Judo expert sentenced to life for sex attacks

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The Independent Online

A rapist who created a "climate of fear" among women in his home town was given three life sentences yesterday.

Cardiff Crown Court was told that Kevin Havard, 29, a judo expert who represented Wales at schoolboy level, attacked three women and a 16-year-old girl over a 14-month period in Bridgend, south Wales. He held his victims in a stranglehold during the attacks.

Nicholas Cooke, QC, for the prosecution, said the attacks took place as the victims walked home at night. He said Havard, who has two young sons, was "an exceptionally dangerous man who created a climate of fear". A psychiatric report concluded that he posed a "very significant and grave risk to women".

Havard, originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, pleaded guilty to rape, two counts of attempting to choke and one of indecent assault between January 2000 and March this year. A second charge of indecent assault was left to lie on file.

The court was told that he was arrested after a pair of spectacles left at the scene of one attack showed that their owner suffered from an unusual eye condition. Opticians' records were studied and the glasses were matched to Havard. The court was told there was only a one in 40 million chance they did not belong to him. DNA from blood left on a man who intervened to help a girl who was being attacked also proved to be from Havard.

John Griffith Williams, the Recorder of Cardiff, ordered Havard to be put on the Sex Offenders' Register for life.