A man from Epsom who had a fascination with the horror film Split has been jailed after he claimed to have a dissociative identity disorder to manipulate and rape a young woman.

Joseph Head, of Chase Road, Epsom was found guilty of three counts of rape, and one count of sexual assault by penetration after a three-week trial. He will also be on the sex offenders register for life.

The 25-year-old was sentenced to eight years in prison at Winchester Crown Court on Tuesday, February 27.

The victim told officers that over a period of three months, Head had gone to extreme lengths to manipulate her into believing that he had multiple personalities.

He convinced her that if she refused to have sex with him, one of them would come to serious physical harm.

Head told her that one of his personalities which he named as ‘J’, was very violent and that if she did not do exactly what he wanted, 'J' would appear.

He also told her that the different personalities had caused him to take an overdose but a toxicology report found that this was a lie.

Head also had a fascination with the psychological horror thriller film Split where the main character has a dissociative identity disorder and committed violent crimes.

Officers found notes on his mobile that outlined each of his fake multiple personalities, including their names and characteristics.

The investigation involved victim testimony, forensics, digital assessment of thousands of text messages, witness evidence, expert testimony in relation to Head’s false overdose claim and the evaluation of Head’s medical history.

A psychiatric report concluded that he did not in fact have a dissociative identity disorder.

Investigating officer Andy Price said: “Head is a dangerous predator who manipulated and frightened this young woman into having sex with him without her true consent.

“The unique circumstances of this case posed a challenge to the team but with the unwavering support from the survivor, a thorough investigation and dedication by the team to bring Head to justice, a conviction was secured.

“I would like to acknowledge the bravery of the survivor was in coming forward to us, supporting the investigation and helping keep other women safe.

“Although the trauma of what happened cannot be erased, I hope this outcome can give at least some measure of closure.”