Woman who posed as a man to have a relationship with a woman is convicted of a sexual assault
A woman who posed as a man to become romantically involved with another woman has been found guilty of a sexual assault.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Georgia Bilham, 21, of Banbury Road, Alpraham, Cheshire, deliberately duped the other woman into thinking she was a man called George Parry from Birmingham.
A number of years ago, the two began talking on Snapchat. Bilham had the profile name ‘George_132’ and the picture attached to that profile was a cartoon image of a blonde man with sunglasses.
Georgia Bilham presented as George both online and in person, for the whole time that she and the victim were in contact with each other.
When the two would meet up, Georgia kept her hood up, dressed and spoke like a boy and removed the victim’s glasses from her. The victim is very short-sighted and without her glasses is virtually blind. Georgia refused to let her victim touch parts of her body which would prove that she wasn’t a man.
The CPS said that the sexual activity that took place was based on a false pretence – and so did not involve true consent. Bilham deceived the victim into thinking she was in fact a young man. The motivation for the pretence is not clear.
On 11 May 2021, Bilham and the victim had been out driving together and the car came off the road. The car was stuck. Georgia panicked and told the victim to run – no doubt as there was a risk that her true identity would be established.
But the police arrived and spoke to Georgia in their car and the victim overheard them mention the name of Georgia Bilham which was on her driving licence. She confronted Bilham… “Are you a girl?’. Bilham replied ‘It’s a fake licence, cos I don’t have one - that’s why I told you to run….’
In the days that followed, Bilham worked hard to persuade her victim that she was a man. The deception finally came to light when Georgia met the victim’s mother who didn’t have the victim’s sight problems and became suspicious. She confronted her daughter with her doubts and the victim went online to find out more about Georgia Bilham.
On the night of 19 August 2021, the victim told Georgia ‘Just admit you’ve been caught out I know more than enough now’. The next morning, Georgia Bilham messaged the victim, apologising for what she had done, saying, “It just took over my life”.
The matter was reported to the police. Georgia Bilham was arrested and interviewed under police caution. To each question, she replied ‘no comment’.
She was charged with 9 counts of sexual assault and eight counts of assault by penetration but pleaded Not Guilty to all of them.
At Chester Crown Court today (14 June 2023) she was found guilty of one sexual assault by the jury but was acquitted of the other charges. She will be sentenced on 19 July 2023 at Chester Crown Court.
Senior Crown Prosecutor Mairead Neeson, a specially trained prosecutor with CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit, said: “Sexual offences can be committed in different ways.
“The Crown Prosecution Service’s case here was based upon deceit, manipulation and the lack of genuine consent. We said that the victim didn't give her true consent to sexual activity with Georgia Bilham, that when the victim agreed to have sexual activity with “George Parry” it was on the basis that George was male and not female and that she had been deceived.
“We said that Bilham’s actions in pretending to be male, deprived the victim of her freedom to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity.
“This is because a person consents to sexual activity only if they agree by choice and have the freedom and capacity to make that choice.
“The victim thought she was having sexual activity with a man. If she had known that the man she thought was George Parry was in fact a woman, she would not have agreed to the activity.
“This has devastated the victim and her family and the effects of it will remain with her for a long time. The victim thought she was in a loving relationship with a man but it was all lies and Bilham is now a convicted sex offender.”