A WOMAN who duped another female into having sex during a 'two-year relationship' by pretending to be a man has been given a lengthy jail sentence.

Blade Silvano, 41, was given ten years and six months in prison after she was found guilty of sexual assault by penetration against an unnamed female victim.

The court previously heard Silvano tricked her into having sexual intercourse on at least two occasions by using an 'unknown object' that the victim thought was "her penis".

The defendant hid her true gender by always wearing a t-shirt and boxers, turning the light off and never allowing the victim to see or touch "her genitalia," the trial was told.

The couple also messaged and 'sexted' every day during their lengthy relationship and had even started planning a wedding.

Ludlow Advertiser: Blade Silvano, from Bishop's Castle, arriving at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday (May 16).

But the jury heard they only met physically on a few occasions as Silvano had 'lied' about having cancer and being in the British Army.

Silvano's shocked victim discovered her 'lover's' true gender on Facebook nearly two years after they started dating.

And following a five-day trial, she was convicted at Cambridge Crown Court earlier this year.

Detective Constable Leeza Phillips, who investigated the case, said it was an extraordinary investigation and that Silvano had carried out the ultimate deception.

During the trial, the victim said she thought she was having sex with a man called Blade Mendez and would usually be blindfolded.

Silvano, of Bishop's Castle, Shropshire, had denied ever meeting the victim and said they had an 'online relationship' only that was all about 'roleplay' and 'fantasy.'

She said the thousands of messages between them was all part of the fantasy, as was the planned wedding, which had seen a registrar booked and the defendant going wedding dress shopping with her sister.

Ludlow Advertiser: Blade Silvano appearing at courtBlade Silvano appearing at court (Image: SWNS)

Silvano claimed she was 'open' about her gender from the beginning and, although medically a 'woman', didn't define herself this way, saying she was 'pansexual' would often use the title 'Doctor' which she claimed she was entitled to do after completing an online PHD in ancient Greek history.

She also said she had ongoing health issues but accepted she had never been diagnosed with cancer.

She claimed the breakdown in contact came when the alleged victim discovered she was already in another serious relationship through Facebook in 2018 and wanted to report her to the police as an act of "revenge."

Silvano was also put on the sex offenders register indefinitely following the sentencing.