‘Laughing rapist’ gets another life sentence

STEPHEN CRAWFORD ... the Laughing Rapist.
STEPHEN CRAWFORD ... the Laughing Rapist.
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A SERIAL sex attacker dubbed the ‘laughing rapist’ has been given his sixth indeterminate jail term and told he is a “highly dangerous individual”.

Stephen Crawford, 51, was given with the sinister nickname because of the snearing smirk he gave each time he was cleared of rape charges in relation to five women during the early 2000s.

Justice finally caught up with the former mobile disc jockey, from Washington, when he was given four indeterminate sentences and one life term for sex attacks on women in 2007 and 2012.

He had also served sentences for sex offences against women and children in the 1990s, and was given a five-year jail term earlier this year for trying to rape a woman he offered a lift home from a pub in the 1980s.

Crawford’s terrifying list of convictions include rapes, indecent assault and sex with underage girls.

The sick attacker, who a judge once said “enjoyed the act of rape”, was found guilty this week of raping a teenager in the 1980s after she told him she did not want to spend time with him.

At Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Sean Morris sentenced Crawford, who smirked when his jail term was being discussed, to life behind bars for the attack.

Judge Morris told him: “When she tried to stop you or say she didn’t want to see you, as you did on other occasions, you lost it.

“There is something wrong with you when you are rejected by women.

“You are a highly dangerous individual in my view.

“There is a substantial risk you will commit similar offences against women in future.

“You are still middle aged and will be a danger to women for a long, long time.”

The judge said Crawford must serve six years behind bars before he can apply for parole.

But he added: “It is my sincere wish that they think long and hard before they ever release you, if at all.”

The court heard Crawford drove the victim to a secluded location on an industrial estate and called her a “whore” before threatening to “punch her face in”.

She was then subjected to a sickening rape ordeal which left her “utterly terrified”, before being warned she would be killed if she told.

Crawford denied rape in relation to the attack, and was advised by the trial judge before the case started that a guilty plea would be looked upon more favourably by the parole board, who may one day consider if he is safe to be back on the streets.

But the serial offender responded from the dock: “I will never get out anyway, sir.”

His denial meant his victim had to re-live her ordeal by giving evidence against him.

The court heard Crawford was in his 20s when he attacked the teen, who said she did not want to spend time with him.

The attack happened at a secluded part of an industrial estate.

Prosecutor Jonathan Devlin told the court: “He became angry and verbally abusive, he called her a f****** bitch.”

The court heard after the rape Crawford told his victim he would kill her if she ever told anyone what he had done to her.

Julie Clemitson, defending, said: “There is no prospect of him being released until the parole board determine he is no longer a danger.”