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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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Investigation after transgender woman found dead in all-male prison

Vicky Thompson had reportedly requested to be transferred to a female jail.

File photo: Armley prison, Leeds
File photo: Armley prison, Leeds
Image: Google Maps

UK POLICE HAVE launched an investigation after a transgender woman was found dead in an all-male prison.

The BBC reports that Vicky Thompson, 21, who was being held at Armley prison in Leeds, had told friends she would kill herself if she was sent there.

Friends of Thompson, who was born in a male body but had identified as female since she was a teenager, claimed she had requested to be transferred to a female jail.

Thompson’s boyfriend, Robert Steele, told the broadcaster that he had spoken to her a day before her death.

“She didn’t like it in there because people were saying things to her because she was dressing as a female,” he said.

Thompson, who had not undergone gender reassignment surgery, was a vulnerable transgender person, the BBC quotes her solicitor, Mohammed Hussain, as saying.

Activists and politicians have reacted angrily to the news on social media, saying she should never have been held in a male facility.

Thompson was given a 12-month jail sentence in August, which was suspended for 24 months.

It is understood she was remanded at Bradford Crown Court after breaching the terms of her sentence.

UK prison regulations state that prisoners should be placed according to the gender on their birth certificate, unless they are “sufficiently advanced in the gender reassignment process”.

TheJournal.ie has asked the UK Prison Service for comment.

Read: Dublin flooring company says Caitlyn Jenner ad is a ‘celebration’ of trans people

Read: How did Kellie Maloney get on at the LGBT matchmaking festival?

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Catherine Healy

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