Match.com rapist Jason Lawrance found guilty of more sex attacks

Former businessman assaulted 12 women between over a five-year period to ‘satisfy a selfish sexual need’

Lawrance was found guilty of five counts of rape during a second trial after more of his victims came forward
Lawrance was found guilty of five counts of rape during a second trial after more of his victims came forward

A convicted serial rapist has been found guilty of further sex attacks on five women he met on an internet dating site.

Father-of-three Jason Lawrance contacted thousands of women on Match.com or its partner company Dating Direct between 2009 and 2014, attacking 12 of them to “satisfy a selfish sexual need”.

The 54-year-old, who was jailed for life with a minimum term of 12 years and six months in 2016 for sexually violating seven women, appeared emotionless as jurors at Nottingham Crown Court delivered the latest verdicts.

Despite offering no defence during his second trial, Lawrance denied seven counts of rape, one charge of sexual assault and a further charge of assault by penetration - claiming all sex had been consensual.

But he was found guilty of five counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one charge of assault by penetration.

Jurors cleared Lawrance of two further charges of rape.

A jury was told of the former businessman’s convictions for rape, attempted rape and sexual assault in his previous trial at Derby Crown Court.

Five of Lawrance’s latest victims came forward after his “criminality filtered out into homes across the country” through news reports covering the trial.

Jurors in Nottingham were told that in July 2014, the former self-employed builder got one woman pregnant despite telling her he had had a vasectomy - something he later passed off as “just banter”.

Despite reassuring her repeatedly, the court heard how Lawrance, who used Match.com with profile names such as KeepItStraightToday and StraightMan-Looking, messaged her the following day to tell her: “I have a confession. I’m still fertile. Sorry.”

Lawrance was convicted of two counts of raping the woman, in what is believed to be a legal first.

He had married a woman from Match.com in July 2014 - the same month he lied to his victim about having a vasectomy.

Lawrance also sexually violated three other women after his marriage, in Cambridgeshire, Rutland and Derbyshire.

He also attacked another woman in late 2012 in her Northamptonshire home before “calmly” going upstairs to have a shower.

Lawrance had met the woman after she invited him round for a coffee - and despite telling him “No, I don’t want this”, he responded with “shut up... it’s going to happen anyway”.

Other women were attacked in Lawrance's car or van, with one being pushed on a double bed in the back of his van after taking a drive to Bradgate Park, Leicestershire in January 2014.

The court was told another woman had a belt wrapped around her neck, in an area called Bluebell Woods in Dingley Dell, Market Harborough, shortly after he joined Match.com in 2009.

In the previous trial in Derby, Judge Gregory Dickinson QC called for a review of internet dating safety measures after expressing concern that four of the victims had made complaints to Match.com before three other women were raped.

A Match spokeswoman said: “At Match, member safety is our primary priority. We were appalled by the terrible acts committed by Jason Lawrance and commend the individuals for their courage in reporting these to the authorities.

“Match has a zero-tolerance policy for reports of serious offences and we encourage anyone who has felt exposed to unsafe behaviour, whether through our services or anywhere else, to speak to the police.”

Lawrance, formerly of Liphook, Hampshire, was remanded back into custody by Mr Justice Jeremy Baker to be sentenced at the same court on 3 October.

Press Association

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