Outrage as serial rapist was bailed SIX times before carrying out sex attack on woman in front of her three-year-old child

Carl Hartley.
Carl Hartley.

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 woman at night.

The detective who was involved in finally gringing 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.

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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 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.

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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.

Praise for detectives who identified 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.”