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Businessman convicted of raping two women 30 years ago

|News, Sexual offences

A prominent businessman has been found guilty of raping two women in Manchester 30 years ago.

Former UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones, 55, denied both offences, claiming the sexual contact had been consensual with one of the women and that he had never met the other woman.

The prosecution case was that both women were given stupefying drugs before the rapes took place in 1993/1994.

The women, who were known to Jones, described being given some form of drug which made them feel “spaced out” and “really out of it” so they were unable to react to his unwanted sexual advances.

Jones denied the offences in police interview and pleaded not guilty at court.

However he was found guilty of two counts of rape following the trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Jones will be sentenced on 1 December 2023.

Isla Chilton, Senior District Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offence Unit, said: “Jones raped two women with no thought for how his actions would affect them.

“By denying the offences, he compounded the harm to the women, attempting to evade responsibility for his actions. The jury saw through his lies and found him guilty.

“The CPS worked hard with Greater Manchester Police to build a strong case to put before the jury. To support the victims, we applied for them to give evidence by video interview and to be cross examined behind a screen so they would not need to face their abuser in the court room.

“I would like to thank the victims for supporting this prosecution and I hope this case will encourage others to seek justice. It’s never too late.”

Notes to editors

  • Lawrence Jones is from Hale Barns, Trafford, and was born on 1 August 1968.
  • He was found guilty of one count of rape between 30/11/1993 and 24/12/1993 and one count of rape between 01/05/1993 and 01/06/1994.
  • The CPS launched its National Operating Model for the prosecution of adult rape in July alongside a police national model. Read more here.
  • The model will step up cultural and operational change right across the CPS by setting an improved and standardised approach for how all adult rape cases are handled.
  • As a result of joint working between prosecutors and police, the CPS is seeing more case referrals, more suspects charged, and decisions made more quickly. Communication channels and working relationships between the CPS, police and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors are also seeing marked improvements.

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