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Court hears businessman raped five women after meeting them on dating site

Court hears businessman raped five women after meeting them on dating site

A UK businessman raped five women after meeting them on internet dating site, a court has heard.

Jason Lawrance, 50, is also alleged to have attempted to rape another woman and sexually assaulted a seventh between June 2011 and November 2014.

Derby Crown Court heard that Lawrance texted one of the women after raping her at her home in Buxton, Derbyshire, apologising for "hurting her" and saying: "When you were crying out for me to stop I couldn't, I'm so mad at myself xxx."

Another woman was allegedly raped in the back of a van which Lawrance had parked in a field in Northamptonshire, while a third was said to have been attacked at her home while her son was asleep in a nearby bedroom.

The court heard that Lawrance used two profiles on the website - KeepItStraightToday and StraightMan_Looking - and was keen to start talking with the women by text message 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 website."

He added that the jury should ask if Lawrance, of Liphook, Hampshire, is "a defendant who is a rapist, a sexual predator who will not take no for an answer".

"Or (is he) some innocent lothario who, as he claims, is a man who has sexual intercourse with women who submit to him and fall for his charm?"

Lawrance allegedly raped a woman at her home in Buxton after they met on the dating website in November 2013 and agreed to meet.

The following morning, he is said to have attacked the woman despite her "screaming hysterically and telling him 'no, no, no'."

Following the alleged ordeal, the prosecution said, Lawrance "calmly got dressed" and drove off.

He then sent the woman a text message saying "I was disgusted with myself for hurting you. I am so sorry."

In another alleged attack, a woman drove to meet Lawrance for a drink near Crick in Northamptonshire.

The court heard that the pair had met on four previous occasions, but instead of driving his usual Jaguar, the defendant arrived in a white van.

After getting in, the woman was allegedly driven by Lawrance to a remote place where he tried to convince her to get into the back of the van where he had made bunk beds.

Mr Smith said she eventually gave in and then "matters deteriorated very badly indeed".

The prosecutor said: "He 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."

Lawrance, who ran a lighting business, was investigated by police after a woman reported a rape in November 2014 and as a result of inquiries with, a "disturbing picture emerged", Mr Smith said.

Lawrance denies all the charges. The trial is expected to last two weeks.