A schoolgirl who was jailed for posing as a boy to get a 16-year-old girl into bed has been freed after serving just 82 days of her three year sentence.
Justine McNally, now 18, posed as a boy called Scott as she built up an online relationship with the girl when they were 13 and 12.
They met while playing an internet video game, and eventually agreed to meet. McNally disguised herself as a Goth boy and visited the girl in north London, staying with a friend of her family.
The relationship was said to have turned physical on McNally's first visit, after they had discussed having sex during online web chats.
The 16-year-old believed she had lost her virginity to 'Scott' and that they would get married and have children.
McNally's true identity was revealed in November 2011, when the family friend she was staying with became suspicious of her and looked through her belongings, where she discovered a strap-on penis. She told the other girl's mother, who then informed her daughter.
The mother and daughter confronted McNally, who said she wanted to have a sex change to continue the relationship.
McNally admitted sexual assault and was locked up following a hearing at Wood Green Crown Court in March.
However, judges at the Court of Appeal ruled on Tuesday that the jail term was too long and gave her a nine-month suspended sentence instead.
McNally's counsel argued that judge James Patrick, who passed sentence in March, did not pay heed to her own youth and vulnerability, or give her credit for her decision to plead guilty.
Psychiatric reports found that McNally had self-harmed and was having suicidal thoughts, the court heard.
Lord Justice Leveson, sitting with Mr Justice Kenneth Parker and Mr Justice Stewart, acknowledged that the victim suffered substantial harm, describing the case as extremely difficult.
They imposed a two-year supervision order to go with the suspended sentence.
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more