Man 'raped five women' after meeting them on Match.com

Jason Lawrance also stands accused of attempting to rape a sixth woman and sexually assaulting a seventh

Siobhan Fenton
Tuesday 16 February 2016 10:32 GMT
A statue of the scales of justice stands high above the Old Bailey
A statue of the scales of justice stands high above the Old Bailey

A man raped five women after meeting them on dating site Match.com, a court has heard.

Jason Lawrance, 50, is also accused of attempting to rape a sixth woman and sexually assaulting a seventh.

Derby Crown Court heard that Lawrance used two profiles on the website, KeepItStraightToday and StraightMan-Looking and asked women to communicate with him using text or email. Prosecuting Shaun Smith QC, said: “We suggest that’s because he was keen to engineer a situation where he persuaded women to make contact with him privately by phone or text message or email so he was not being watched by the match.com website.”

Match.com is the UK's biggest dating website, with 3 million users.

Lawrance allegedly raped one woman at her home in Buxton after they met through the website in November 2013. He is alleged to have attacked her despite her: “screaming hysterically and telling him ‘no, no, no’.”

It is alleged that following the attack he “calmly got dressed” and drove off, after which he sent the woman a text message saying: “I was disgusted with myself for hurting you. I am so sorry.”

Another attack is alleged to have occurred when a woman met up with Lawrence for a drink. They had met on four previous occasions after connecting through the website. After the woman drove to meet him, it is alleged that he drove her in his white van to a remote place where he tried to convince her to go into the back of the vehicle where he had installed bunk beds.

The court heard that the woman was reluectant but eventually agreed and that: “matters deteriorated very badly indeed.” The prosecutor told the court that Lawrance then: “insisted that she got into the back of the van and lay on the bottom bed and, frightened for her safety, she eventually did as he asked.

“He pulled the bed covers over her and removed her trousers. All that she remembers was it was pitch black. She was then raped by him. He raped her despite the fact that she was crying and asking him to stop.”

The court heard that after one woman reported an alleged rape to police in 2014, police investigated and after inquiries with match.com "a disturbing pattern emerged."

Lawrance denies all the charges. The trial continues.

With additional reporting by PA

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