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Gayle Newland fake penis case: What do you think of her sentence?

Former University of Chester student, of Willaston, jailed for eight years

The extraordinary case of Willaston woman Gayle Newland, who duped her friend into a two-year relationship by pretending to be a man, wound up at Chester Crown Court on Thursday, as she was sentenced to eight years behind bars.

It's no exaggeration to say that her trial in September drew attention from around the world and divided opinion, and the jail term she was handed looks to be no different.

Chronicle readers have to taken to our social media channels to express their shock or satisfaction with her punishment.

But the fact is Newland was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault by a jury of men and women who listened to all the evidence. She is a convicted sex offender.

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Judge Roger Dutton's job then became to sentence her according to laws created by Parliament, using sentencing guidelines handed down to him.

The eight year jail term which he handed down is the starting point for a category two seriousness, category A culpabliity case of sexual assault which this case fits squarely into.

In other words he went right down the line according to the sentencing guidelines, although he could have reduced it to as low as five years or as high as thirteen years.

VIEWFINDER PIX-CHESTER Gayle Newland in handcuffs leaving court after sentencing
Gayle Newland in handcuffs leaving court after sentencing

But to do either there would have had to have been specific evidence to justify that alteration.

Judge Dutton believed there were more aggravating factors than mitigating ones, meaning if anything he would have increased the sentence but said as an 'aspect of mercy' he was not going to do that.

Gayle Newland’s barrister Nigel Power QC tried to persuade the judge that this was a case where he could take an 'exceptional course' and depart from the sentencing guidelines but, despite a lot of psychiatric evidence on her behalf, the judge was not convinced.

For her to have avoided a jail term he would have had to have reduced her sentence to a maximum of two years in order to be able to suspend it.

Given the seriousness of the charges that was always going to be an incredibly unlikely scenario.



David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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