South East Wales

'Dangerous' rapist Edwin Smith jailed for 18 years

Edwin Smith
Image caption Edwin Smith was caught trying to escape to the north of England on the M5 motorway

A serial rapist and paedophile who tried to evade justice by going on the run has been jailed for 18 years at Cardiff Crown Court.

Edwin Smith, 43, of Bargoed, near Caerphilly, carried out sex attacks on girls and women between 1985 and 2006.

During his trial in Newport last month, Smith was caught trying to escape north via the M5 motorway. He was later convicted of 13 offences.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said the crimes were amongst the "worst of their kind".

Smith was sentenced for multiple rapes and assaults including a prolonged, violent attack on one woman.

The judge said it was a "horrific, depraved assault" and the victim had been "humiliated and abused for a substantial period of time".

Victims' courage

"There is a need to protect the public from serious sexual harm from you and this sentence will ensure that."

"Your behaviour during your trial, including your failure to return to court, showed you don't have an ounce of remorse for the harm you have caused to these four women," he added.

Following sentence, Kath Coleman, senior prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "Edwin Smith is a highly dangerous and devious individual and it is right that he will be in custody for a significant period of time.

"I would like to pay tribute to Smith's victims for finding the courage to come forward and report what happened to them," she added.

"This has obviously been an extremely traumatic time for them and we can only hope that today's sentencing will help them as they try to move forward with their lives."