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Man Sentenced to Life for Attacking Young Mother

A man has been sentenced to life in prison, serving a minimum of ten years, after he admitted to raping a young mother in her own home. Trevor Lawler also admitted to attempted rape, threats to kill, assault by penetration, trespass and wounding with intent at Manchester Crown Court this week.

Attacked in front of baby

The court heard how Lawler, 32, claimed he had escaped kidnappers to trick his way into the home of the 24 year mother. The intruder proceeded to beat and rape the woman in front of her 12 month old baby, before she managed to flee to a neighbour’s house and ask for help.

Manchester Crown court heard that once Lawler had entered the woman’s home, he shoved her up against the wall where he repeatedly punched her – as she was still holding her young child.

Lawler then stood over the woman, shouting ‘if you don’t shut up, I will kill you stone dead right now’. He then raped her, at one point addressing the baby to say ‘this is all your mother is f****g worth’.

Lawler’s victim fought back, biting a chunk of skin from his hand in the process.

The court heard that the woman was so badly disfigured from the beating that when she ran for help, her neighbour could only recognise her by her voice.

Previous Attack

Police were able to identify Lawler as the attacker due to DNA after examining the piece of skin that the woman was able to bite off and store in her mouth. Following this, it was discovered that Lawler had actually attacked another young mother only hours earlier.

His other victim, 33, claims she was sleeping in bed beside her 7 year old son when she awoke at 4.40am to find Lawler straddling over her. When her son began to cry, Lawler told the woman to ‘shut him up or I will slit your throat’. He then began to remove his trousers and tried to rape her. It was only when the woman’s boyfriend returned home that Lawler fled, in just his T-shirt and underwear.

Arrest & Sentencing

Following the attacks and both women identifying him as their attacker, Greater Manchester Police launched a widespread manhunt for Lawler. He was apprehended and arrested in Manchester City Centre later that same day.

The 24 year old victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered multiple ‘graphic’ injuries during the attack on 10 July2015. She sustained a 4.5cm cut to her face that has left a permanent scar and a broken nose, along with bruising and swelling to her leg, hip, arm, lips and eyes.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, she said:

‘Because of the injuries I could not see my own son for three days as my face was so bruised he would not have recognised me.

‘The family dog didn’t even recognise me. I felt disgusted with myself and felt violated. I still see my baby’s face watching Lawler attack me and I will never forget how he looked as he watched from right next to me.

‘My child should never have had to witness this. I have always been able to look after myself but this made me feel helpless in my own house. I can no longer stand to hear the Irish accent because it reminds me of him.

‘I believe when he gets let out of prison he will kill someone. I pray that when he gets out of prison he doesn’t come back to finish what he started.’

The other victim said:

‘I feel guilty every time I look at my son. I feel I should have done more to protect him from this.

‘I feel I have failed my son. My son will not play out and wants to be with me all of the time. I feel like he has changed so much because of what happened, he is not the little kid he once was.

‘I do not hate Trevor Lawler, I pity him. I think he must be sick. He will have a lot of years to think about what he has done to me and my son.’

‘No sense of moral standpoint’

Lawler’s barrister Hunter Gray, throughout mitigation stated his client had shown ‘no sense of any moral standpoint’. Gray also explained that Lawler had a history of heroin use, as well as alcohol dependency.

He added that Lawler, who had previously been arrested and jailed for six years in 2004 for raping an 18 year old woman in her own home, alleges to have been abused as a child. Gray proposed that the crimes committed by Lawler may be due to ‘issues with grief’, as his partner passed away soon after giving birth to their child. Gray said:

‘He wants to change,

‘He knows his behaviour is wrong and is willing to access any support he can get so neither of these women nor any female in the future is subjected to this sort of conduct again.’

However, when sentencing Lawler, Judge Hilary Manley described him as a dangerous offender and one who poses a serious risk to women and children in the future.

Speaking of the first attack, the judge said:

‘You stole her son’s innocence that night, as well as everything else you did.’

Discussing the second attack, she added:

‘Most disturbingly you told the victim’s baby that her mother deserved what you were doing.

‘She was afraid she would die in front of her child. She fled the house when you finished raping her.

‘She was so covered in blood and her face so battered that the neighbour could not recognise her except by her voice.

‘The neighbour found the baby on the bed covered in blood where she was silent and still in a daze.

‘Your actions have made a previously strong independent woman feel helpless in her own home. I am convinced you have a hatred of women and need to reduce, degrade and humiliate them.

‘This was sadistic violence. There is a significant risk of serious harm being cause by you and I am wholly satisfied you pose a dangerous and substantial risk to the public, particularly to women and children.

‘This was a campaign of rape and sexual assault against vulnerable women in their homes in the direct presence of young children with no effort made to prevent the children from seeing the traumatic spectacle – in fact, quite the reverse.

‘A life sentence remains a sentence of last resort. It is appropriate in this case.’

Sexual Abuse Claims – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Daily Mail

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