Woman who duped friend into having sex gets eight years
A woman who duped her female friend into having sex by pretending to be a man for two years has been jailed for eight years.
Gayle Newland (25), of Willaston, Cheshire, disguised her appearance and voice as she persuaded the other woman to put on a blindfold when they met up.
The pair had sex about 10 times until the complainant finally ripped off her mask and, in disbelief, saw Newland wearing a prosthetic penis.
Sentencing Newland, Judge Roger Dutton labelled her "an intelligent, obsessional, highly manipulative, deceitful, scheming and thoroughly determined young woman".
Newland claimed her accuser, also aged 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 she did not strap bandages to her chest or wear a woollen hat and swimsuit.
But the jury convicted the marketing manager from Willaston, Cheshire, 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 was then said to have taken on the persona as she mimicked a man to speak many times on the phone with the victim 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 life-saving brain surgery.
They were said to have spent more than 100 hours together and the encounters would include the complainant wearing a blindfold when they watched TV together and once even when sunbathing.
The judge 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 wailed as the judge passed sentence and had to be physically forced from the dock by two female officers.
Her family and friends were in tears in the public gallery.
Judge Dutton noted the defendant had sent the complainant "numerous" e-mails 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."
He said he was "quite sure" that the psychological impact upon the complainant was "severe" and would be "long lasting".
The judge pointed to Newland's various disorders identifed in a psychiatric report including social anxiety disorder, a personality disorder, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
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 that he did not agree with Mr Power's submission that he could depart from sentencing guidelines and not impose an immediate custodial term.