CHESTER – A naive woman was deliberately duped into sex while blindfolded with a person she thought was a man, a court heard.

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Gayle Newland

Gayle Newland claims the complainant knew she was female all along

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A prosecutor told Chester Crown Court if jurors thought Gayle Newland, 25, deceived the woman into thinking she was a man, she was guilty of sexual assault.

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She denies five sexual assaults when pretending to be a man.

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It is claimed she used a prosthetic penis while carrying out the assaults.

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In his closing speech to jurors, Matthew Corbett-Jones said if they were satisfied Newland had deceived her alleged victim into believing she was a man, then she was guilty of the assaults.

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The alleged incidents are said to have occurred between February and June 2013.

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Newland, of Willaston, Cheshire, claims they were engaging in role play and fantasy as they struggled to accept their sexuality.

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She admitted creating a fake Facebook profile in the name Kye but said the complainant knew from the “get-go” that she was female.

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Mr Corbett-Jones said: “The issue really comes down to whether or not [the complainant] is telling the truth about her belief that Kye was real and he was the one having sexual intimacy with her.”

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‘Fallen in love’

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He said that looking at the evidence overall, it was clear that she believed she was communicating with a real man.

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The sad truth, he added, was that she had fallen in love with Kye. “Her own experience in life had not been kind,” he added. “She feels she had no experience of real love in her life.”

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He questioned why she would put herself through the “excruciating embarrassment” of proceedings to have her personal life subject to scrutiny and judgment that it would inevitably bring with it.

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“She went to police because she was devastated by what has happened,” Mr Corbett-Jones added. “She has no axe to grind.”

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Chester Crown Court

Image captionThe trial at Chester Crown Court has reached the summing up stage

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But Nigel Power QC, defending, said the complainant was not naive.

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He said: “The deception as described is incredible, incapable of belief. It is impossible to believe.”

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Mr Power told the jury that it was being asked to believe that a bright young woman spent more than 100 hours in her company but never suspected it was her friend.

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He said the complainant was calm and confident and “always in control”. Gayle Newland, he added, was the opposite: “She was open, she was nervous, she was anxious, brittle and exposed.”

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Mr Power added: “We suggest that gut instinct, human experience, common sense and careful analysis all lead to the same conclusion – of course she knew.”

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He claimed the “apparent distress” of the complainant was fake.

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The trial continues on Monday when the judge will sum up the case. – BBC

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