Staines woman dressed as a boy to assault girls

A "deceptive and deceitful" woman who disguised herself as a boy to date female Facebook friends has been warned by a court she could be jailed.

Gemma Barker, 20, used false male identities to have sexual encounters with her 15 and 16-year-old victims.

She used fake Facebook profiles to introduce herself to the girls and wore hats and baggy clothes to hide her true identity when she met them in person.

Barker, from Staines, admitted two counts of sexual assault.

She also pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud.

Guildford Crown Court remanded her in custody to await sentencing on Monday.

'Perfect boy'

Judge Peter Moss said Barker had admitted the acts, between 23 November 2009 and 10 May 2010, included kissing, cuddling and sexual touching.

Start Quote

These offences caused a great deal of harm to a number of people”

End Quote Judge Peter Moss

The court heard one of Barker's victims realised something was wrong when she thought the boy she was having a relationship with looked similar to a boy the other victim was dating.

Barker's barrister Chetna Patel said that her client wanted to become "the perfect boy" for each of the victims.

Probation and psychological reports found Barker had autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD.

"Miss Barker struggles to understand the motives and the intentions of others," said Ms Patel.

"(She) is a very vulnerable young woman who has self-harmed previously and would be at serious risk of suicide should she be given a custodial sentence."

But the judge said: "I'm concerned that the Crown and I, and those who wrote these reports, are being manipulated by someone who is very deceptive and deceitful."

One report said the evidence demonstrated a sophisticated and complex planning of the offences, he added.

"These offences caused a great deal of harm to a number of people, and I'm certainly not closing my mind to a custodial sentence," said the judge.

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