown to him was fitted with a GPS tracking device.

After his arrest, detectives were able to piece together his movements in July and August and found he had been cruising the streets of Chippenham during the early hours looking for victims, known as "sharking".

Analysis of Haynes' mobile phone showed he was in the vicinity of all the attacks.

Jurors were told that features of the rape of the 16-year-old matched that of the two later attacks.

Haynes, of Saxon Street, Northampton, denied all the attacks, except the final one, which he maintained was consensual sex.

Forensic analysis of Haynes' laptop seized from his room at the barracks showed he carried out hundreds of searches on the internet for information relating to the attacks.

Jurors were told Haynes was using Google to find information on the attempted kidnapping of the schoolgirls before it had even been reported to the police.

He would enter terms such as "Chippenham rape", "Chippenham sexual assault", "university rape" and "Glamorgan rape".

Haynes would even search social networking sites like Facebook, My Space and Friends Reunited armed with the names of his victims.

The court heard that for the rape in Wales, he carried out 140 separate searches of Google looking for information, even searching for the detective leading the investigation. Other searches included "National Rape Awareness Week", "the country's most wanted rapist" and "tackling Britain's unsolved crimes".

Prosecutor Ian Lawrie QC explained to jurors the significance of the records recovered from the hard drive of the laptop.

"It goes to establishing the behaviour of Mr Haynes, who the Crown squarely blame for these offences, and that over a four month period he is tracking down details of quite specific offences," he said.

"So not only do the similarities establish a common culprit, the evidence points to him as the actual culprit.

"There are striking similarities with rapes committed in Chippenham and it is ironic, or it is just a very unfortunate coincidence, that Mr Haynes happened to be in Pontypridd at the time the offence took place.

"We have the cell site analysis which tells us Mr Haynes' mobile phone's location in relation where the offences took place.

"There are similarities in terms of how the rapes took place, the threat of a weapon, there are attempts to find the identity of the victims and in two of the attacks a camera is used to take humiliating photographs.

"What all this shows, the Crown suggests, and the interpretation we invite you to take, is that there is one culprit.

"You can be sure that the perpetrator is one and the same and that the perpetrator is Mr Haynes."

Speaking outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Bob Hamlin, of Wiltshire Police, described Haynes as one of the "most evil predators" he had come across.

He said: "Jonathan Haynes is a cold, calculating, sexual predator. He preyed on young vulnerable women, not only in Chippenham, but was a man capable of breaking into a university campus and subjecting a horrific attack on a young girl and also the fact he tried to abduct two 14-year-old girls. He is an evil, evil man.

"Imagine the horror these girls faced. They will have feared for their lives. We forget that he threatened to kill, to stab and to hurt them in the most serious of ways. He had a balaclava, a knife - a rape kit in affect.

"The evidence we had from the tracker showed just how predatory the man was. One piece of the evidence showed that from midnight until four in the morning he went round in circles in Chippenham, just round in circles, without stopping.

"To have actually tried to kidnap two girls at once was something we found really chilling and in all my service this man is probably one of the most evil predators that I have come across."

Mr Hamlin paid tribute to Haynes's victims after one of them pulled her hair out and spat saliva on the back seat of his car during the attack to leave DNA evidence.

"My admiration goes out to all the victims in this case. The courage that all the girls have shown cannot be underestimated and the presence of mind of one of them, of all of them, in each of their own ways gave us real leads.

"But for one young lady, to tear her hair out and to leave DNA on the back seat must have been awful, if you put into context what she was going through.

"The man actually has probably no limits or thresholds for the evil he is able to commit."

Mr Hamlin said his team is now looking into other offences across the country and locally and believes there may be other victims from during the last decade.