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Trans woman asks that she be sent to a women’s prison if convicted for benefit fraud

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  1. Not quite sure how the Prison Service will deal with this if the magistrates do decide on a custodial sentence.

    I can empathize with the desires of her to be sentenced to a womens prison; however I suspect that this will either not be permitted by the prison service or will require a vociferous legal battle

  2. If she has a GRC she should definitely be allowed to serve her time in a women’s prison, if not, hopefully they will do whatever is safest for her.

    1. Spanner1960 30 May 2011, 6:04pm

      GRC? Please elaborate.

      1. GRC = Gender Recognition Certificate

  3. i suspect she will be sentenced to community service with a fine, or she will be on tag and under house arrest with lots and lots of conditions

  4. Spanner1960 30 May 2011, 6:08pm

    This old chestnut continues to come up, and I for one don’t really know the answer.

    Technically, they are born male, but have become female, but either way, with no disrespect, they are neither fish nor fowl.
    Providing a specialist penitentiary for trans people really isn’t an economic option, we have insufficient prisons as it is and cannot afford a unique place simply because of transgender requirements.

    I’m genuinely stuck on this one.

    1. Stuart Neyton 30 May 2011, 9:22pm

      Don’t be ridiculous, if she’s female then she’s female. There’s nothing else to it.

      Being “born male” means nothing more than having a penis at birth.

      Sex and gender are completely different things.

      1. @Stuart

        I am with you – and if she has a GRC then that is exactly how she will be treated

        However, I am cynical that a trans person not having a GRC will be respected for their gender in prison

        1. Spanner1960 30 May 2011, 11:32pm

          I am cynical about any bunch of cons, male or female respecting a trans person whether they have a bit of paper to prove it or not.

          We do not live in a perfect world, if we did, people would be born in the bodies they wanted in the first place and others would accept people for what and who they are.
          Trans people will not be accepted by many wherever they choose to go, and this was the big argument last time the topic came up.

          1. if she is sent to a men’s prison, she will stick out like a sore thumb and be a target and most likely have to be in solitary for her own protection. If she’s sent to a women’s prison, then, she’ll be just another prisoner, and that’s the difference.

  5. HelenWilson 30 May 2011, 6:50pm

    I would of thought PinkNews would know the answer to this non story as they did cover it.

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/03/07/new-guidelines-state-rights-for-transgender-prisoners/

    Still it a good excuse for the usual transphobic remarks.

    1. HelenWilson 30 May 2011, 6:54pm

      The relevant prison service document that came into effect 14th March 2011: http://psi.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/psi_2011_07_care_management_transsexual_prisoners.doc

      1. @Helen

        Thanks for reminding us of the new policy

        I think it is extremely helpful for those trans people with GRCs – however, the policy is vague with those who have not (perhaps yet) managed to obtain a GRC

        1. HelenWilson 30 May 2011, 7:14pm

          This might hep clarify it. From the document I posted.

          “”Before a prisoner is placed in custody, attempts must be made to determine which gender is recognised under UK law. This is a legal issue rather than an anatomical one, and under no circumstances should a physical search or examination be conducted for this purpose.””

          1. However the document also states that where a prisoner has a GRC then they will be placed within the population of an appropriate prison ie male or female. However, where a prisoner claims to be transgender and does not have a GRC then a meeting will occur to discuss the options. Grey!

  6. If this person has had gender re-alignment surgery and birth certificate changed to reflect new gender then of course she should be sent to a women’s prison. The stupid cow should have thought of the consequences of her criminal activity.

  7. HelenWilson 30 May 2011, 6:55pm

    The prison service orders that came into force 14th March 2011: http://psi.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/psi_2011_07_care_management_transsexual_prisoners.doc

  8. She committed benefit fraud, caught caught and is now paying it back.

    How is what she did any different in real terms, than what David Laws did.

    I doubt she’ll be jailed for this.

    1. As much as I have spoken up in favour of David Laws in some respects – I have to say there are elements which are similar

      1. Sister Maray Clarence 31 May 2011, 2:07am

        Not sure I agree. He claimed less than he would have been entitled to had he admitted she was shacked up with a partner. This lady claimed more than she was entitled to, so not really seeing any similarity to be honest

        1. Yes but the sums of money David Laws was claiming was vastly more. And he still lied on his claims.

  9. Sister Maray Clarence 30 May 2011, 8:21pm

    I think for £12 000 worth of benefit fraud, unless she’s been at it before, she is unlikely to go to prison in any event.

