Julie Bindel

Meet the thug who was spared jail for being transgender

Meet the thug who was spared jail for being transgender
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In today's episode of 'You Couldn't Make It up', I bring you Leila Le Fey, also known as Layla Le Fey, Adam Hodgson and Marcus Smith. Le Fey had pleaded guilty to common assault and possession of an offensive weapon after trying to steal wine from a Budgens in Brighton. When confronted by the shopkeeper, Le Fey threatened him with a claw hammer.

Le Fey, who has previously been convicted of possessing a knife in public, was definitely looking at a spell in clink. Judge Stephen Mooney originally sentenced Le Fey to six months in prison, telling Le Fey at Lewes Crown Court that there was “no excuse” for such behaviour.

'When you took out the claw hammer it must have been terrifying,' he said. 'It must be immediate custody because I see nothing in the offence itself or indeed in you that would render it unjust for me not to implement it,' the judge said.

But an hour after being sent down, Le Fey was brought back to court. Why? Judge Mooney was persuaded to change the sentence because Le Fey had no Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) to prove his ‘legal gender’ (sex) and therefore would have to be sent to a men’s prison.

'Having reflected again upon the impact an immediate custodial sentence would have, the difficulties there are and the intractable problems the prison service would face, I have reconsidered whether imprisonment must be immediate,' the judge told the court.

Instead, Le Fey was handed a six-month suspended sentence. This would seem to be a message to any men who fancy getting away with a prison sentence if unlucky enough to be caught.

But will the offence committed by Le Fey be recorded as a woman committing it, despite there being no GRC? If so, it would appear 'self identification', the much-resisted practise where a person can simply declare they have changed sex without medical intervention, is already in place.

And what might have been the outcome had a woman committed the same crime as Le Fey? She would probably be sent to prison.

I have campaigned for decades on behalf of women unjustly punished by the courts. Women are sometimes jailed for not having TV licences, shoplifting and other minor offences. As a result, they can lose custody of their children, their homes and end up unemployable and socially excluded.

The issue of trans women in female prisons is a contentious one and so it should be. Trans women say they are vulnerable to attack and bullying from male prisoners, so why should women, who are the most vulnerable of all, end up sharing a shower with the likes of Karen White?

A recent report by the ministry of justice and the prison and probation service (HMPPS), ‘The Care and Management of Individuals Who Are Transgender’, advises staff that some transgender individuals can pose a risk. This, the report says, needs to be 'managed'. It also states that the transgender identity of male to female prisoners must be kept secret from female prisoners. In other words, women are not allowed to know that a fox has broken into the henhouse.

'Individuals managed by HMPPS are able to self-declare that they are transgender and be supported to express the gender (or non-gender) with which they are identify, with staff using correct pronouns,' reads the report.

I am sick and tired of men using self-identification in order to abuse and prey on women and girls and to be given a ‘get out of jail free’ card. A record number of male offenders in prison now identify as female. The Daily Telegraph reported that there are more than 100 such prisoners, double the figure from two years ago. Fair Play for Women estimates that half of all transgender prisoners are sex offenders or dangerous category A inmates.

So when will pandering, cowardly liberals wake up to the fact that trans-identifying males such as Le Fey are taking advantage of the current situation? A woman in Le Fey’s position would be sitting in a hideous prison cell right now. Judge Mooney has set a precedent he may well live to regret.

Written byJulie Bindel

Journalist, author, broadcaster, feminist campaigner against sexual violence.

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