Rapist gets seven life sentences: Nine women suffered 'appalling cruelty'

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A FATHER of three cleared earlier this week of murdering a prostitute received seven life sentences yesterday for raping six women and attempting to rape a seventh.

David Williams, 34, from Wolverhampton, also received 10-year concurrent sentences for two indecent assaults. A further allegation of rape and two of indecent assault were ordered to lie on file.

Describing him as 'an evil and highly dangerous man', Mr Justice Judge said that Williams - who had pleaded guilty to six of the rapes over a five-year period - was likely to remain a grave danger to women and should not be considered for parole for at least 12 years.

'I remind you that nine women were victims of appalling cruelty at your hands,' Mr Justice Judge said. 'The terror, the anguish and the physical and psychological harm you have inflicted on them is unquantifiable and irreparable.'

The first rape was of a 26- year-old woman walking to her boyfriend's house in March 1986. A man she thought was a jogger ran up behind her and dragged her to waste ground.

The second attack was two years later in St Ives, Cornwall, where Williams was on holiday with his pregnant partner. The 22-year-old victim was attacked at a phone box and dragged into a cemetery.

The third victim was a 17- year-old prostitute, who Williams picked up in the Wolverhampton area in December 1988. He threatened her with a knife and told her she would have to 'do it for free'. She was tied up and driven to Cannock Chase, near Stafford.

His next victim was also 17. In August 1991, the girl, who had been living in a hostel in Wolverhampton, returned to a nightclub to try to find a friend. Williams, who had been standing in the doorway, dragged her into bushes.

Two months later, Williams attacked a woman of 18 as she walked home from a Wolverhampton nightclub. He told her he had a knife before dragging her into the bushes.

The sixth rape, two months after that, was of a 19-year-old who lived with her mother in the Wolverhampton area. Williams attacked her as she walked along a road.

Richard Wakerley QC, for the defence, claimed that Williams had shown genuine and deep remorse. Medical reports suggested no obvious psychiatric reason for the offences and he was not mentally ill. He had one previous conviction - in 1985 - for indecent exposure.

On Monday, Williams was acquitted at Stafford Crown Court of murdering Gail Whitehouse, 23. Yesterday, verdicts of not guilty were entered on the record in respect of a three further charges.