A man who created multiple false online personas to manipulate a woman into having sex with him has been jailed for 18 years.

John Osborne, 27, of Aust, South Gloucestershire, used fake profiles to convince his victim he would come to significant harm if she didn’t agree to sleep with him.

Osborne, was convicted of 15 counts of rape following a trial at Bristol Crown Court last month and was sentenced on Friday.

During the trial, the jury was told he targeted his victim and used four fake social media profiles to bombard her with more than 4,000 messages over three months.

He initially used the profiles to befriend her, so that she would divulge details of her private life before using it to threaten and intimidate her and isolate her from her friends and family.

Each of the personas he created claimed to know the person she knew as John Osborne and convinced her that if she didn’t agree to have sex with him then he would be kidnapped, assaulted and raped.

When they met in person, Osborne claimed he too was being forced into sex against his will.

Using the fake profiles he then claimed video evidence of the two together existed and would be shared on the internet while indecent images of women would be distributed near the victim’s home and place of work with her name and phone number on – effectively blackmailing her into having sex on further occasions.

Following his 18 year prison term, Osborne faces an extended period of five years on licence and will be on the sex offenders register for life.

He was also given a 10 year restraining order as well as a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Tom Herbert of Avon and Somerset Police said: “John Osborne’s levels of deceit knew no bounds. He preyed on the trust his victim placed in him to rob her of her true ability to consent.

“The deception was so sophisticated that she did not suspect any of the fake personas were in fact Osborne and fully believed those contacting her were real people. As a result, she genuinely felt he was in danger and had to do anything she could to help.

“The manipulation and subsequent rapes have had a significant effect on her. She has shown tremendous bravery in speaking to us and has remained unbelievably strong throughout the trial in which Osborne forced her to recount what happened.”

He added: “This was an incredibly complex investigation which hinged on detailed analysis of electronic devices and not one which relied on DNA evidence.

“While cases like this can be challenging, I want to reassure victims we will take you seriously, we will support you and we will do everything we can to hold offenders to account.”

Following the sentencing Osborne’s victim had the following message to other victims of sexual assault.

“Don’t ever feel like you’re alone and never be afraid.

“There will always be someone to hold your hand and help support you through your journey.

“Don’t be ashamed to stand up and speak out in confidence.”

If you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse, you don’t have to speak to the police. You can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit thebridgecanhelp.org.uk or call 0117 342 6999.