The 'cool, calm, calculated' sex attacker who stalked his victims
When Kevin Lakeman was jailed, he was branded a 'very cool, calm, calculated and determined liar' who had stalked his victims.
Several of his victims attended Newcastle Crown Court as he was sentenced in April 1995, to watch as the man who had dogged detectives for years was finally sent down, sitting in the dock expressionless as he was told his fate.
Officers had been investigating 26 sex attacks on women, with Lakeman sentenced to three rapes and an attempted rape, with his victims aged from 16 to 20.
Eight other rape charges and four of attempted rape, all of which Lakeman denied, were allowed to lie on file.
Of the 12 on file, two of the alleged attacks happened on New Year’s Eve in 1983 and 1986.Ten other sex charges against him were dropped.
The court heard Lakeman would wear a furry-hooded parka to stalk his often-tipsy victims in Sunderland as they walked home from New Year’s Eve parties.
The jury of eight women and four men at his trial, held in Leeds, heard Lakeman attacked three women in 24 hours on January 1, 1982.
His first victim, the 18-year-old, was returning home to the Downhill area of Sunderland at 2am after a party.
She had a knife held at her throat but screamed with terror and Lakeman ran off.
Minutes later he seized a 20-year-old woman in the north end of the city, grabbing her from behind and dragging her onto a school field where he raped her.
Later in the day he grabbed a 16-year-old girl, pulled her into a wood and raped her warning: “If you make a sound I will slice you up.”
The search for the serial offender was helped when Lakeman confessed to one of the rapes to friend over a pint, with then-pioneering DNA testing also used after police kept evidence in deep freeze for years.
The hunt was led by Detective Superintendent Dave Wilson, who passed away in 2011 - he had pledged to Lakeman’s victims he would see justice before he retired.
The officer said after the hearing: “I am relieved the prosecution is now over and that Lakeman has been given the sentence he deserves.
“I am pleased that the women of Sunderland can now feel safer in the knowledge that he is no longer at large.
“He is a very dangerous man, a very cool, calm calculated and determined liar.
“He has disguised himself and he has disguised his voice to try to escape the police in all the time we have been pursuing him. But now the lying is over and he has been brought to justice.”