A transgender individual, who was born a man, has a male passport and retains a male appendage, has been sentenced to a term in an all male prison for a violent assault. Transgender activists have labelled it “state sanctioned rape” and Tory MP Ben Howlett urged a review of the case, which could be used as leverage for a change in the law.
Unemployed make-up artist, Tara Hudson, 26, has lived as a woman for most of her adult life, putting herself through six years of reconstructive surgery and hormone treatment.
Hudson, from Bath, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison after admitting to attacking and assaulting someone in a bar on Boxing Day, 2014.
Mr. Howlett has urged people to sign a petition calling for Hudson to be housed in a female prison and has promised to raise the issue with the Women’s Equalities’ Committee – on which he sits – which is considering calling for the UK to legally recognise a “third gender.”
A Prison Service spokesman told the Bath Chronicle: “It is longstanding policy to place offenders according to their legally recognised gender. There are strict rules in place to ensure transsexual prisoners are managed safely and in accordance with the law.”
The spokesman explained that a prisoner in possession of a gender recognition certificate will be placed according to their legal gender, and those transitioning are entitled to live “in role”.
Guidelines published by the Ministry of Justice in 2011 relating to where transgendered criminals, who not legal recognised as their preferred gender, are sent stipulate that decisions should be decided by a case conference involving senior personnel.
Arbiters are required to consider a range of factors, including “where the prisoner would feel most comfortably housed” and “the risks both to the individual and to other prisoners.”
The decision to house Hudson in a male prison, therefore, may have been taken because a violent criminal with male biology and physical stature could pose a threat to natural born women.
However, Mr. Howlett declared: “The nature of her crime does not seem to warrant her detention in male environment on security grounds,” and promised to “highlighted the case to the Equalities Committee, requesting an urgent review.”
Mr. Howlett sits on the government’s new “Women’s and Equalities” committee, which has heard evidence that the UK should legally recognise a “third gender” – people who want to self define themselves as “non-gendered”, “gender queer” or “pangender.”
Hudson would be more likely to be housed in a female prison had she bothered to attain a Gender Recognition Certificate, which requires a £140 fee, a letter from a medical professional and evidence of having lived as one’s chosen gender. The European Court of Human Rights now insists member states recognise a person’s preferred gender as such.
Hudson’s failure to do so, and her case generally, are now being used in the push for such a legally recognised “third gender,” or for the UK to follow Ireland and recognise people’s chosen gender without them making any attempt to live as that gender.
— Ben Howlett MP (@ben4bath) October 25, 2015
Mr. Howlett is one of the new intake of Conservative MPs who entered Parliament in 2015. He won his Bath seat from the Liberal Democrats who held it since their victory over Chris Patten, the then Tory Party chairman, in 1992.
The new MP caused controversy in the past when he revealed that Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams is his most admired politician in Northern Ireland. As Breitbart London reported, senior Tories such as Lord Tebbitt were critical of Mr. Howlett’s opinions.