A serial rapist who subjected his victims to horrific violence has been given a life sentence after he admitted treating women “like pieces of meat”.
Craig Gladwin, 32, from Selby, strangled one woman to the point of unconsciousness during a “wicked campaign of rape”, Hull Crown Court heard.
Gladwin, described as “manipulative” and “cocky”, raped the three women in separate incidents at properties in Selby and Goole.
Gladwin wrapped his belt around the neck of one victim, said prosecutor Mark Kellet.
The victim was unwell at the time having gone through a personal tragedy. She initially kept quiet about the rape because she “didn’t want to relive the incident” in the summer of 2018.
In September that year, Gladwin raped a second woman who was strangled until she lost consciousness.
When she came round, he told her: “You’re not leaving this house alive.”
Attacked while on bail
Gladwin, whose former marriage had collapsed, was arrested and released under investigation or on bail, but in January 2020 he raped another woman whom he met online.
Before raping her, Gladwin grabbed hold of her as she tried to get away and told her: “Well, to be honest with you, I may as well rape you: I’m off to prison anyway.”
The victim described Gladwin as a “wicked, scary” man.
She reported him to police and he was arrested again. In custody, he was quizzed about allegations made by all three victims but made vehement denials.
One of the women – none of whom can be named for legal reasons – said she was now scared to go out and had stopped seeing her friends. She was still having nightmares about Gladwin and was now on medication.
Another victim said she had deteriorated mentally since her ordeal and had to take three months off work due to her injuries.
She had suffered such acute anxiety that she ended up moving house. She suffered nightmares and had “three years of “pain, anxiety and post-traumatic stress”. Her social life was now “just about non-existent”.
She said she was horrified to discover that Gladman was still “living as a free man” when he went on to rape a third woman.
Severe impact on victims
Gladman – a father-of-two who has a previous conviction for assaulting a police officer and two cautions for ABH and battery – ultimately admitted three counts of rape on the day his trial was due to be held in March, along with two counts of damaging property.
He denied two other rape allegations – one against another named woman – and one of sexual assault. These allegations were allowed to lie on court file.
Gladman, of Londesborough Street, appeared for sentence on Monday after being remanded in custody.
Lewis Allan Kerr, mitigating, said Gladman had behaved “abominably” but had anger, alcohol and mental-health issues.
A pre-sentence probation report noted that Gladman had had a “perfect childhood”, but he told officers that after his marriage ended, he “wanted to have some fun” and that he “treated women as pieces of meat”.
Recorder Richard Woolfall said it was the “worst case” of its kind that he had dealt with during his 10 years on the bench.
He noted Gladman’s “willingness to use violence to get what he wants” and the “severe psychological impact” on the victims who had experienced “terrifying, violent and prolonged” ordeals.
He said Gladwin had shown a “total disregard for the (criminal) case”, while his demeanour in the dock suggested he “couldn’t have cared less”.
“You see (women) as sex things to meet your needs, as opposed to people with feelings,” added Mr Woolfall.
“I consider your behaviour is so serious and manipulative and persistent that the risk you present will have to be managed for the rest of your life.”
Mr Woolfall imposed a determinate jail sentence of 17-and-a-half years but told Gladman he would have to serve at least two-thirds of that behind bars, adding that he “could spend the rest of your life in prison”.
It would be down to the Parole Board to decide if and when Gladman was safe to be released after serving the minimum term and he would remain on prison licence for life, with strict conditions, should he ever be set free.
Gladwin remained expressionless as he was led down to the cells by prison guards.