Gayle Newland: Woman jailed for tricking friend into sex with fake penis wins challenge against conviction

The 26-year-old has been released on bail

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A woman accused of pretending to be a man in order to trick her female friend into having sex using a prosthetic penis has won a challenge against her conviction.

Gayle Newland, 26, who was jailed for eight years for three counts of sexual assault, has now been released on bail.

She now faces a new trial following a ruling by three Court of Appeal judges in London.

Newland allegedly convinced her friend she was a man by putting on a deep voice and using a blindfold throughout a dozen sexual encounters during a two-year relationship with the victim.

Her victim said she had been made to wear the blindfold at all times the pair were together, even while they sunbathed and “watched” a film at her flat.

She told the court she only realised her partner was a woman when she pulled her blindfold off during sex and saw it was her friend wearing a strap-on penis.

Newland has always maintained her innocence, insisting her accuser knew she was pretending and was a willing participant in sexual role play as both struggled with their sexuality. 

Newland, who watched proceedings via video link from prison, wept as Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice King and Mr Justice Dove, announced their decision and released her on bail.

Her lawyer argued on Wednesday that her conviction was "unsafe".

The appeal judges allowed her appeal and quashed her conviction following criticism of the trial judge's summing up.

A petition to reduce her sentence was signed by around 1,500 people.