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25 July 2019, 07:10 | Updated: 25 July 2019, 07:12
A convicted serial rapist accused of further sex attacks on six women he met on a dating site has opted not to give evidence in his defence.
Nottingham Crown Court was told Jason Lawrance, who denies raping five women and sexually assaulting another, has been advised the jury may draw "such inferences as appear proper" from his failure to testify.
The Crown alleges the 54-year-old attacked the women from match.com or its partner company Dating Direct between 2009 and 2014 in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Suffolk, to "satisfy a selfish sexual need".
A jury panel of six men and six women has heard how Lawrance had been convicted at Derby Crown Court in 2016 of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault against seven women he met on the same site.
Jurors were also told how a further six alleged victims had come forward following the trial, with five of them having seen his name in news reports.
After defence QC David Emmanuel told Mr Justice Jeremy Baker that the defendant would not be called into the witness box, the trial judge asked: "Have you advised him that the stage has now been reached at which he may give evidence, and if he chooses not to do so the jury may draw such inferences as appear proper from his failure to do so?"
Mr Emmanuel replied: "Yes I have, My Lord."
Jurors were sent away until Thursday, when they are expected to hear closing speeches in the case, before being sent out to consider verdicts.
Lawrance, formerly of Arundel Close, Liphook, Hampshire, denies seven counts of rape, one charge of sexual assault and a further charge of assault by penetration.
The trial continues.