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Last Updated: Friday, 19 May 2006, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Life term for rapist prison guard
John David Hall
Police said Hall was a predatory paedophile of the worst kind
A senior prison officer has been jailed for life for a series of rapes, kidnaps and indecent assaults against women and young girls in West Yorkshire.

John David Hall, 35, was convicted of five rapes at a trial in March, which could not be reported on legal grounds.

On Friday, Hall admitted at Leeds Crown Court three kidnappings, two attempted kidnappings and two indecent assaults relating to five girls aged 12 to 17.

Hall, who worked at Wakefield Prison, committed the offences from 1997-2003.

The judge, Mr Justice Goldring, recommended that the twice-married father-of-one should never be released. He will be considered for parole in twelve and a half years.

John Hall was a predatory paedophile and serial sex offender of the worst kind
Det Supt Steve Fear

He told Hall: "These offences make it quite clear that you are a grave and continuing danger to women and girls and will be for an indefinite time."

Det Supt Steve Fear, who led the investigation, said: "John Hall was a predatory paedophile and serial sex offender of the worst kind.

"He approached women when they were at their most vulnerable - alone, asleep or too young to defend themselves.

"I am astounded by the bravery and determination each of his victims has shown and only hope that today's result offers them a sense of justice. "

Other victims may yet come forward, he added.

E-fit of sex attack suspect
A police e-fit of the prime suspect bore a strong resemblance to Hall

In March, Hall was found guilty of five rapes, one attempted rape and two assaults, on five women aged between 17 and 25.

All the offences took place in the Leeds and Wakefield areas.

The judge said that although Hall now appeared to accept the fact that he was guilty of the rapes, he had put the victims through the ordeal of a trial.

"Each of these young women had to go into the witness box and relive what you did to her several years ago," he said.

The court heard that Hall lured some of his younger victims into his car by wearing his prison officer's uniform and pretending to be a policeman asking for directions.

One girl he assaulted wrote a poem about her ordeal.

The case featured on the BBC's Crimewatch programme last year, and prompted hundreds of calls from the public.

Hall faced other kidnap and attempted kidnap charges which were left to lie on file after he pleaded not guilty to them.

Charges of possessing indecent images of young children were also left to lie on file as it was not in the public interest to proceed with a trial, the court was told.

'Desperate defect'

In mitigation, Rodney Jameson QC said psychiatric reports showed Hall had a "deep-seated feeling of inadequacy", but was not mentally ill.

"Apart from this desperate defect in his character, he has lived an industrious law-abiding and thoroughly useful life," he added.

But he said Hall had "an enormous character flaw that he was unable to control".

The court heard Hall was being treated as a category A prisoner because he was in the "almost unique position" of being a senior prison officer whose responsibilities included designing security systems for prisons.

Mr Jameson told the court that Hall did not believe he would be able to progress through a life sentence in any meaningful way and had accepted that he would probably never see his wife or son again.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Find out how John David Hall was caught



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