Somerset

Transgender woman Tara Hudson moved to female prison

Tara Hudson Image copyright Jackie Brooklyn
Image caption Tara Hudson was sent to an all male prison after admitting assault

A transgender woman sent to a men's prison has been transferred to a female jail after a campaign to get her moved.

Tara Hudson, 26, from Bath, was jailed for 12 weeks and placed at the all-male HMP Bristol after admitting assault.

The BBC understands she has now been taken to HM Prison Eastwood Park in South Gloucestershire.

Earlier, she lost an appeal against her sentence, but a judge asked for consideration to be made about where she serves her sentence.

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Media captionTara Hudson: "I didn't choose to be this way"

More than 140,000 people signed petitions calling for Hudson to be moved, with supporters claiming she had been placed in danger of sexual violence.

She has had reconstructive surgery and lived as a woman all her adult life but is still legally a man.

Image copyright Jackie Brooklyn
Image caption Hudson has had reconstructive surgery but is still legally a man

Mr Recorder Llewelyn Sellick, said at the hearing at Bristol Crown Court that Hudson had a "worrying criminal record" which contained "numerous offences".

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


Transgender prison rules

  • Prisoners should be placed according to their gender "as recognised by UK law" - usually as stated on their birth certificate
  • If a person has obtained a "gender recognition certificate", they will have a new birth certificate in their "acquired gender"
  • Prisoners who obtain a gender recognition certificate while in prison "should in most cases be transferred to the estate of their acquired gender"
  • But the rules also say some transgender people will be "sufficiently advanced in the gender reassignment process" that they could be placed "in the estate of their acquired gender, even if the law does not yet recognise they are of their acquired gender"
  • Where issues arise, a "case conference" should be held to "review the prisoner's individual circumstances and make a recommendation"

Source: The Care and Management of Transsexual Prisoners, Ministry of Justice website


A Prison Service spokesperson 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."

Last Friday, the make-up artist was jailed after she admitted headbutting a barman in Bath, causing damage to his teeth.

Image caption Demonstrators gathered outside Bristol Crown Court

She has eight previous convictions including offences for battery and had hoped her punishment would be less severe.

But 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 originally sent to HMP Bristol, which holds about 600 men.

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