A rapist who attacked two young women in front of a group of children, threatening to kill the youngsters if the victims did not comply, has been jailed for life.
The judge jailing Paul Eames, 40, said that, in 30 years in the courts, he had rarely been so shocked by the “depths of depravity and sheer wickedness” involved in the rapes.
Eames had previously been jailed following a two-day stand off with armed police in Scarborough.
One-legged Eames approached the women - in their 20s - in Doncaster, as they were taking two girls and three boys, some in pushchairs, to a pet shop to buy fish food, a court was told last week.
Gordon Stables, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court: “On a footpath... they were confronted by the defendant who threatened to kill the children if the women did not go with him further into the woods to an isolated area.
“Once there, the victims were subjected to a series of rapes and sexual assaults which took place in front of the children.”
Mr Stables added: “During the course of the incident the defendant took the complainants’ mobile phones, and told them that if they told anyone what he had done, he knew where they lived and would do it again.”
The prosecutor said one of the women told Eames: “We’ve got kids.”
He said the defendant replied: “Just go or I’ll kill your kids. Hurry up or I’ll kill your kids. I’ll kill your kids. I’ll stab your kids.”
The attack took place on Eames’s 40th birthday - in September last year - on the Trans Pennine Trail, in north Doncaster.
The women were looking after the five children at the time.
The court heard that Eames has previous convictions for 93 different offences, although none of a sexual nature until this incident.
In 2009 he was jailed for four-and-a-half years after taking a seven-year-old girl and a woman hostage and holding a knife to the woman’s throat. That incident, in Herdborough Road, Eastfield, led to two-day armed police siege and made national headlines.
Mr Stables said Eames began offending when he was 13 and had had drug problems since he was 10.
Judge Michael Murphy QC told Eames: “Despite having sat in criminal courts for just over 30 years I still find cases that come along from time to time that shock me to the core. This is one of them because of the depths of depravity and sheer wickedness involved in the case.
“What you did to these innocent young women in front of children is among the most depraved and most perverted behaviour I have ever come across.
“Heaven knows what these very young children thought you were doing.”
The judge jailed Eames for life and said he must serve ten-and-a-half years before he is considered for parole.
He told him: “I would be very surprised if the Parole Board were able to say at that stage you were safe to be allowed into the community.”
Eames, of Redbourne Road, Doncaster, admitted three rapes, two sexual assaults, one attempted rape and two counts of robbery at previous hearings.