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CrimeUK Fast founder Lawrence Jones convicted of raping two women

UK Fast founder Lawrence Jones convicted of raping two women

Tech tycoon Lawrence Jones will be sentenced next week after being convicted of raping two women.

Jones, 55, of Brooks Drive in Hale Barns, who was the CEO of UK Fast, was convicted at Manchester Crown Court, following the historic rape of two women in Greater Manchester.

This follows a conviction in January 2023 for a sexual assault against a third female.

The dad-of-four, once dubbed a “cloud computing king”, was considered an influential technology businessman with an estimated wealth of around £700m.

Investigation

A police investigation began after the first woman disclosed that she had been the victim of sexual assault back in March 2019.

She had first met Jones in 2013, while she was working for Jones’ company, UK Fast.

For four weeks Jones continually asked her to meet him outside of work and told her that it was her duty to do so. He also invited her on a business trip to London.

They went out for a meal and while in a taxi, Jones acted and said inappropriate things to her making her feel very uncomfortable.

On the return to the hotel, they had a drink at the bar and returned to their rooms. Jones made sexual advances towards her but when she pulled away, he became verbally aggressive.

Jones continued to pressure her and then sexually assaulted her. She eventually managed to get back to the safety of her room.

The victim told her mum what happened when she got home and resigned from UK Fast.

In May 2019, Jones was interviewed under caution at Longsight Police station where he answered ‘no comment’ to all questions. He was subsequently charged with sexual assault.

Second victim

In January 2021, a second woman came forward and disclosed that in 1993 she was a university student at a University in Manchester. During that time she and her friends worked at a bar/restaurant on Oxford Road in Manchester.

On one occasion, Jones approached her and invited her to come for a drink at his flat after she finished work. As Jones was dating her friend at the time, she decided it would be a good idea to get to know him better for her friend’s sake.

When she arrived at Jones flat, he poured her a glass of wine and from then, she could only recall snapshots of being in his bedroom with no recollection of how she got there.

Stating to the court that her body ‘was not her own’ and it was unusual as she only had one glass of wine, Jones sexually assaulted her.

She did not consent, she wanted to get off the bed and Jones became aggressive and shouted at her that she should realise that she “could not treat men like this and shouldn’t lead them on.”

The woman lost consciousness and when she came round, Jones was sexually assaulting her and raped her.

She struggled to deal with what happened to her and self-referred to the St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre. During the years after this assault, she told her friends what had happened to her, but she did not feel able to report this to the police at the time.

Third victim

A year later, a third woman (Woman C) also bravely spoke of her experiences and disclosed to officers that back in 1993, she worked in several drinking establishments across Manchester.

During this time, she became friendly with Jones who organised and played music events in pubs across Manchester.

On one occasion Jones came into her bedroom and asked her to smell a bottle of liquid he was holding; she did not know what this was and shortly after she had smelt it, she began to feel woozy and lay on her bed.

Jones then proceeded to rape woman C, she felt she could not do anything about it due to being incapacitated through the drug.

In 2019, she disclosed the offence to a friend and then later disclosed to her husband. In 2022, she reported the incident to Greater Manchester Police.

Charges

Jones was found guilty of the rape of both the second and third women.He will be sentenced next Friday for the offences against all three women.

Detective constable Stewart of Greater Manchester Police said: “Firstly, we commend the immense courage shown by the women in both investigations for coming forward to disclose the traumatic experiences they have endured.

“Their bravery has been pivotal in bringing Lawrence Jones to account for his heinous actions and we want to express our deepest gratitude for their strength and resilience throughout this challenging investigation and trial.

“It is our sincere hope that this verdict sends a powerful message to survivors of rape and other sexual offences that their voices will be heard, and that justice can be achieved no matter when it happened or who was involved. No one should suffer in silence, and we encourage anyone who has been a victim of such crimes to come forward and report them to the police.

“We are here to support you, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions. The collaborative efforts of the victims, witnesses, and our dedicated investigative team were essential in uncovering the truth and securing this conviction.We understand the profound impact that such incidents can have on individuals, and we remain committed to providing support to those involved in this investigation and to those victims who reach out and disclose to us.”

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