Gayle Newland sentenced to eight years in prison for disguising her appearance and persuading woman to wear blindfold while they had sex
A woman who duped her friend into having sex by pretending to be a man for two years has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Gayle Newland, 25, of Willaston, Cheshire, disguised her appearance and voice, and persuaded the woman to put on a blindfold when they met up.
They had sex about 10 times until the complainant took off her mask and saw Newland wearing a prosthetic penis.
Sentencing, Judge Roger Dutton said Newland was “an intelligent, obsessional, highly manipulative, deceitful, scheming and thoroughly determined young woman”.
Newland claimed her accuser, also 25, always knew she was pretending to be a man as they engaged in role play while struggling with their sexuality.
She told the trial at Chester crown court in September that no blindfold was used and said she did not strap bandages to her chest or wear a woollen hat and swimsuit.
But the jury convicted the marketing manager of three counts of sexual assault at the complainant’s flat in Chester.
Newland created a bogus Facebook profile in the name of Kye Fortune and took on the persona as she mimicked a man’s voice to speak on the phone with the victim a number of times after their first contact in 2011.
The complainant told the jury that when they finally decided to meet in February 2013, Kye asked her to wear a blindfold, saying he was insecure about his looks after undergoing brain surgery.
They were said to have spent more than 100 hours together and the encounters would include the complainant wearing a blindfold while they watched television and even when sunbathing.
Dutton said: “To successfully pass off a deception of this complexity was a major undertaking, involving dedicated mobile phone lines as well as regular texts from you purporting to be Kye’s relatives.
“You pursued this course of conduct over a lengthy period, during which you played with her affections, acting entirely for your own sexual satisfaction and choosing to ignore the devastating impact that the eventual discovery of the truth would have on her.”
Newland cried out as the judge passed sentence and had to be physically forced from the dock by two officers.
She said “oh my God” as she was led from the courtroom and could then be heard screaming. Her family and friends were in tears in the public gallery, with her father later visibly angry.
Dutton noted the defendant had sent the complainant numerous emails apologising for what she had done to her after the mask was ripped off.
He said: “Your defence was that [the complainant] knew who you were from the outset and that this was just role play. Those apologies were because you knew the game was up and that your cruel deception had been discovered.”
Dutton said he was quite sure that the psychological impact upon the complainant was severe and would be long-lasting. Newland’s behaviour amounted to “a callous breach of the trust that your friend had in you”, he added.
The judge pointed to Newland’s various disorders, which were identifed in a psychiatric report, including social anxiety disorder, a personality disorder, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. It was said by her counsel, Nigel Power QC, that these were closely linked with her issues of sexuality, with them exacerbating each other.
A history of low self-esteem and “blurred gender lines” added to a “very troubling picture”, said the judge. But he said he did not agree with Power’s submission that he could depart from sentencing guidelines in such an exceptional case and not impose an immediate custodial term.
He concluded: “These offences are so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence would in any way properly reflect the serious nature of your conduct. As an aspect of mercy, I do not increase the starting point beyond eight years.”
Via Guardian News.