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Gayle Newland found guilty of assault by posing as man to trick friend into sex

She created a “disturbingly complex” online persona to achieve her own “bizarre sexual satisfaction”.

A woman has been convicted of impersonating a man over two years in an “astonishing deception” to trick her female friend into sex.

Gayle Newland, 27, of Willaston, Cheshire, created a “disturbingly complex” online persona to achieve her own “bizarre sexual satisfaction”.

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

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Gayle Newland arriving at Manchester Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA)

Newland was jailed for eight years in November 2015 after she was convicted of the same offences by another jury at Chester Crown Court. But the conviction was quashed in the Court of Appeal last December and a retrial was ordered after it was ruled that the trial judge’s summing up of the case was not fair and balanced.

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

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

She said 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 she did not strap bandages to her chest or wear a swimsuit and a woollen hat to conceal her appearance.

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The defendant spent “hundreds” of hours talking on the telephone to her friend as Kye and 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 watching television, going on a car journey also wearing sunglasses and even sunbathing.

Prosecutor Simon Medland QC 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.”

The verdicts can be reported after reporting restrictions imposed at the start of the retrial were lifted.

Newland was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault and cleared of a fourth count. The jury of nine women and three men reached majority guilty verdicts of 11-1 after deliberating for 17 hours and 25 minutes.

The defendant cried in the dock, shook her head and at one point said: “I can’t go back to jail.”

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