South Tyneside woman raped by internet dating site fiend

The woman met the rapist on the dating site Plenty of Fish
The woman met the rapist on the dating site Plenty of Fish

A woman from South Tyneside became the victim of a serial sex attacker she met on the dating website Plenty of Fish

Rapist Lee Savage, 25, was described as a “plausible and persuasive” man who became acquainted with women in a wide area over a three-year period.

But Carlisle Crown Court heard that, after following up initial online contact by meeting three women, Savage raped each of them despite their fierce protests and subjected two to additional sexual assaults.

As well as the woman who was raped in her home in South Tyneside, Savage attacked other women in Dumfries and Galloway and North Cumbria.

Savage, from Penrith, Cumbria, went on trial earlier this week having initially denied 15 separate charges.

But, after the trial was halted, he pleaded guilty to five rape charges and five other sex crimes.

Tim Evans, prosecuting, said: “He was a man who got his kicks from being violent to - and dominating - women.”

Mr Evans said the woman from South Tyneside told of meeting Savage and, when she rebuffed a sexual advance, was told she “needed to be punished”.

Savage then raped her after taking hold of her wrists and pinning her down on a sofa at her home.

He added: “Throughout, she was repeatedly telling him to stop,”

Describing Savage’s reaction afterwards, the prosecutor: “Rather chillingly, you may think, he just sniggered.”

A second woman, also aged in her early 20s, described how she was also raped, and sexually assaulted.

The court heard how a third complainant went to Savage’s home as they met for a “first date”.

Savage was said to have slapped her across the face while raping her.

It was after this woman went to police that an investigation began and the other victims were identified.

Judge James Adkin adjourned the case, saying: “There will need to be a pre-sentence report and an assessment of what risk he may present to others.”

Savage was remanded in custody.

He is sue to be sentenced on July 20 and told he would receive a partial discount to his sentence in view of his admissions.

But Judge Adkin told him: “You must understand that, nevertheless, you still face a substantial custodial sentence.”