With her crushes on boy bands, love of TV soaps and dreams of becoming an actress, Gemma Barker seemed like any normal teenager.
But behind the innocent aspirations and her shy smile, the 19-year-old led a double life during which she posed as a boy to date two younger girls.
In an extraordinary deception, she created three alter egos named Aaron Lampard, Connor McCormack and Luke Jones. She talked like a boy and wore boys’ baggy clothes, hats and hooded tops to disguise her figure.
She set up Facebook profiles for each boy and gave each an individual dress sense and personality.
The victims were completely taken in and kissed and cuddled with her – despite both having gone to the same school as Barker.
Eventually they became suspicious that their boyfriends were the same person. One took off Connor’s hat as “he” slept in her bedroom and realised it was her friend’s supposed boyfriend Aaron.
Even when police arrested Barker, officers believed she was Aaron Lampard. The truth emerged only when her clothes were removed in the cells.
Barker deliberately fractured her jaw and tried to blame the imaginary Luke for attacking her and forcing her to pose as Aaron. She also tried to claim criminal compensation for her injuries.
This week Barker, now 20, is facing jail after admitting sexually assaulting two girls, then aged 16 and 15, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Judge Peter Moss told Barker the deception had “a very mean, manipulative streak” and he could not be sure whether she was “bad and dangerous to know, or mad and dangerous to know”.
Barker was to stand trial on Monday but changed her pleas to guilty on two counts of sexual assault and one of fraud. Sentencing was adjourned for reports with Barker bailed and put on the sex offenders’ register. She could be jailed for up to 10 years.
The girl who knew Aaron began an online relationship with “him” in 2009 and they dated for six months. Barker met her family, who were deceived too.
It was through Aaron that the girl’s younger friend got to know Connor.
The second girl was also introduced to Luke and on one occasion they shared a kiss.
Chetna Patel, defending, said Barker had an autistic spectrum disorder and had decided to become the elder girl’s boyfriend because she was “desperate to please”. – Daily Mail