Court quashes conviction of woman accused of ‘duping friend into lesbian sex’ with male persona

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A court has quashed the conviction of a woman accused of duping a fellow student into having lesbian sex with her by pretending to be a man.

Gayle Dawn Newland, 25, was originally found guilty of three counts of sexual assault over the 2013 incidents , while both her and the alleged victim were studying at the University of Chester.

Newland’s alleged victim – a woman who cannot be named for legal reasons – had told Chester Crown Court that she had embarked on a relationship a “man” that she met on Facebook, who used the name ‘Kye Fortune’.

The woman told the court that when meeting up with ‘Fortune’ in real life to have consensual sex, she was convinced to wear a blindfold at all times during sex sessions, because ‘Fortune’ claimed to have insecurities about his appearance.

But after meeting up on a number of occasions, the woman tore off the blindfold during a sexual encounter – and was shocked find not her supposed boyfriend, but Newland allegedly penetrating her with a prosthetic penis.

The woman claims that Newland had manufactured the fake identity, and disguised her appearance by binding her breasts and wearing a hat, in order to pass as the fictional man and trick her into sex.

Ms Newland was initially jailed for eight years, but challenged the conviction in an appeal.

Today she watched via video link from prison as Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice King and Mr Justice Dove, quashed her conviction and agreed to release her on bail.

Ms Newland’s lawyer had argued the previous conviction was “unsafe” as the trial judge had neglected to be ‘properly fair and balanced’ while summing up the case for the jury.

A retrial has been ordered, though no date has been set.


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