A 50-year-old sexual predator posed as a physically fit young environmentalist on a dating website to groom women. Robert Devereux duped his victims using a fake profile he set up on Plenty of Fish, pretending to be a ‘young, athletic and attractive man called Dean’. After spending hundreds of hours gaining one victim’s trust, Devereux convinced her to send him intimate pictures of herself, prosecutor Matthew Corbett-Jones earlier told Chester Crown Court. Crown Prosecution Service mugshot of sexual predator Robert Devereux (Picture: PA) He then developed an elaborate plan in which he claimed the woman must have sex with his friend ‘Rob’ as a test of their affection for him. He told her ‘Rob’ had terminal cancer and that if she had sex with him, she could start a relationship with ‘Dean.’ The victim agreed and went to Devereux’s home in Macclesfield where his true identity was revealed. When the victim refused to have sex with Devereux, he raped her. What’s life really like in Lewis Hamilton’s ‘slum’ home He then used the threat of the intimate pictures and video he possessed to blackmail her into handing £2,000 in cash. The victim felt so terrified of Devereux that she went back to his home over many months and was raped again. The second victim was also groomed online with fake stories and fake pictures, eventually becoming besotted. Devereux convinced the woman to wear a blindfold to conceal his true identity during sex. When the blindfold slipped, the victim realised Devereux was not who she thought he was. He then grabbed her wrists, forcibly telling her ‘it doesn’t matter, you’re here now. You will do what you’re told.’ Robert Devereux posed as a young environmentalist on the Plenty of Fish website (Picture: Cavendish) The brave victim fought him off and fled. Devereux was convicted on seven counts of rape and blackmail against one victim and found guilty of sexual assault and false imprisonment against a second woman. The offences took place between 2011 and 2015 and he has been jailed for 17 years. He was previously jailed for nine months for stealing thousands of pounds from a man with learning difficulties to fund his cocaine habit. When will benefits payments be made over Christmas? After sentencing, Martin McRobb, a specialist rape and sexual offences prosecutor with MerseyCheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: ‘Devereux worked on the emotions of these women over a long period of time, enticing them with a persuasive but utterly fake persona until they were desperate to meet him. ‘They were seeking and deserved a genuine human relationship, but they had in fact been pulled into a web of perversion and deceit by this cold and calculating sexual offender. ‘The decision making on this case was complex as on the face of it the women had consented to have sexual relations. ‘But the Crown Prosecution Service argued that this was not true consent as in the case of one victim she would not have submitted to sexual activity had she not been the victim of blackmail. ‘They had believed in the character of Dean and had become so caught up in the web that they were willing to do almost anything to meet the man they had fallen for. ‘The effects upon Devereux’s victims are life-long and catastrophic. Their self-confidence and desire to find a meaningful relationship may never return.’

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