Thursday 14 November 2019

Woman who tricked her friend into sex by posing as man is jailed

Gayle Newland was also convicted of defrauding her employer. PHoto: PA
Gayle Newland was also convicted of defrauding her employer. PHoto: PA

Nicola Harley Manchester

A woman who duped her female friend into having sex by pretending to be a man for two years in an "astonishing deception" has been jailed for six and-a-half years.

Gayle Newland (27) screamed "I can't go back to jail" and cried in the dock as a jury convicted her after a retrial. She has also been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for life.

Newland had created a "disturbingly complex" online persona to achieve her own "bizarre sexual satisfaction".

The jury at Manchester Crown Court found her guilty of committing sexual assault by using a prosthetic penis without her victim's consent.

She sobbed and slumped to the floor of the dock as the sentence was handed down yesterday and her screams could be heard from the courtroom as she was taken down to the cells.

Newland, of Willaston, Cheshire, had been jailed for eight years in November 2015 after being convicted of the same offences by the first jury at Chester Crown Court.

However, that conviction was quashed in the Court of Appeal last December and a retrial ordered after it had been ruled that the trial judge's summing-up of the case was not fair and balanced.

The complainant had alleged that she was persuaded by the defendant to wear a blindfold at all times when they met and only found out that she was having sex with Newland when she finally took off her mask.

However, Newland claimed that her accuser always knew that she was pretending to be 'Kye Fortune' - a Facebook profile that she created at the age of 15, using an American man's photographs and videos - as the two women engaged in role play while struggling with their sexuality.

She said that no blindfold was used as they had sex on about 10 occasions at the complainant's flat in Chester in 2013.

The defendant also told the court that she did not strap bandages to her chest or wear a swimsuit and a woollen hat in order to conceal her female appearance.

The defendant spent "hundreds" of hours talking on the telephone to her friend as Kye and they spent more than 100 hours in each other's company.

These encounters, according to the complainant, included her wearing a blindfold at all times together, including while watching television, going on a car journey - also wearing sunglasses - and even sunbathing.

Prosecutor Simon Medland QC, referring to Newland, told the jury: "This manipulative, deceitful and very crafty young woman went to such astonishing lengths to control the complainant's life and make her do the things the defendant wanted her to do."

Newland was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault but was cleared of a fourth. The jury of nine women and three men reached majority guilty verdicts of 11-1 after deliberating for 17 hours.

Newland received concurrent terms of six years for three counts of sexual assault committed in 2013.

She was handed an extra six months in jail for an offence of fraud committed between March 2014 and September 2015.

Reporting restrictions on the fraud matter were lifted.

The defendant admitted defrauding her former employers, an internet-based advertising agency, of £9,000 (€10,000)by creating a number of fake client profiles.

The retrial jury was been told of the fraud conviction until it had returned its verdicts.

Irish Independent

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