Woman who duped friend into sex found guilty of sex assault

A woman has been convicted of impersonating a man over two years to dupe her friend into having sex.

Gayle Newland, aged 25, disguised her appearance and voice as she demanded the other woman put on a blindfold when meeting up.

The pair had sex about 10 times until the complainant ripped off her mask and in disbelief saw Newland wearing a prosthetic penis.

Newland claimed that 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, Chester Crown Court heard.

She said no blindfold was used and she did not strap bandages to her chest and wear a woollen hat and swimsuit.

The jury of eight women and four men convicted the defendant, from Willaston, Cheshire, of three counts of sexual assault. She was cleared of two other counts of sexual assault.

Newland was bailed until sentencing on a date to be fixed in November.

The jurors reached majority verdicts on which 10 of them agreed on each of the three guilty counts after six hours and 11 minutes of deliberation.

Newland was found guilty of committing sexual assaults at the complainant’s flat but was cleared of similar offences said to have taken place at hotels in Chester.

The defendant sat in stunned silence in the dock when the foreman returned the verdicts.

Adjourning the case for pre-sentence reports, Judge Roger Dutton told the court that Newland had “serious issues surrounding her personality”.

Addressing Newland, he said: “You have been convicted of serious charges. You must understand the consequences may be serious.”

Newland shouted in response: “How can you send me down for something I have not done?”

She tearfully repeatedly asked the question and then said: “I don’t understand, I don’t understand.”

The judge thanked the jurors for their “careful consideration” of the case and said it would present a “difficult sentencing exercise”.

He went on: “Sentencing guidelines are quite clear that imprisonment is inevitable but I need a good deal of further examination before I take that further step.”

Newland was bailed until sentencing on a date to be fixed in November. She was told she must reside at an address provided to the court, not contact the complainant and not contact anyone under an assumed identity.

The judge said Newland would be seen by the Probation Service and a psychiatrist as part of the pre-sentence report.


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