A transsexual convicted of possessing child pornography has been spared jail because the judge thought being sent to a male prison “would be an appalling experience.”
The 20-year-old pre-operation transsexual, still biologically a man but legally considered a woman, was discovered to be in possession of a laptop containing 14 images police regarded as child pornography during the search of the transsexual’s Manchester home in connection with another investigation.
The defence gave courts a sob story about a youth of being bullied due to “gender insecurities,” saying that the images were part of an attempt to come to terms with this troubled youth, and maintained prison would be too dangerous:
“She’s clearly going to be extremely vulnerable in a male prison environment.”
Whilst still maintaining a plea of not guilty, the defendant “appreciated the harm these offences cause.”
The judge presiding said she sympathised, tacitly implying UK prisons are powerless to stop inmates being raped, not that this stops anyone else being sent to them:
“I take these offences very seriously; these are real children who are being abused so that people like you can look at them.
Frankly, you deserve to go to prison, but I can’t bring myself to send you to prison, entirely because I think prison would be an appalling experience for you.
I do not see how you could be kept safe in a prison environment with the best will in the world on the part of those who run such establishments.”
Instead the sentence was reduced to 100 hours of community service, with a 9-month prison sentence suspended for a year – should he be able to avoid committing any further offences in that period no time need be served at all.
A 5 year period of registration as a sex offender will also be required.
Transsexual inmates in UK prisons are frequently either housed with their identified gender, or held apart from the general prison population – apparently not considered appropriate in this case.