A DANGEROUS sex attacker who raped a girl and a woman at knifepoint and tried to rape two more on the same day has been jailed for 30 years.

Shawn Bennett raised his eyebrows and gave the judge a thumbs up as he was jailed at Worcester Crown Court today following a 'campaign of sexual offending' in Redditch and Rubery.

The 29-year-old of Gilbert Road, Smethwick, had previously been found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, rape, causing or inciting a person to engage in sexual activity, sexual assault and assault by penetration against the first victim in her Redditch home on October 22 last year.

He was also found guilty of common assault, making a threat to kill, assault by penetration, rape, causing a person to engage in sexual activity and sexual assault, carried out against a girl of 14 on the same day.

Also on the same day Bennett assaulted a third female with intent to commit a sexual offence, stole her mobile phone, assaulted a fourth (her friend) and committed a further assault with intent to commit a sexual offence upon her.

The judge jailed him for 24 years but ruled that Bennett was dangerous, extending the sentence by six years.

He will only be considered for release by the Parole Board when he has served 16 years and can be released on licence (at the latest) after serving 24 years.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright said Bennett had turned on the first victim in her flat and 'held a knife to her throat'.

He said: "She tried to fight you off and escape through the front door but you dragged her back into the flat and used violence upon her to commit sexual offences including rape. She was left with injuries all over her face and her body."

Judge Cartwright described how a neighbour saw her being dragged back into the flat and he said only by the intervention of neighbours was the prolonged attack brought to an end.

Not long afterwards the defendant was on a bus with his next victim, a girl of 14, described by the judge as both young-looking and vulnerable-looking.

Bennett followed her as she got off the bus in Redditch and attacked her.

Judge Cartwright said: "The video of you following her off the bus is chilling given that anyone watching it will know full well it was only seconds after you disappeared out of sight of the bus camera you had grabbed her by the hair and pulled her into a wooded, secluded area and raped her. She was only seconds away from the safety of her home address."

In his sentencing remarks the judge also spoke of how Bennett made threats to kill her and to harm her family if she spoke about what he had done to her.

Later that same evening in Rubery he approached two other young women, attempting to drag them towards undergrowth but 'thankfully they managed to raise the alarm' and people heard their shouts for help, causing Bennett to run away.

The judge told Bennett was 'quite satisfied your intention was, at the very least, to commit penetrative sexual assaults on both these young women'. Bennett was apprehended at the scene.

Judge Cartwright said the fact that Bennett carried condoms showed he was 'forensically aware' and significant planning was involved against the first victim.

Aggravating features included a previous conviction for a sexual offence, location, the use of a weapon and the fact that Bennett was under the influence of drink or drugs.

He said the second victim was 'haunted by what you did to her' and placed the rapes against both victims as category 1A offences.

The judge commended the courage of the victims in the case who had to give evidence and also commended the actions of neighbours in bringing the offence against the first victim to an end and the work of the police officers who carried out the investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Bailey from West Mercia Police said: "Bennett is an extremely dangerous sex offender who spent the day carrying out these horrific crimes.

“I would like to reassure the community that this is an isolated incident, and crime of this nature is extremely rare in Redditch and the whole of West Mercia."

"His actions have had a huge impact on his victims, who showed great courage in working with police throughout the investigation and trial. All four women’s bravery has ensured today's outcome and I hope that following the sentence, they can all start to rebuild their lives.

“I want to commend the hard work of all of the investigating officers involved who have worked tirelessly on this case.

"I hope this conviction will provide reassurance to other victims of sexual offences, giving them the confidence to report their ordeal in the knowledge that they will be listened to and supported. Police will always investigate and do everything in their power to bring offenders to justice."