Match.com rapist is given life prison sentence in the UK

Jason Lawrance attacked seven women between 2011 and 2014

Jason Lawrance, Match.com, Britain, dating website, jailed, online dating, safety

Jason Lawrance | Image: Derbyshire Constabulary

A serial rapist who attacked seven women after contacting them on a dating website has been handed a life sentence in Britain.

Jason Lawrance, a father of three from Hampshire, was convicted of raping five women, attempting to rape another, and sexually assaulting one more.

He carried out the attacks between June 2011 and November 2014 after meeting the women through Match.com.

Lawrance, described in court as a "sexual predator", was ordered to serve a minimum term of 12 years and six months.

His offending was first brought to light when a friend of one of the victims contacted police in Derbyshire in November 2014.

It emerged Lawrance had contacted thousands of women online and even carried out three attacks months after he got married to someone he had met through the website.

The 50-year-old, from Liphook, had tricked his victims into contacting him on a private e-mail address.

Four women alerted Match.com administrators to the fact he had assaulted them but the website refused to take down his profile.

A victim was told that the website could not take any action because he had not sent abusive messages through the site.

One woman was raped in the back of his van after he parked it up in a field in Northamptonshire.

Another three were attacked in their own homes, one where the victim's son was sleeping in the next room.

A further two women were raped in hotels and another was sexually assaulted in a car park.

Lawrance texted one of his victims apologising for "hurting" them, saying: "When you were crying out for me to stop I couldn't. I'm so mad at myself".

"Safety is our highest priority"

The judge, Greg Dickinson, raised concerns over supervision in use on dating websites and wanted to see if lessons could be learned.

Match.com, which is Britain's biggest dating website, said in a statement: "We are very sorry for those affected and appalled by these terrible acts".

"Sadly, there is a tiny minority of people who set out to harm others".

"While this is not confined to dating sites or even the internet, those who do so should be convicted and sentenced, as has happened in this case".

It went on: "Our member's safety is our highest priority".

"We are committed to working with the dating industry as a whole to raise standards, and have developed an industry initiative with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust to spot suspicious behaviour and to look after people".

"The Online Dating Association and the Trust are now using this to help the industry give its users the best possible protection and support and we fully support this initiative".

Detective Chief Inspector Allison Rigby from the force said the trial had been "devastating" for victims.

Speaking outside Derby Crown Court she said: "Jason Lawrance is a prolific, serial rapist who preyed on women he had contacted through Match.com".

"These women were looking for companionship and instead what they found was a man who was willing to commit serious sexual offences against them".