Derby

Match.com rape trial: Accused 'had consensual sex'

Artist impression of Jason Lawrance in Derby Crown Court
Image caption Jason Lawrance denies five counts of rape, one of attempted rape and one sexual assault

A man accused of rape and sexual assault against women he met on a dating website said he had consensual sex with them, a court has heard.

Jason Lawrance is alleged to have raped five women he met on Match.com, attempting to rape a sixth woman and sexually assaulting another.

Derby Crown Court heard the alleged attacks happened between 2011 and 2014.

The 50-year-old, of Liphook, Hampshire, who denies the charges, has begun giving evidence in his trial.

Image copyright match.com
Image caption Match.com is one of the most popular sites with single people looking for a partner

Defence barrister Tracy Ayling QC went through each of the seven complaints from the women who have accused him of the offences.

Mr Lawrance, who was questioned about his relationship with each of them, was also asked each time whether the sex or interaction with them was consensual.

On each occasion he answered: "Yes... That's what Match.com is like, you meet for casual sex".

Mr Lawrance also told Ms Ayling that he re-married in July 2014 - four months before the final rape is alleged to have occurred.

Image caption Mr Lawrance told prosecutor Shaun Smith QC: "I have never raped anyone"

Under cross-examination, prosecutor Shaun Smith QC asked him: "Are they [the women] all telling wicked lies about you?"

"Yes," Mr Lawrance, formerly of Hinckley in Leicestershire, replied.

Mr Smith then asked: "If they are not lying then you are a dangerous rapist, aren't you?"

Mr Lawrance responded: "I have never raped anyone."

The accused claims one woman was embarrassed about having sex with him in his van, and he stopped having sex with another woman when she asked him to.

Image caption Mr Smith, prosecuting, previously told the court Mr Lawrance assaulted the women between July 2011 and November 2014

The prosecution had told the jury, Mr Lawrance used two profiles "keepitstraighttoday" and "straightmanlooking" on the website, but was keen to talk to women offline.

He met seven women from five counties - Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.

The trial continues.

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