A 54-year-old man from West Yorkshire was sentenced yesterday after being found guilty of raping a woman and sexually assaulting two others while he was working in Stevenage.

Nigel Holmes - of Silkstone Crest, Normanton, Wakefield - appeared at St Albans Crown Court on October 21, where Judge Michael Kay QC ordered he serve eight years in prison for a rape, three years for a sexual assault by penetration, and six months for the other four sexual assaults, to all run concurrently with the rape sentence.

He is also the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which prevents him living with or having unsupervised contact with girls under the age of 16.

Holmes was described by the judge as a "high risk and a dangerous offender".

Investigator Stuart Lennon said: “Holmes preyed on the vulnerable, meeting his victims in pubs and attaching himself to them. He then offered them work so they became indebted to him and continued to integrate himself into their social life outside of the office.

“He is a very dangerous man who has a history of sexual offending, including one victim who was under the age of 16. We have worked hard to make sure that justice has been served and we are pleased with the outcome from court. Hopefully this will prevent any more vulnerable women and girls falling victim to him.”

Anyone across the county who has experienced sexual abuse or violence can contact the Herts Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for practical and emotional support.

The centre - which is open to men, women and young people, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred - can arrange face-to-face support, sexual health referrals, and provide forensic medical examinations for those who want them.

To contact Herts SARC, call the 24/7 helpline on 0808 178 4448, email herts.sarc@nhs.net or visit hertssarc.org.