Serial rapist in Yorkshire bailed SIX times before he sexually assaulted woman in front of three-year-old

0
Have your say

A judge blasted police and magistrates who granted a serial rapist bail on SIX occasions before he went on to attack a woman in her own home in front of her child.

Carl Hartley was given police or court bail on multiple occasions over a three year period after targeting lone women at night.

He's finally behind bars now

He's finally behind bars now

-> Tragedy as Yorkshire amateur footballer found dead on wedding night
The detective who was involved in finally bringing Hartley to justice described the 26-year-old as “without doubt one of the most dangerous sexual predators I have encountered”.

Hartley, from Leeds, was jailed for life today after pleading guilty to two offences of rape one of sexual assault.

Leeds Crown Court heard at one stage, in May 2017, Hartley was charged with four separate offences of rape but was still granted bail.

He then breached those bail conditions and was arrested again and brought before magistrates.

But magistrates granted him bail yet again.

Days later he went on to sexually assault a woman in her own home in Leeds as she held her three-year-old child.

Phillip Standfast, prosecuting, said Hartley tricked his way into her home in July last year after pretending to be doing gardening work.

The court heard Hartley raped a woman in February 2014 after following her from a pub after she had rowed with her boyfriend.

He forced her to the ground and removed her clothing in the attack near to Wakefield city centre

In May of that year he raped a 20-year-old woman in an alleyway behind Wakefield Prison in an attack that was caught on a security camera.

The court heard Hartley was repeatedly granted bail after denying the rape offences.

-> Two officers praised for bringing serial rapist to justice at last
He also was also arrested and bailed in connection with two other rape allegations which were eventually dropped against him.

Judge Christopher Batty said: “I cannot for the life of me understand what on earth anyone was thinking of at any stage until he was finally remanded in to custody.

“How he wasn’t charged is beyond me.

“How he wasn’t remanded in custody is beyond me.

The judge praised two detectives in the case, Det Con Paul Gough and Det Sgt Phil Davis, for finally establishing “a pattern of offending” in the case and identifying Hartley as a serial rapist.

Hartley was told he must serve a minimum of six years and 117 days in prison but was warned it was likely he could be locked up for much longer.

Hartley will only be released from custody when he is no longer considered a danger to the public.

Judge Batty told him: “In my view you have no control over your sexual urges.

“You have no respect for the wishes of woman.

“You are a sexual predator and a highly dangerous man.”

-> Parents anger as pupils sent home in school uniform row
The list of offences - when and where they happened

Offence Number One. Rape. Wakefield, February 6, 2014.

Hartley, of Summerfield Green, Rodley, Leeds targeted his first victim in Wakefield city centre on February 6, 2014.

The victim had been drinking in the Strafford Arms where she had a row with her boyfriend and he had left her in the pub.

The woman stayed in the pub alone for around an hour but then headed to her partner's home to "patch things up".

Hartley attacked her as she walked along Stanley Road.

The woman was knocked to the ground and banged her head on the ground.

Hartley managed to remove her clothing as she was on the ground and carried out the sex attack.

The rapist put his hand over her mouth as she tried to scream for help.

Hartley fled after being disturbed by the landlord of the Albion pub who was walking his dog.

The victim's clothing was later analysed and found to contain Hartley's DNA.

He was arrested in connection with the attack in November 2014 but denied the offence, claiming the woman had consented to sex.

In a victim statement read to the court by the prosecutor, the woman described the trauma of having to take mediation to reduce the risk of sexual transmitted infection.

She has been able to return to work since the attack and has moved away from Wakefield.

She said: "The issue has had an effect on every area of my life.

"Prior to the incident I was confident, bubbly and outgoing. Now I am exactly the opposite."

Offence Number Two. Rape. Wakefield, May 17, 2014

Hartley raped the 20-year-old victim in an alleyway behind Wakefield Prison in an attack that was caught on a security camera.

The defendant had approached the woman earlier in the evening when she was in Tequila nightclub but was told to go away by one of her friends.

Hartley waited outside the nightclub and followed her when she left alone and began talking to her.

Mr Standfast said the victim was "feeling low" and thought Hartley was being nice to her.

He said: "He asked her to be his girlfriend but she said no because she had only just met him."

The court was shown footage of Hartley and the woman kissing before he removed her clothing as she tried to stop him.

During the sex attack Hartley pulled the woman's hair and called her a "slag"

Afterwards she got dressed and attacked Hartley, aiming punches at him and scratching his face.

The prosecutor said: "The defendant did not appear to recognise what he had done."

Police were called to the area and found the victim walking along Westgate, where she immediately told officers she had been raped.

In victim statement said said: "Looking back, he targeted me and gained my trust. I can see how he planned to attack me from being inside that bar."

Offence Number Three. Leeds, July 1, 2017.

Hartley attacked his victim in her own home in Leeds after knocking on the door and offering to do gardening work.

The woman agreed that Hartley could cut the hedges in her garden for £20.

He was allowed into part of the house to plug his tools in but followed her into the kitchen and grabbed her.

Hartley tried to kiss the woman but she refused and told him she had a boyfriend.

He then put his hand inside her underwear but she managed to pull away from him.

The defendant then exposed himself to the woman and she it was "her fault".

The victim's three-year-old daughter came into the room and was picked up by her mother but Hartley tried to grab her and asked the woman to sleep with him.

Mr Standfast said: "Her daughter, who saw some of what was going on said he wasn't to kiss her mummy and only her dad should do that."

Hartley continued to try to kiss the woman before leaving the property.

The victim described how she had suffered from depression and anxiety since the incident.

The missed chances to stop Hartley

2014

February Hartley rapes first victim in street after following her from Wakefield city centre pub.

May - Second victim raped in alleyway behind Wakefield Prison after being followed from nightclub.

- Hartley arrested days later. Given bail after denying attack.

November

- Hartley linked to first offence. Denies rape and bailed.

2015

June - Hartley arrested on suspicion of another rape offence. Bailed after denying it.

2016

July - Arrested for a fourth time on suspicion of yet another rape. Bailed.

2017

June - Detectives put together "package" identifying Hartley as a serial rapist, which is presented to the Crown Prosecution Service.

- Hartley charged with four offences of rape but bailed.

- Hartley breaches bail conditions and brought before magistrates in Leeds. He is given bail YET again.

July

- Hartley sexually assaults woman in her own home in Leeds in front of her three-year-old child.

- Finally arrested and remanded into custody

2018

September

- Hartley given life sentence after pleading guilty to two offences of rape and one of sexual assault