Man de­nies ‘fake pro­file’ rape charge

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

AMAN ac­cused of rape set up fake dat­ing pro­files to lure women to his home un­der false pre­tences, a court has heard.

Pros­e­cu­tors claim Robert Dev­ereux, 50, set up pro­files on a dat­ing web­site which showed pic­tures of an ath­letic, fit look­ing man in his 30s.

They say he en­gaged in on­line con­ver­sa­tion with the first al­leged vic­tim who ‘be­lieved he was the man in the pic­tures’. The court was told she be­came ‘be­sot­ted’ and agreed to drive to his home in Rose­way, Mac­cles­field.

Pros­e­cu­tor Matthew Cor­bett-Jones, who de­scribed Mr Dev­ereux as a ‘de­vi­ous and ma­nip­u­la­tive man’, said: “She was con­vinced by [the fake pro­file] - who was in fact Robert Dev­ereux - that it was [the fan­tasy of the man he claimed to be for her] to let her­self into his house, en­ter the bed­room and blind­fold her­self be­fore he came in.”

The court was told that Dev­ereux sex­u­ally as­saulted the al­leged vic­tim af­ter she re­alised he was not the man she thought he was. It is al­leged when she re­coiled he forcibly grabbed her wrists and said ‘it doesn’t mat­ter, you’re here now, you will do what you’re told’.

The court heard the woman es­caped af­ter lock­ing her­self in the room.

Mr Dev­ereux de­nies the claims along with charges of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing and falsely im­pris­on­ing one al­leged vic­tim and rap­ing and black­mail­ing a sec­ond woman. A trial heard the al­leged crimes date back nearly ten years.

Mr Cor­bett-Jones said: “The fol­low­ing year it is al­leged Dev­ereux used sim­i­lar tac­tics to lure a sec­ond woman. He posed as a man and af­ter gain­ing her trust told her that as a test she should have sex with his friend who had ter­mi­nal cancer, who the pros­e­cu­tion says was Mr Dev­ereux him­self.”

Mr Cor­bett-Jones said that she was told that if she did this she could start a re­la­tion­ship with the man in the fake pro­file. The woman went to Mr Dev­ereux’s home but af­ter the en­counter Mr Cor­bet­tJones said the vic­tim was warned the per­son be­hind the pro­file had com­pro­mis­ing videos and pic­tures of her and the ‘other man’ to­gether. The pros­e­cu­tion al­leges that the woman was co­erced un­der these threats to re­turn to Mr Dev­ereux’s home for sex on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions and also black­mailed into hand­ing over more than £2,000 in cash.

Mr Dev­ereux told po­lice he did set up fake pro­files but any sex­ual ac­tiv­ity was con­sen­sual. He de­nied all of the claims and charges at Chester Crown court.

PRO­CEED­ING

Robert Dev­ereux

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