A FORMER psychiatric nurse who targeted mentally retarded women for

sex attacks was yesterday sentenced to nine concurrent terms of life

imprisonment.

Michael Fox, 50, had admitted five charges of kidnap, three of rape,

and one of attempted rape. He had also asked for three kidnaps, three

attempted kidnaps, two indecent assaults, and one attempted rape to be

taken into consideration.

At the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Ognall, told him: ''Your behaviour would

cause a sense of revulsion in any right thinking person.'' He

recommended that Fox should serve at least 12 years before being

eligible for parole.

After he was sentenced, it emerged that police planned to question him

again over the death of 21-year-old Down's Syndrome sufferer Jo Ramsden,

who was found dead after vanishing from a street in her home town of

Bridport, Dorset, in April 1991.

Fox had earlier been accused of Jo's abduction but the case never came

before a jury because of insufficient evidence.

Fox, from Charminster, Dorset, was jailed after psychiatric reports

suggested an order confining him to a mental hospital would not be

appropriate.

The Judge said he believed that Fox represented a serious risk of

serious harm to women -- especially mentally handicapped women.

After the hearing, Detective Chief Superintendent Des Donohoe, head of

Dorset CID, said: ''The Judge decided that he was bad, not mad, and he

got it spot on. He is an extraordinarily dangerous man who took

advantage of inadequate women and I think the sentence reflected this.''

Twice-married Fox carried out the sex attacks in Dorset between June

1988 and December 1991. An earlier hearing at Winchester Crown Court was

told that the admitted offences concerned five women, three living in

Weymouth and two at Herrison House Hospital near Dorchester, where Fox

was employed before being retired on medical grounds.

Miss Ramsden, who had a mental age of 10, disappeared after leaving a

leisure centre where she helped set up equipment for toddlers. Her body

was found almost a year later 12 miles away near Lyme Regis.

All Fox's victims were snatched and taken to isolated spots where they

were attacked and abandoned.

Fox's counsel, Mr Neil Butterfield, QC, told the court that Fox had

been abused as a child. Doctors agreed that this had played a

considerable part in the offences.

Mr Butterfield said that there were none of the aggravating features

often associated with serial rape. No weapons were used, there was no

sadism, and none of the victims suffered serious injury.