Scotland Times

Sunday, Sep 25, 2022
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'Sexual predator' Tom Rodwell jailed for raping five women

'Sexual predator' Tom Rodwell jailed for raping five women

A "sexual predator" who raped five women he met on dating app Tinder has been jailed for a minimum of 12 years.

Tom Rodwell initially appeared as "perfect partner material", police said, but manipulated his victims, who he met between 2017 and 2020.

The 31-year-old trainee paramedic from Middlesbrough had previously admitted 10 rapes as well as one attempted rape and sexual assault.

Judge Paul Watson sentenced Rodwell to life at Teesside Crown Court.

The judge described the defendant as a "callous, unfeeling sexual predator" who was "addicted to a sense of power" and only interested in his own gratification.

He described Rodwell as a "significant danger" to women and said he had left his victims with "long lasting emotional scars which would take years to heal".

During the hearing it emerged that the former Royal Navy and HMRC employee, who has no previous convictions, faced similar charges in Scotland in 2018 but was acquitted.

Raped on second date


Richard Bennett, prosecuting, told the court Rodwell contacted the first woman and told her he was into "rough sex" but "did not realise or seem to care that he needed consent".

Rodwell admitted raping her four times.

He told his second victim her wanted to get her pregnant and attacked her on their second date, after which he messaged her asking when he could "rape her again", Mr Bennett said.

The third said she considered killing herself having been raped by Rodwell several times.

The fourth recalled that Rodwell raped and hit her in a hotel. He later claimed he could not remember what happened but said his "ex liked it", Mr Bennett said.

The final victim said Rodwell had wanted to "own her" and "choke her", the court heard.

'Doubt themselves'


Det Con Rick Sainsbury, from Cleveland Police's domestic abuse unit, said Rodwell came initially across as "perfect partnership material".

The victims, some of whom were university students, were not just physically abused by Rodwell but also manipulated emotionally, leaving some to believe they were to blame for his violence.

Det Con Sainsbury said: "He'd ask them to marry him, have kids with him, and it would be within a few days of meeting.

"That would soon change - sometimes even by the second meeting - when he would start to manipulate them, make them doubt themselves.

"If they had some doubts about themselves already he would centre in on that and exploit it. He's managed to get into their heads so much they've doubted what was happening to them."

He praised the bravery and strength of the victims who came forward and urged any women who have been subjected to any kind of abuse to contact police.

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