Transgender rapist in women’s prison in Scotland raises safety fears, says Joanna Cherry MP | UK News – Reported Crime

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A convicted transgender rapist should not be held in a women’s prison as it raises safety concerns, an SNP MP has said.

Isla Bryson, 31, was this week found guilty of raping two women while she was a man.

Bryson attacked one victim in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, in 2016 and another in Drumchapel, Glasgow, in 2019.

During the trial, the High Court in Glasgow heard that Bryson now identifies as a transgender woman and was previously named Adam Graham.

Giving evidence, Bryson claimed she knew she was transgender at the age of four but did not make the decision to transition until she was 29.

She is currently taking hormones and seeking surgery to complete gender reassignment.

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Bryson had denied the charges and claimed any sex was consensual

Following her conviction, Bryson was remanded in custody pending sentencing next month.

It is understood she is currently being held at Cornton Vale women’s prison in Stirling.

‘I think we should be talking about these cases’

SNP MP Joanna Cherry, chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, said she is “very concerned” about the safety of the women prisoners at Cornton Vale.

Speaking to Times Radio, Ms Cherry said: “To many people, it will look like this convicted rapist has gamed the system in order to try and garner sympathy, and to end up in a women’s prison. And I think a lot of people will be shocked by that.

“So I think we should be talking about these cases. And women in prison are very vulnerable. Many women in prison have themselves been abused, and have suffered injuries over the years. And so they’re particularly vulnerable. And perhaps some people would say nobody really cares about prisoners.

“But the point about human rights is that they’re universal, and they apply to everyone. So I’m very concerned about the safety of women prisoners, with whom a convicted rapist has been placed.”

Joanna Cherry speaks at the For Women Scotland and the Scottish Feminist Network demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, ahead of the vote on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill. Picture date: Wednesday December 21, 2022.
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Joanna Cherry MP said that Bryson should be held in a men’s prison

Ms Cherry thinks Bryson should be held in a men’s prison.

Her comments come after the UK government blocked Holyrood’s controversial Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) Bill which would speed up and simplify the process for trans people to obtain a gender recognition certificate (GRC).

Bryson first appeared in court as Adam Graham in 2019 and was later named in court papers the following year – around the time she decided to transition – as Isla Annie Bryson.

Bryson, from Clydebank, had denied the charges and claimed any sex was consensual.

Addressing Bryson in the dock on Tuesday, judge Lord Scott said: “You have been convicted by the jury of two extremely serious charges; those being charges of rape.”

He told her the crimes were “considerable” and that “a significant sentence is inevitable”.

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The Scottish government said the Scottish Prison Service uses “comprehensive individualised risk assessments” to inform decisions such as the placement of prisoners, and “not the basis of a Gender Recognition Certificate”.

A spokesperson added: “The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill does not change this process in any way.”

A Scottish Prison Service spokesperson said: “Decisions by the SPS as to the most appropriate location to accommodate transgender people are made on an individualised basis, informed by a multi-disciplinary assessment of both risk and need.

“Such decisions seek to protect both the wellbeing and rights of the individual as well as the welfare and rights of others around them, including staff, in order to achieve an outcome that balances risks and promotes the safety of all.

“Where there are any concerns about any risks posed by an individual, either to themselves or others, we retain the ability to keep them separate from the mainstream population until an agreed management plan is in place.”

Transgender rapist in women’s prison in Scotland raises safety fears, says Joanna Cherry MP | UK News

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