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Friday, October 15, 1999 Published at 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK

UK: Wales

Sex-crime brothers preyed on lonely hearts

Graham and Simon Laskey laughed at one victim in court

Two brothers who drugged and raped women across South Wales and abused a baby have been jailed for life.

Graham and Simon Laskey received 16 life sentences between them for multiple rapes over an 18-year period.

BBC Wales' Geraint Vincent: "Most of the details of this case are simply too disturbing to report"
Swansea Crown Court heard how they preyed on women across South Wales, raped them and beat them into silence.

Simon Laskey even sold one of his victims to his brother for 5.

When he accepted Simon Laskey drugged her and watched while Graham Laskey raped the woman.

Graham Laskey, 49, was convicted of five rapes and nine serious sexual assaults in relation to five women.

He was even convicted of indecently assaulting the baby of one of his victims.

He received 10 life sentences and was told by Judge Michael Burr he could not even ask for parole for 12 and a half years.


Simon Laskey, 38, received six life sentences for five rapes and one serious sexual offence relating to a woman and a baby.

He will have to serve at least 10 and a half years.

The court heard that during the five week trial one of the victims who had been suffering from fits since her rape suffered another attack as she gave evidence.

As she was helped out of the witness box the Laskeys laughed at her from the dock.

[ image: Many of the victims were assaulted in a caravan park]
Many of the victims were assaulted in a caravan park
In his summing up Judge Burr condemned the courtroom behaviour of the Laskey brothers.

He said subjecting one of their victims to six days of cross examination forcing her to relive the horror of the attacks was an absolute disgrace.

Neither brother would enter the witness box to answer any questions.

A two-year police investigation, which took more than 200 witness statements, found that the brothers drugged their victims with ground-up sleeping tablets before assaulting them.

The brothers homed in on women advertising in lonely hearts columns.

Some became girlfriends, but all were eventually sexually assaulted, and then beaten and threatened. Some suffered broken bones.

Tied up

In other cases women were tied up and held prisoner for days on end, and subjected to sustained bouts of violence and sexual abuse.

The attacks took place over an 18-year period, many of them in a caravan in Quaker's Yard near Pontypridd.

The abuse went undetected until Graham Laskey sexually assaulted the teenage daughter of one of his victims.

[ image: A two-year police investigation took 200 witness statements]
A two-year police investigation took 200 witness statements
The furious woman contacted police, who launched Operation Narvik to trap the brothers.

Police believe they did not discover all the brothers' victims.

Both Laskeys denied all the offences and claimed their victims had conspired against them.

Simon Laskey refused to leave his cell to hear Judge Burr sentence him. Graham Laskey, fat faced with long sideburns, smiled throughout.

Their victims sat in the back of the court and gasped and cheered as Judge Burr repeated the word "life" over and over again.

As Graham Laskey was led away he looked up at them, smiled and shouted 'we'll be back.'

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