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Crime

Inquest opens into death of trans woman in male prison

Nick Duffy November 25, 2015

An inquest has opened following the death of trans woman Vicky Thompson in a male prison.

21-year-old Vicky Thompson was found dead inside male prison HMP Leeds earlier this month.

Ms Thompson had been living as female for some time, but was sent to a male prison as she had not gone through the bureaucratic process to obtain a legal Gender Recognition Certificate.

Her inquest today heard that Ms Thompson had previously threatened to kill herself if sent to a male prison, and was considered “at risk of self-harm”.

According to ITN, the Wakefield Coroner’s Court inquest was adjourned pending investigations by both the police and prison service.

Ms Thompson’s death came just weeks after a public pressure campaign succeeded in securing the move of another trans woman, Tara Hudson, out of an all-male facility.

Existing law currently makes provisions for trans prisoners without a GRC to be sent to the prison of their preferred gender – but activists have warned that the rules are not always consistently taken into account.

The government has pledged full support to an ongoing review of the procedures surrounding the handling of trans inmates.

However, ministers this week resisted calls from peers to take emergency action to assess the location of the current transgender prison population.

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