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Woman duped by female boyfriend watched TV and sunbathed with 'him' while blindfolded

Crime WorldBy Sunday World
Gayle Newland entering court today
Gayle Newland entering court today

A blindfolded woman duped into having sex with a male impersonator said they also sunbathed and watched television together with her mask still on, a jury has heard.

The complainant says she thought she had intercourse on a number of occasions with a man called Kye Fortune, who said he was recovering in hospital from a brain tumour and did not want her to see his scars.

But she claims she eventually discovered it was in fact her friend, Gayle Newland, 25, who had persuaded her to wear a blindfold throughout their sexual encounters in which a prosthetic penis was used.

Newland, of Hooton Road, Willaston, is on trial at Chester Crown Court where she denies five counts of sexual assault between February and June 2013.

The court heard the alleged victim received a Facebook friend request in 2011 from a Kye Fortune who purported to be a half-Filipino, half-Latino athletic young male.

They communicated online and "Kye" later told her he had been involved in a car accident and medics had found he had a brain tumour.

He said he was having treatment in hospital and was not well enough to see her but the pair spoke frequently on the phone and became engaged before they finally decided to meet up, it is alleged.

Giving evidence, the complainant, who cannot be named, recalled they met up at hotels in Chester and at her flat but at all times she was made to wear a makeshift blindfold because of Kye's insecurities.

She agreed with Nigel Power QC, representing Newland, that they spent at least 100 hours in each other's company before she said she "ripped off" her blindfold and discovered she had been sleeping with a woman.

Asked how they spent their time together, she said that they would sometimes watch a film on television.

She added: "I would not say watch because I had a mask and scarf on. I heard a film."

Mr Power said: "There was Kye, the love of your life, your fiance, making you sit through a film for over a hour and a half and you could not see?"

She replied: "Throughout the film we were talking, we were kissing, we were cuddling, it felt nice."

The barrister said: "It is just not true, is it, that you watched a film with Kye which you could not see?"

The witness said: "Every time I met up with Kye Fortune I either had the mask on already or he would wait outside the door and I would put it on.

"I was so desperate to be loved. It's pathetic, so desperate for love, so desperate.

"We were just lying there, just cuddling, sometimes we would watch films, sometimes we would just talk. It sounds stupid to say but it was a proper relationship, just normal."

Mr Power said: "I am not going to suggest for a moment that there have not been difficulties in your life before you met Gayle but it is just not normal to spend hours in your flat with your boyfriend watching television when you cannot see what is on the screen. That is not normal by anyone's standards."

The complainant replied: "For us, that was what was normal. In hindsight I wish I had ripped that mask off sooner

"There was nothing wrong with me laying there listening to the heartbeat of the man I loved."

Mr Power said: "You know you were with a woman and you knew it was Gayle but you could not bring yourself to tell the police that was the truth?"

She said: "Since the first time I wrote to this person on Facebook, I thought it was a male.

"The first time I agreed to meet this person and agreed to have sex with them, I thought it was a male

"I told my my friends I was engaged to a guy. I told my work colleagues.

"I was happy, so happy, it was my turn to be happy, it was my turn to be in a relationship."

She told the court that Kye took her on a car ride one day in which he asked her to wear sunglasses on top of her mask and scarf because "he did not want it to look weird or that she had been kidnapped".

She said the car parked up, she was led out and walked into a building, up some steps and then into a garden where they sunbathed together.

The witness told the court she thought the journey was "a breakthrough" because Kye was now willing to be seen in public.

Newland is said to have disguised her appearance by wearing bandages across her chest and a woollen hat.

For details of Day 1 of the trail, click here