A woman who claims she was unaware that her boyfriend of two years was in fact another female who bound her chest with bandages, used a prosthetic penis and insisted that she wear a blindfold when they met has said she felt 'lucky' to have found the love she had always wanted.
Gayle Newland's alleged victim told a Chester Crown Court jury that alarm bells did not ring about the relationship - which she believed was with a half-Asian, half-Filipino man called Kye Fortune she had met on Facebook in 2011 - or any concerns about her partner's gender.
Newland, 25, of Hooton Road in Willaston, Neston, denies five charges of sexual assault which are alleged to have occurred between February and June, 2013, when she and the alleged victim were students at the University of Chester.
The alleged victim contends that she did not knowingly consent to the use of the prosthesis and that she did not know Kye was a woman.
But Newland claims that the alleged victim knew she was female all along and that they were both playing along with a fantasy that she was Kye.
Giving evidence today (September 8), the alleged victim said she and Kye communicated for around one year on the phone and via social media before they finally met at The Dene Hotel in Hoole in February, 2013.
She said she was instructed to wear a sleeping mask over her eyes and a scarf on top so she could not see Kye when they met, as he said he was insecure about his appearance due to treatment he was undergoing for a tumour which was discovered by doctors after a car accident.
She said she was told he had to wear bandages around his chest because of his heart monitor and a swimming costume for his circulation.
The pair continued to have a sexual relationship over the following months, sometimes meeting at a Travelodge in Chester or at her home in the city.
She told the jury of eight women and four men that she uncovered Newland's alleged deception when they had sex at her home for the last time on June 30, 2013.
She told police that she felt something was 'not right' so she removed the scarf and mask, and saw Newland standing there wearing a woolly hat, swimming suit and prosthetic penis.
She became friends with Newland, she said, after Kye suggested she meet someone he knew from the same high school.
Nigel Power QC, defending, put it to the alleged victim that in hindsight the situation was 'a bit daft'.
She responded: "I think it was partly my own fault because for being so stupid and needy but at the time I wholeheartedly believed that this person loved me so yes, probably a bit stupid."
"I felt like this love that I had been searching for, that I never got off my family or in previous relationships, I had found it so I felt quite lucky to be honest.
"If I thought Kye was a girl, whether it was Gayle or anyone else, I would not have continued seeing him."
She added that she thought if she had not removed the sleeping mask and scarf that day, the relationship would probably still be going on today.
She told the court that she shared secrets with Newland but they never discussed sexual matters.
She claimed that Kye explained his high-pitched voice was due to his half-Filipino and half-Asian heritage, and that his voice was 'low enough to pass for a guy in my opinion'.
But Mr Power branded that a 'lazy stereotype' and a 'ridiculous excuse' of the alleged victim for not realising she was talking to Newland, rather than Kye.
The trial continues. Follow live updates from day three at Chester Crown Court.