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Life term for sex offender after women attacked in own homes

Published 22/02/2016

Lawlor was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison at Manchester Crown Court
Lawlor was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison at Manchester Crown Court

A convicted sex offender, originally from Dublin, who attacked two women in their homes in front of their children has been jailed for life.

Trevor Lawlor, 32, raped one of his victims in view of her toddler son and was only prevented from raping the other complainant when her boyfriend unexpectedly returned to the house.

Sentencing Lawlor to a minimum of 10 years in prison, Judge Hilary Manley told him: "I am convinced that you have a hatred for women and a need to use, degrade and humiliate them.

"Put simply, I am wholly satisfied you pose a dangerous and substantial risk to the public, particularly women and children."

Manchester Crown Court heard Lawlor raped a woman in his home country in 2002 in "chillingly similar circumstances" when he forced his way into the home of his victim after he lied he was being chased by police.

In the early hours of July 10 last year, Lawlor entered an address in Newton Heath, Manchester, uninvited, and awoke his victim while she was in bed lying next to her young son.

He threatened to slit the woman's throat if either made a noise and then removed his clothing before his victim's partner returned.

Following a struggle in the bedroom, Lawlor fled the scene only in his underwear and T-shirt and knocked on the door of a woman who lived nearby.

Known to the defendant, the woman let him in after he told her he had been kidnapped and needed to escape his attackers.

Justin Hayhoe, prosecuting, said the complainant's charity was repaid in a "shocking manner" with a violent and gratuitous assault on her while her toddler son was in her arms.

Lawlor - under the influence of alcohol and drugs - repeatedly punched her to the head and face as his victim eventually feigned unconsciousness, as she believed she she was going to be killed, said the prosecutor.

Before he raped her, Lawlor shouted to the baby: "This is all your mother is worth", and: "This is what your f****** mother deserves."

The badly beaten woman managed to escape her home and alert a neighbour, who only recognised her by her voice.

The neighbour then went to retrieve the baby who was also blood-soaked and appeared to be traumatised and "in a daze".

Judge Manley told Lawlor he had "stolen the innocence" of his first victim's son, who witnessed the entire episode, while "only time will tell" what psychological impact had been caused to the second victim's son.

She said: "This was a campaign of rape and sexual assault against vulnerable women in their homes in the direct presence of their young children, with no effort to spare those children of the traumatic spectacle - in fact, quite the reverse."

Lawlor, of Failsworth, was arrested in Manchester city centre later the same day of the attacks and made no comment to detectives.

He went on to plead guilty at earlier hearings to rape, attempted rape, assault by penetration, wounding with intent to cause grievious bodily harm, trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence and making a threat to kill.

Lawlor was given a life term for the rape and concurrent sentences for the other offences.

Formerly of Blanchardstown, Dublin, Lawlor committed his earlier rape aged 18 after he said he drank more than 15 cans of alcohol.

Jailed for six years in 2004, when he was arrested he reportedly told police: "I didn't know what came over me, I am not like that."

Manchester Crown Court heard that Lawlor appeared before a district court in Ireland in February 2014 for a number of matters including failing to notify the authorities of his address in accordance with being a registered sex offender.

Hunter Gray, defending, said Lawlor expressed his remorse to his two victims.

He said: " He wants to change. He knows his behaviour is wrong. He is willing to access any support he can get so that (the complainants) or any female is not subjected to this sort of conduct again."

Judge Manley stressed that Lawlor could not be considered for release by the Parole Board until the minimum term had expired, and if freed would be on licence for the rest of his life.

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