A woman who was raped in the back of a serial sex attacker’s van in Northamptonshire after meeting him on Match.com warned the dating website “this man is dangerous” - but got little response she claimed.
Between 2011 and 2014 Jason Lawrance used the site to contact seven divorced or widowed women and arranged to meet them in person at locations in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.
After meeting his victims in person, the 50-year-old then raped, tried to rape, or sexually assaulted the seven women.
Yesterday he was given a life sentence for the crimes.
During the trial his victim in the Northamptonshire attack told the court she had warned Match.com that Lawrance was dangerous, but claims to have received little response.
In June 2011 he drove her down a remote country lane near Crick in Northamptonshire and raped her in the back of his van.
Giving evidence at the trial on February 16, she told the court she had four dates with him after meeting him on Match.com in April 2011.
She said in June 2011 they arranged to meet in Crick, Northamptonshire, to go for a drink one evening.
She said the self-employed builder turned up in his work van and she got in. Shortly after he drove it off the road and into a field.
He stopped the van and asked her to go into the back “for a cuddle”. The back of the van, the court heard had been decked out with a bunk bed.
The victim told the court: “He took my phone off me, he made me moved across a bed in the back of the van and trapped me on. It was pitch black, I was so frightened, I thought ‘This is it, I’m never getting out of this’.”
When she got home she told her daughter what had happened but did not report it to the police as she was so scared.
She did report him to Match.com telling them: “Could you take him off your site because this man is dangerous.”
But she said she “did not get much of a response from them”.
The woman said she blocked Jason Lawrance from contacting her but he got back in contact 18 months later after he set up a new Match.com profile for himself.
She said :”I said to this person that I don’t communicate with people on the site who don’t have a photograph of themselves and he sent an email saying ‘I am the man with the large white van’. I just blocked him again. I did ring the police in Hinckley asking them to keep an eye on him because he is dangerous.”
The woman said: “I did not think I was going to come out of that van, I was upset I was not going to see my kids anymore. He made me feel humiliated, disgusting, and more than anything I just felt very, very frightened.”
Anyone who feels affected by the Jason Lawrance case, or wants to talk about any kind of sexual offence, can find out more by visiting www.derbyshire.police.uk.
A spokesperson for Match said: “At the time that these offences began in 2011, our policy was to encourage our members to communicate with others within our site/app, where we can offer a degree of protection.
When people move beyond what we are able to see, it was very difficult for us to adjudicate on what might have happened. At the time, we therefore took the view that we could only act only on events which we could verify, such as written messages.
“Our customer service team would encourage members to report an incident to the police and we would remove people once the police had asked us to do so.”
“We have also 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. We also continue to encourage our members to communicate with others within our site/app where we have the technology to spot signs of unacceptable behaviour.”