January 2002

‘Boyfriend’ uncovered as a girl

Three schoolgirls were left devastated when they learnt a teenage boy they had been dating was in fact a young woman.

Katie Bennett, 21, had masqueraded as a 15- year-old boy to trick each of the girls into going on dates.

Her true identity was only discovered after one of the girls ran away from home and the police were contacted to search for the youngster.

Bennett, of Thriftfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, previously admitted six offences of indecent assault on the girls and was sentenced to a three-year rehabilitation order at a hearing on Wednesday.

Intimate contact

St Alban’s Crown Court was told that Bennett called herself Jordan, and with her hair cut short she looked like a boy.

The court heard that Bennet had passionately kissed each of the girls and two of them allowed her to remove their bras and touch them.

Bennett’s secret was only discovered when one of the girls ran away from her home.

Her worried parents contacted the police and said they believed she was with her boyfriend Jordan.

‘Shocked’ by deception

But when police made inquiries they discovered the boy was in fact Bennett.

Miss Jane Bickerstaff prosecuting said: “The three young girls all describe how Miss Bennett, over a period of time, gained their confidence and all three entered into an intimate consensual relationship.

“All three believed they were in a relationship with a boy their own age called Jordan Bennett and each had been deceived.”

The prosecutor said when police questioned the runaway schoolgirl she told them what had taken place during one date.

The shocked teenager said if she had known the truth she would never have allowed the intimacy to occur.

‘Sexuality problems’

The girl provided police with the names of two other girls she believed had been dating Bennett, thinking the woman was a schoolboy.

They were also spoken to by police officers and were horrified when they discovered they had been duped, said Miss Bickerstaff.

Miss Ailsa Williamson, defending, said Bennett had endured physical and sexual abuse while growing up which left her with problems over her “sexuality and gender”.

She said that while Bennett was not attracted to women of her own age or men her problems had drawn her towards young pubescent girls.

The court was told that during 1997 and 1998 Bennett, then 19, had deceived a 14-year-old girl into going on dates with her.

After admitting an offence of indecent assault on the girl Bennett had been placed on probation for two years and ordered to register her name on the Sex Offenders List.

Judge Findlay Baker QC sentenced her to a three-year community rehabilitation order on Wednesday so she could attend a women’s probation hostel to receive counselling and therapy.