Sunday, 21 July

Woman who posed as man to sexually assault severely short-sighted teenager faces jail

Odd News
Georgia Bilham was convicted of a single count of sexual assault at Chester Crown Court

A woman who pretended to be a man to sexually assault a severely short-sighted teenager is facing jail.

Georgia Bilham, 21, was convicted of a single count of sexual assault by kissing at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday.

Jurors cleared her of 16 further allegations after deliberating for three hours following an eight-day trial.

However, deferring her sentence until next month, Judge Michael Leeming warned Bilham: "I am going to adjourn sentence for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

"It should not be taken by you as an indication of a non-custodial sentence - all options are open."

Bilham, from Alpraham, Cheshire, showed no emotion as the verdict was delivered.

The court heard Bilham created an online Snapchat persona in the name of George Parry to trick the victim, 19, into believing she was a man.

"George" always wore a hood over his head and claimed to be "paranoid" after getting involved with Albanian gangsters.

Giving evidence, the victim's mother said her daughter explained she was seeing someone who had "social anxiety".

After they met for the first time, Bilham revealed the victim messaged her to say "There's something weird about you" and blocked her on the social media app.

They had a "love-hate relationship" online which became "toxic" at times, jurors heard.

Bilham said she believed her lies were exposed after crashing her mother's car into a hedge while out for a drive with her teenage victim on 11 May, 2021.

She was convicted of sexually assault by kissing the 19-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, on that evening.

The defendant told jurors she thought the police had blown her cover after checking her driving licence.

Georgia Bilham at Chester Crown Court where she is charged with 17 sex offences, including sexual assault and assault by penetration| Bilham, 21, is due to be sentenced on 19 July

She said: "I think they told her I was female. It was not George, it was Georgia."

Bilham admitted being caught in a "web of lies" but denied getting a "buzz" out of duping the teenager.

She told the court she was "a bit of a tomboy" when she was younger and although she never wanted to change gender, she had questioned her sexuality.

After her parents split when she was a teenager, she said she had a difficult relationship with her mother - who would "not be happy" if she was in a same-sex relationship.

When asked why she set up the fake Snapchat account, Bilham said: "I just was not happy in myself" and described it as "an escape".

"I was not confident in myself," she added.

"It was a stupid thing to do. It was a way of not being me."

Bilham denied nine sexual assaults and eight counts of assault by penetration, between May and August 2021.

She must sign the sex offenders' register and is due to be sentenced on 19 July.