    If claiming incapacity benefit though she is permitted to work up to 16 hours a week (or up to 90 odd quid per week), so I assume that the ‘casual’ work she was doing wasn’t so casual.

    1. My partner works for benefit fraud with the local council, and believe me people who have stole hundreds of thousands of pounds still avoid prison, so I think most likely it will be, repay, suspended sentence and community service

  10. You can say it’s greed, but fact is a capitalist society has made it impossible for people to earn a good wage that keeps up with inflation. And this in a time where FTSE 100 chief executives who are earning in excess of £3m a year before bonuses, are crying out that recession mean pay rises and overtime have to be halted. Is it any wonder people falsely claim incapacity benefit? It’s all very well playing the moral card, but when you live a hand to mouth life people become desperate. I feel quite sorry for this woman, and for many others who are having their lives turned upside down over crappy amounts of money like this. There should be a minimum amount like £100k before threats of prison start getting thrown around.

    As for the central issue of this article, it is an absolute no brainer. If she has the misfortune to be sent to prison, she should go to a woman’s prison. She is a woman. I don’t give a damn what she was born as, that was a natural error out of her control.

    1. oh, and as for the treatment she would receive in prison from fellow inmates, I can’t imagine it would be any better in a male prison – if not worse. We cannot afford trans prisons, so she should receive the necessary extra protection and watchful eye. Simple. Ultimately though she shouldn’t be going to prison full stop.

    2. Sister Maray Clarence 31 May 2011, 2:14am

      Chris, I don’t know whether you work, but I work, and frankly I can’t afford to pay for people who are working to supplement their income by claiming incapacity, or any other benefit that they are not entitled to.

      It would be fantastic if we could all just hand out sacks of £20 motes to anyone a bit down on their luck and send then on their way with a cheery, “Go treat yourself”.

      However, whilst I’m sure Janet here has got her problems, she’s be taking the p1ss out of the benefits system and got caught.

      We actually know precious little about Janet, so for all we know she could have been blowing all her extra cahs on Alcopops and scratch cards.

      1. HelenWilson 31 May 2011, 9:39am

        What annoys me is whenever a trans person does something wrong and heads off to court it will end up making the national newspapers. I’m sure tens if not hundreds of Janet’s will be in courts around the country today, facing the same sort of fraud cases, most wont even make the local paper.

        She wont going to prison, she will get a conditional discharge probably for 12 months, fined and ordered to pay court costs.

        Some tabloid hack thought he would start a transgender menace in prison scare. It always goes down well with the white van man and concerned middle Englander of the home counties types.

        1. @Helen

          I’m certain every court case involving a trans person does not make the headlines – if you see the stats in the Prison Service estimate of the number of trans prisoners at any one time within the Prison Service estate this does not equates to much more than the small number of media stories …

      2. Yes, I work full time. And no, we certainly cannot afford to be handing out wads of cash. As I said, it is quite right that benefit cheaters are investigated and stopped, as well as made to repay the stolen money in full, perhaps with an added fine. However, it doesn’t make moral or financial sense to send someone to prison unless the amount is substantial, and in the grand scheme of benefit fraud, £12000 is nothing.

    3. Spanner1960 31 May 2011, 10:29am

      People used to get hanged for stealing a loaf of bread to eat.
      You cannot put a value on a law.

      Theft is theft whether it is £10 or £10m It is about the intent.
      The problem is often people are just too damned lazy to get it the hard way by working and resort to taking other people’s.

      1. Thanks, I understand that. However guidance can be given on sentencing the guilty, and that is where I was suggesting a monetary limit before prison sentences are handing out. I wasn’t saying no law would be broken at all if the amount fraudulently claimed were below a certain amount… obviously?

        And I sincerely hope you’re not suggesting we introduce the death penalty into all of this!

  11. Send him to prison.

    1. Such an erudite response, all in 4 words, Adam – but alas, this is not the crux of the conversation, is it? Please try to keep up.

  12. Of course, if imprisoned, she should go to a women’s prison. Please don’t forget the damage people like this do to people who really need incapacity benefit.

  13. It seems a bit sad that in the 21st century people on here even contemplated the idea of specialist “Trans Prisons”. If someone in the Daily Hate suggested specialist homosexual prisons can you imagine the moral outrage on here?
    The one case where I would categorically say ignore any claims of transness and just stick the scumbag in a dank hole was that rapist last year who requested to be sent to a womens prison,that was taking the p!ss.
    But as said,despite this person being a greedy fraudster who brings suspion upon all claiments its unlikely she will serve any time inside.

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