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Transgender woman moved to women's jail after taunts in all-male jail

A transgender woman sent to an all-male jail has been moved to a women's prison, sources say.

Tara Hudson, was handed a 12 week custodial 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 tonight 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 to be served with any more alcohol.

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

Hudson, who has eight previous convictions including offences for battery, had hoped her punishment would see her placed on 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 irked 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 today.

At Bristol Crown Court, a visibly startled looking Hudson sat in the dock in a prison-issue grey tracksuit while her barrister Nicholas Wragg called for his client to be freed.

Mr Wragg said Hudson had been separated from the rest of the prison population and "locked in a cell 23 hours a day".

"The clang of a prison door should never be pleasant. It should have a sobering effect on a person," he added.

"But Ms Hudson has had an awful time - she has found it unrelenting and frightening.

"As she left prison today to come to court - where she was placed in a female cell - she found herself taunted by other inmates shouting 'Tara Tara, show us your tits'."

The court heard Hudson had seen mental health professionals after suffering with psychotic symptoms since 2009. These had been made worse since going to an all male jail.

In dismissing the appeal, Recorder Sellick ruled the attack on Mr Dyer had breached a conditional discharge given three weeks previously.

However, he added: "It is for the prison service to and not the court to establish where a sentence should be served.

"We would invite further and sensitive consideration of these issues."

Ben Howlett, MP for Bath and a member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, said: "This afternoon we have heard from a source that Tara has been taken from court to an all-female prison.

"We will be pressing the Ministry of Justice for a formal line following this and work to ensure there is no repeat of this situation in future.

"We look forward to the outcome of the Trans-Inquiry from the Women and Equalities Select Committee to ensure others are spared Tara's ordeal."


From Belfast Telegraph