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Sex change inmate granted a transfer to women's prison

By Benjamin Wright

Published 31/10/2015

Tara Hudson
Tara Hudson

A transgender woman sent to an all-male jail in England has been moved to a women's prison.

Tara Hudson was handed a 12-week term by magistrates following a drunken attack on a bar manager.

The make-up artist has lived as a woman all her adult life and had six years of gender reconstruction surgery, but is still legally classed as male.

She tried to appeal against her sentence, saying it was excessive, and she had suffered a torrid time while locked up in the all-male Category B prison HMP Horfield in Bristol.

Recorder Llewellyn Sellick dismissed the application given Hudson's "appalling criminal record" but said the Prison Service should give "sensitive consideration" as to where the 26-year-old should serve her time.

But last night Whitehall sources said Hudson had been moved to Eastwood Park in Gloucestershire.

HM Prisons Service said it refused to comment on individual cases, but added its guidelines did allow for discretion.

A spokeswoman said: "It is longstanding policy to place offenders according to their legally recognised gender.

"However, our guidelines allow room for discretion and in such cases medical experts will review the circumstances in order to protect the emotional wellbeing of the person concerned.

"Our top priority is the safety and welfare of those in our custody and decisions relating to the location of transgender prisoners are taken by a range of people, including psychologists, healthcare professionals and prison staff."

Hudson appeared at Bath Magistrates Court last week on a charge of assault at Be At One Bar in Bath on December 26 last year.

She had initially denied any wrongdoing and claimed self-defence, but changed her plea on the day her trial was due to start.

The court heard a very drunk Hudson had headbutted the bar's manager Christopher Dyer after being refused any more alcohol.

Mr Dyer later needed £1,500 worth of dental surgery following the attack.

Hudson, who had eight previous convictions, which included offences for assault, had hoped that her punishment would see her placed on an electronic tag and undergo an alcohol awareness course.

Magistrates said the assault, which came three weeks after Hudson had been given a conditional discharge, was so serious that only custody could be justified.

She was then sent to HMP Horfield, which holds around 600 young adults and adult men.

The decision angered Hudson's mother Jackie Brooklyn (48), who said there was nothing male about her daughter.

"Nobody would know the difference," she was reported as saying.

"She looks like a woman. She's gorgeous."

A petition calling for Hudson to be transferred to an all-female prison attracted more than 125,000 signatures ahead of her hearing yesterday.

At Bristol Crown Court Hudson sat in the dock in a grey tracksuit while her barrister called for his client to be freed.

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