- Gayle Newland is said to have posed as a man online to befriend woman
- University students later had sex in hotels and a flat in Chester, Cheshire
- She allegedly bound her chest and wore woolly hat to disguise appearance
- Alleged victim today said she would rather have been raped by a man
- Newland, 25, denies five counts of sexual assaults – the trial continues
A 25-year-old woman who was allegedly assaulted by a female friend using a prosthetic penis today told a court she would have ‘preferred’ to have been raped by a man.
Gayle Newland, 25, is said to have befriended the alleged victim by posing on Facebook as a man named ‘Kye Fortune’. The couple grew close and later had sex in hotels in Chester, Cheshire.
Newland allegedly bound her chest and wore a woolly hat and swimsuit to disguise her appearance, telling the woman he was self-conscious about ‘his’ appearance after hospital treatment.
The alleged victim today told Chester Crown Court she felt ‘sickened’ when she realised her boyfriend was in fact Newland.
The two women, both then students at the University of Chester, became friends at around the same time the alleged victim had met Kye, the court heard.
Her pre-recorded video interview and witness impact statement were played to the court and she appeared via videolink to answer questions from Judge Roger Dutton.
Newland set up a Facebook profile under the alias and sent the alleged victim a friend request in 2011, telling her that he knew of her through a mutual friend, the court heard yesterday.
As their relationship developed, the alleged victim made a number of requests to meet in person, but each was met by Kye with ‘repeated excuses’.
And during their telephone conversations, Kye is said to have dismissed his high-pitched voice as a result of his Filipino heritage.
When the couple finally met at The Dene Hotel, Chester, on February 22, 2013, Newland, posing as Kye, is said to have insisted the alleged victim wore a blindfold, claiming he was insecure about his appearance following an accident.
The two then had sex, with Newland using a prosthetic penis without the alleged victim’s knowledge, it was heard yesterday.
The prosecution said that ‘at no time’ did the woman consent to sex with the use of a prosthetic and in so doing, ‘the defendant sexually assaulted’ her.
The alleged victim later met ‘him’ at her flat on June 30 and the couple had sex again but this time she became suspicious and removed her blindfold for the first time.
Newland, of Cheshire, denies five counts of sexual assault which are alleged to have taken place between February and June, 2013, when they were both students at the University of Chester.
Today the victim admitted ‘Kye’s’ behaviour had been ‘strange’ but said she was made to feel insecure by him and so was grateful to meet up and happy to wear a blindfold.
She said: ‘Something hadn’t felt right that time that he came round. I was sat on the bed and something told me to pull my blindfold off.’
When the alleged victim removed the blindfold she saw Newland. ‘She pulled her hat down over her face and said ‘it’s not what you think’,’ she told the court.
The woman said she now feels like ‘Kye’ has died.
Gayle Newland arrives at Chester Crown Court
Newland, pictured being ushered into court this morning, allegedly bound her chest and wore a woolly hat and swimsuit to disguise her appearance, telling the woman he was self-conscious about ‘his’ appearance.
She added: ‘I was just so shocked I let this person into my life and shared my deepest darkest secrets with him.
‘When you Googled him it came up with a Twitter account, Facebook account, a Bebo account from years ago. He seemed like a feasible person, they all seemed like feasible accounts.
‘I had no reason to believe this person wasn’t who they said they were. I genuinely believe that if I didn’t find out that day, this would still be going on now.
‘I’m still in shock now that I allowed myself to go through it. Coincidences keep flashing in front of me, like how Gayle and Kye shared the same birthday.’
The week before the last alleged assault, the victim claims she told ‘Kye’ she did not want to see him anymore but this was met with the threat of suicide.
She said: ‘He said we both needed each other. He threatened to kill himself. He said ‘I couldn’t be happy with anyone else’ and that he’d make sure of it.’
The court heard how Newland allegedly wore bandages around her chest – claiming it was to protect a heart monitor – and also wore a swimming costume under her clothes.
The victim even claimed she would rather have been raped by a man than have experienced Newland’s alleged attack, saying she ‘doesn’t go for girls’.
She told the court: ‘People get raped by males and it sounds sick but I think I’d prefer it. I just think of all the stuff I let her do to me, like foreplay, and it makes me feel sick.’
Earlier, the court heard how the alleged victim had agreed to follow ‘rules’ which included not touching Kye’s ‘penis’ and wearing a blindfold but ‘believed she was having sex with a male’.
Newland claims that her alleged victim knew she was in fact a woman and that they were both ‘going along with some sort of fantasy’ that she was Kye, the court was told yesterday.
Chester Crown Court heard how ‘Kye’ and the alleged victim exchanged 1,859 messages and called each other hundreds of times over a 20-day period in March 2013.
Newland’s defence, Nigel Power, alleged that straight after one phone call with Newland the victim spoke to Kye, and asked how she did not notice the similarity in their voices.
The alleged victim responded: ‘They had really similar accents, his was just a bit deeper.’
The complainant told Mr Power she first began speaking to Kye on the phone after about four or five Facebook messages from May 2011.
She said there were lots of photographs of Kye on his Facebook profile, with supposed family and friends.
The victim added that she met Newland through Kye, who had told her they came from the same area and had studied at the same high school.
She said ’90 per cent’ of her conversations with Newland were about Kye. ‘We were friends but we weren’t best friends,’ she added.
But Mr Power showed the court Facebook posts which he said proved the alleged victim and Newland had been extremely close and had met each other’s families.
He told her: ‘You are playing down your relationship with Gayle.’
The alleged victim said: ‘I was really vulnerable for love. It was probably my own fault for being so stupid and needy.’
The complainant told prosecutor Matthew Corbett-Jones that before they met, Kye had sent her an eternity ring through the post and she considered they were engaged.
She said after she realised the truth, she texted Newland to say she was ‘sick’.
The complainant told her: ‘How could you do this to me for two years? You have been a fake, you have manipulated me. Fake life, fake love.’
Mr Corbett-Jones asked why she sent that message.
She replied: ‘Because I was angry. I had just found out that the person I thought I was in a relationship with … not only was they not that person, it was a female. Someone completely different.’
The complainant also messaged Newland: ‘Are you for real? You should be locked up for what you have done. You really are a piece of work. I have just one question, why me?’
She said Newland tried to contact her to explain herself but she replied: ‘You have no other explanation other than you are pure evil.’
Mr Power put it to her that Newland had expressed feelings for her in early 2012 and confided to her she was not completely heterosexual.
The complainant said she could not recall such a conversation.
She said Kye and Newland had similar accents but Kye’s voice was a bit deeper and she never made the connection they were the same person on the phone.
Mr Power asked: ‘Do you think it looks a bit daft, looking back on it?’
The witness replied: ‘Looking back on it, in hindsight, through all the counselling I have had, I know I was not in a great place then.
‘It’s partly my own fault for being so needy, so stupid.’
Mr Power went on: ‘So perhaps you wanted Kye to perform this role for you, knowing that Gayle was doing it with neither of you admitting it.’
She replied: ‘The only thing I ever wanted and still want is a normal life.’
The trial continues tomorrow.