A woman who posed as a man to dupe her friend into having sex with her has been jailed for eight years. Gayle Newland, 25, demanded the other woman wear a blindfold when they met and used a prosthetic penis while carrying out the assaults.
Newland, of Willaston, Cheshire, claimed they had engaged in "roleplay and fantasy" when they had sex about 10 times. But she was found guilty of three sexual assault charges after a trial.
Chester Crown Court heard the victim was tricked by Newland and only realised what had happened when she ripped off her blindfold and saw Newland wearing a prosthetic penis.
But Newland claimed her accuser always knew she was pretending to be a man as they both struggled with their sexuality. She said no blindfold was used and she did not strap bandages to her chest or wear a woollen hat and swimsuit during their encounters, as was alleged.
Sentencing Newland, Judge Roger Dutton described her as "intelligent, obsessional, highly manipulative, deceitful, scheming and thoroughly determined".
He continued: "To successfully pass off a deception of this complexity was a major undertaking involving dedicated mobile phone lines as well as regular texts.
"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."
The judge said the psychological impact on the victim would be "severe" and "long-lasting". He added Newland's behaviour amounted to "a callous breach of the trust that your friend had in you".
Screams and tears
Judge Dutton accepted the defence's evidence that Newland had various disorders identified in a psychiatric report including social anxiety disorder, a personality disorder, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder.
But he declared he could not pass a lenient sentence, adding: "These offences are so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence would in any way properly reflect the serious nature of your conduct."
Newland became distressed as the judge passed sentence and had to be physically forced from the dock by two female 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.
Newland, who worked as a marketing manager, created a bogus Facebook profile in the name of Kye Fortune and was then said to have taken on the persona of Kye as she carried out her deception. She began speaking to her victim on the phone in 2011, the trial heard.
When they finally decided to meet in February 2013, the complainant said Kye had asked her to wear a blindfold because "he" was insecure about his looks following supposed life-saving brain surgery.
The pair went on to spend more than 100 hours in each other's company in hotels and the victim's flat.
The prosecution said it was an "unusual case" set against an "extraordinary background" in which Newland targeted the "naive and vulnerable" complainant - who said she was not gay - in an elaborate deception.