Simon Medland QC successfully prosecutes bizarre sex case

July 26, 2017

Simon Medland QC has successfully prosecuted a woman who wore a prosthetic penis and tricked her blindfolded friend into sex.

Gayle Newland, 27, of Willaston, Cheshire, created an online persona pretending to be a man and continued the deceit for two years.

The court heard that the two women met when Newland contacted the woman on Facebook, using the alter ego “Kye Fortune”. For a year the pair swapped messages and photos online, and talked regularly for hours on the phone, but did not meet, the court heard.

“Kye” provided various excuses as to why he could not meet in person – because he had been “badly injured and disfigured”, had a brain tumour and was being treated in hospital, that he had had a seizure and was in intensive care. The complainant, “perhaps naively on reflection”, accepted these excuses, said Simon Medland QC.

During that period Kye told the woman he had a friend called Gayle, who also happened to be studying at Chester University. This was Gayle Newland, the jury was told.

The two women met, using their real names, and became firm friends, with the student confiding in Newland about her relationship with Kye.

Eventually, in February 2013, Kye agreed to meet up with the student at a hotel in Chester, insisting on a series of conditions. “He” (really, Newland) laid down a series of conditions that Simon Medland QC said the jury might find “rather odd”.

The complainant was to remain blindfolded throughout – because Kye was ashamed of his injuries. And he was bandaged around his chest because of a heart condition and had to wear a “medically necessary sort of bodysuit” during sex. In addition, he would have to wear a hat because of scarring caused by an operation on his brain tumour.

This unusual arrangement went on for some months, until 30 June 2013, when Kye and the student had sex for the final time. Halfway through, the student ripped off her blindfold and made “a very disturbing discovery indeed”: that Kye was her friend Gayle Newland, wearing a “realistic prosthetic penis with testicles”.

Addressing the jury, Simon Medland QC said:

“This defendant, we suggest, was a deeply manipulative and cunning person who predated upon the emotional needs of the complainant to achieve her own bizarre sexual satisfaction.”

A retrial jury found her guilty of committing three sexual assaults, which she denied, using a prosthetic penis without her victim’s consent.

She was jailed at Manchester Crown Court for six-and-a-half years.

Sentencing her, Recorder of Manchester, Judge David Stockdale QC, said: “Truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction.

“The truth, the whole truth, here is as surprising as it is profoundly disturbing.”

He added: “It is difficult to conceive of a deceit so degrading or so damaging for the victim upon its discovery.”

Newland was originally jailed for eight years in November 2015 after she was convicted of the same offences, which happened in 2013.  But the conviction was later quashed on the grounds the trial judge’s summing up of the case was not fair and balanced.

She was jailed for an extra six months for defrauding her former employers – an internet advertising agency – of £9,000 by creating fake client profiles between March 2014 and September 2015.

The court heard she had held a senior position at the firm, which paid bloggers to post content.

Simon Medland QC said Newland “manipulated” the firm’s payments system in which contributors were rewarded with small sums for posting content.

Judge Stockdale earlier lifted reporting restrictions on the fraud.

The retrial jury was not told of the fraud conviction until it returned its verdicts.

Simon is a member of the criminal department at Exchange Chambers.