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August 22, 2019

Sarah Regan successfully prosecutes the first case of multiple rapes by deception.

John Osborne was in a relationship with the victim which ended as a consequence of his controlling behaviour. Shortly afterwards, not being able to have contact with her in any other way, he embarked upon an elaborate deception of her using a number of false personas which he set up with false Instagram profiles and using those, together with anonymous telephone numbers provided by an app, he started to contact the victim using the shield of the fake personas he had created. The deception was so sophisticated that the victim did not suspect that any of the fake personas were in fact the defendant, but believed that those contacting her were all real people. Using this method, he carried out a three-month long process of grooming the victim, bombarding her with thousands of messages, many of which were threatening in content.

Having been deceived by the defendant into believing that those sending the messages were real individuals, the defendant then used the messages to force the victim to have sex with him, threatening harm to both her and to him, if she refused. Such was the extent of his deception that he told her, via the messages, that he was being kidnapped, raped and beaten, and that the only way to prevent it happening again was for her to have sex with him. As part of that pretence, he made her believe that he was also being forced to have sex with her and that he didn’t want to ruin the friendship that they had but that neither of them had any choice. Initially, she was told that if she had sex with him once, the abuse, threats and invasion into her life would stop. However, having been forced to have sex with him once, she was then told the sex had been filmed and the film would be put onto the internet. Thereafter, the threats increased in number and in the demands made of her. She was told that indecent images of women, sent to her in messages, would have her name and telephone number put onto them and that they then would be distributed near to her home and place of work.

As a consequence of the manipulative deceit played upon her by the defendant, she became completely isolated and was led to believe that the only person that she could trust was the defendant, a deceit which enabled him to rape her on a total of 15 occasions, each time with her believing that she was saving him from grave danger.

Sentence has been adjourned for preparation of reports to assess whether he is dangerous.