The loyal wife who stood by Lawrence Jones: How glamorous 46-year-old, who co-founded UK Fast tech firm, attended every day of his trial as her husband and father of their four daughters was accused of drugging and raping two women
She posed proudly alongside him when he picked up an MBE for services to the digital economy at Buckingham Palace.
Eight years later, Gail Jones was still supporting her multi-millionaire husband Lawrence – father of their four daughters – in the decidedly less glittering surroundings of Manchester Crown Court.
In January, following the near-collapse of their business empire after he was accused of harassing and bullying female employees at the tech firm the couple founded in a spare bedroom, the 46-year-old stood by him during his first trial.
Mrs Jones, a successful entrepreneur in her own right, and a leading advocate of boosting the representation of women in Britain’s tech sector, attended every day, shooting him supportive smiles.
After – as the Daily Mail/Mail Online can now reveal – jurors convicted him back in January of sexually assaulting a young female graduate on a business trip and was locked up on remand, she was dutifully back at court when he applied for bail.
Gail Jones posing with Lawrence Jones after he picked up an MBE for services to the digital economy
Clearly upset at the judge’s refusal to free him – on the grounds he could flee the country – Mrs Jones was overheard saying: ‘Our kids have got to be without their dad.’
READ MORE – Lawrence Jones’ daughters sob as £700m tech tycoon once dubbed ‘Britain’s nicest boss’ is found guilty
And when he was produced from the cells to stand trial for two further alleged rapes this month, once again it was his glamorous wife of 21 years was in the front row of the public gallery throughout.
Publicly, her husband has professed that he would be ‘nothing’ without her.
‘She is fellow director and shareholder and an immense force,’ Jones said in an interview before his downfall.
‘She looks after the numbers and I create the energy.’
But it can now be revealed that in legal argument in the absence of the jury in the first trial, Jones was accused of speaking to his wife in a ‘horrendous way in front of other people’ at work, calling her ‘stupid’.
Prosecutor Eloise Marshall KC argued that having witnessed his ‘volatile losing of his temper’ with his wife helped explain why female employees at UKFast felt unable to complain about his sexualised behaviour towards them.
Mrs Jones, a successful entrepreneur in her own right, and a leading advocate of boosting the representation of women in Britain’s tech sector, attended every day of his trial
However the trial judge ruled that only allegations about his conduct towards her made by his two alleged victims in their police interviews could be outlined to the jury.
READ MORE – The stunning downfall of tycoon Lawrence Jones as he’s found guilty of rape
Jones’s defence did bring up an incident when he reduced his wife to tears in a row over a hotel bill.
His barrister suggested this was the ‘inappropriate’ behaviour referenced by Woman D in her resignation email after allegedly being sexually assaulted by Jones on a business trip.
However the prosecution highlighted how she was offered a £13,000 pay-out after quitting, and the jury rejected his account.
Educated at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Mrs Jones was studying chemistry at Newcastle University when she met her future husband in the late 1990s.
They married in 2002, with their first daughter born two years later.
Their web hosting business was slow to take off and quickly became a family affair, with Mrs Jones’s mother, June Everton, employed as HR manager.
The couple founded web-hosting business UKFast in their spare bedroom. Jones is pictured in December 2015
She also occasionally accompanied her daughter during Jones’s trial, while her husband John Everton, a former sports journalist, was a daily companion at court.
Mrs Jones took on the title of managing director of UKFast in 2017, taking pride in implementing industry-leading maternity policies.
She also championed encouraging more women to work in the digital skills sector and was regularly featured in lists of the most powerful women in the UK tech industry.
While her husband has terminated most of his directorships, Mrs Jones – whose youngest daughter is seven – remains involved in a string of businesses set up or bought by the couple.
Among them is exclusive royal après-ski hang-out Le Farinet in Verbier, of which Mrs Jones owns 100 per cent of the issued share capital, according to its British parent company’s latest accounts.
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