A judge blasted cops and magistrates yesterday after a serial rapist was repeatedly freed on bail to attack again. Carl Hartley, 26, was arrested by cops a staggering six times for separate attacks on four lone women but was set free each time.
He was eventually charged with four counts of rape in 2017 but was bailed a seventh time by magistrates – attacking his fifth victim three days later.
Cops yesterday described dad-of-two Hartley as “one of the most dangerous sexual predators” they had ever encountered as he was jailed for life.
But fuming judge Christopher Batty slammed the decision not to lock Hartley up sooner.
The judge raged: “I cannot for the life of me understand what on earth anyone was thinking of at any stage.
“How he was not charged is beyond me. How he was not remanded in custody is beyond me.
“I have no idea why the police didn’t charge him at any stage for any of the offences.
“He kept being arrested for raping women and yet he still goes out to commit the last offence on a woman in her own home.”
Hartley first struck in February 2014 after he followed a drunk woman out of a pub in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, after she rowed with her boyfriend.
He raped her but fled after being disturbed by the landlord.
DNA evidence linked him to the crime and he was arrested but Hartley claimed it was consensual and was released on bail for the first time.
He targeted his second victim in May 2014 after waiting for her outside a nightclub in the town having been warned off moments earlier.
Hartley grabbed her and dragged her down an alley behind Wakefield Prison where the attack was captured on CCTV.
Hartley pleaded guilty to the two 2014 rapes and the indecent assault of the mum in Leeds. The other two rape attacks were ordered to lie on file.