Current Affairs

Trans prisoner died by suicide, inquest rules

Tony Grew April 14, 2008
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A woman who hanged herself in her prison cell after complaining of harassment because she had transitioned committed suicide, an inquest into her death has ruled.

Lisa Woodhall was serving a four and half year sentence after she slashed the throat of her boyfriend’s ex-lover.

She had complained that she was being victimised and picked on by other inmates because she had transitioned from being a man.

Woodhall, who had undergone gender reassignment surgery in 2004, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent at Plymouth Crown Court in September 2005.

She was found hanging in her cell at Eastwood Park Prison in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire on October 6th 2006. She was 28.

The inquest in Bristol heard how Ms Woodhall was called a “transvestite” by fellow inmates despite her transition.

The jury of five men and five women were asked by the coroner to consider whether the prison authorities had acted to secure Ms Woodhall’s safety.

They ruled that she had received adequate care while in prison.

“The verdict was what I expected, there were one or two things I didn’t agree with, but you are banging your head against a brick wall when you are fighting the system,” Ms Woodhall’s stepfather, Michael Brindley, told the Plymouth Evening Herald.

“She shouldn’t have been in there in the first place, but that’s where she was.”

“I grow tired of this war,” Ms Woodhall wrote in a note discovered by prison staff.

“Perhaps death is the only way out. I expect no heaven only hell.

“Perhaps I’m not dying by my own hand.

“I’m murdered by ignorance and lack of appropriate care and help.

“A secure psychiatric hospital may have offered treatment, yet I suspect this option was never looked at. I’m too logical?

“Goodbye world and goodbye to those not involved in the plot against me.”

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