Chester Chronicle readers who voted in our online poll are overwhelmingly against the eight-year prison sentence handed to a Willaston woman who duped her friend into a two-year relationship by pretending to be a man.
Twenty-five-year-old marketing manager Gayle Newland, of Hooton Road, was convicted by a Chester Crown Court jury of three counts of sexual assault in September.
She had a two-year relationship with her victim, a fellow former University of Chester student who believed she was dating a man called Kye Fortune, using a prosthetic penis and disguise consisting of chest bandages and a swimming costume.
Newland, who shouted ‘I’m scared’ to her family as she awaited her punishment, was hysterical as she was led from the dock by two officers on Thursday (November 12).
We asked you what you thought of the length of the sentence handed down to her by Judge Roger Dutton.
The vast majority – 74.2% – of those who voted thought it was too high.
Just 6.5% of you thought it was too low, while 19.4% agreed with the judge’s decision.
Hundreds of you shared your mixed reactions with us on our social media channels.
Karl Cleveley posted on our Facebook page: “Regardless, it was a weird and unusual case, it does seem rather a harsh sentence to be given.”
Danielle Vause agreed, saying it’s ‘too harsh’.
While Norma Gursel wrote that it is ‘crazy, breathtakingly unfair’ and thinks the verdict should be appealed.
But Ryan Wooster said: “The sentence was fair, she was convicted of three serious sex offences by a jury and the judge sentenced her accordingly.”
Jennifer Adamson posted: “She deliberately misled her victim for her own gains - this is serious, calculating and manipulative... the right decision has been made.”