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Transgender woman should not have been put in male jail, says grieving partner

The partner of a transgender woman who was found dead in prison has said she should never have been placed in a male jail.

Vicky Thompson, from Keighley, West Yorkshire, was sent to Leeds Prison after a conviction at Bradford Crown Court but was found dead a week ago.

Her partner, Robert Steele, said she had been placed on a sex offenders wing.

"People were saying things to her because she was obviously dressing as a female," Mr Steele told BBC Look North.

"She didn't want to be there. She wanted to be in a female prison."

Mr Steele said: "She was bright, she was a colourful person. She loved life. She liked going out. She was a happy-go-lucky person. I'm nothing without Vicky. I loved her with all my heart."

Ms Thompson's death comes after the case of make-up artist Tara Hudson who was placed in a male prison after an assault conviction in Bath but is understood to have moved to a female jail after a campaign by supporters.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: "HMP Leeds prisoner Vicky Thompson was found unresponsive on the evening of Friday 13 November.

"Staff and paramedics attempted resuscitation but she was pronounced dead at 8.48pm.

"As with all deaths in custody there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman".

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