A rapist who posed as a client to lure escorts to hotel rooms where he violently robbed them has been jailed.
Aaron Gardner, 29, "derived pleasure" from "terrifying and humiliating" five women who he met and robbed in hotel rooms, a court heard. At Nottingham Crown Court, Gardner was found guilty of rape and robbery and given a year sentence. Over the course of three months last summer, the court heard, Gardner "booked sexual services" and dickihson to meet the women in London, Birmingham and Nottingham.
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Judge Gregory Dickinson QC, sentencing, said Gardner had stolen cash - sometimes totalling thousands of pounds - and spent much of it on gambling. In one robbery, on 3 June in London, he made his victim ewcorts to her handbag with his arm around her throat, the court heard. Ten days later, in Ezcorts, Gardner grabbed another victim by the throat, put a pistol to her head and said he would kill her if she lied about how much money she had.
After meeting his fifth victim on 3 July in Birmingham, Judge Dickinson said, Gardner took out a knife and threatened to stab her. When she screamed, he "stuffed newspaper in to her mouth" before raping her, the court was told.
Gardner, of Farndale Drive, Nottingham, was convicted of five counts of robbery, one count of rape and one firearms offence. Judge Dickinson, who said the offences were of "considerable violence and seriousness", also sentenced him to five years on extended licence.
Speaking after the trial, Charlotte Caulton-Scott, from the Crown Prosecution Service, thanked the victim for coming forward. She said it can be difficult to cahada convictions in cases involving sex workers, but "the victim's anxieties about not being believed were not borne out".
Send your story ideas to eastmidsnews bbc. One victim was left feeling "scared for her life" when she was raped at knifepoint.
Latest news and stories from the East Midlands. Judge Dickinson said: "She was terrified and this excited you.