Transgender woman Vicky Thompson was found dead in her cell in Armley jail, Leeds on Friday. She had previously told friends she would “kill herself” if she was forced to serve time in a male prison. Words: Megan Townsend, Subeditor: Bea Renshaw
Thompson who had identified as a female since her mid-teens, asked to be sent to a female prison during her sentencing in August. Her 12 month sentence had been suspended for 24 months, however Thompson had breached her parole and was remanded in custody at Bradford Crown Court.
Her solicitor had insisted that Vicky was “essentially a woman” and should not be sent to Armley, and instead New Hall womens prison near Wakefield.
According to UK law, transgender women can only be assigned to female prisons if they have acquired a gender recognition certificate. This allows them to be legally considered as a woman, or states that they are “sufficiently advanced in the gender reassignment process”.
Her boyfriend, Robert Steele, had spoken to Vicky the day before and had booked to visit her in Armley. He said: “She didn’t like it in there because people were saying things to her because she was dressing as a female,” the BBC reported.
A Prison spokesperson confirmed there would be a full enquiry into her death, and it was not being treated as suspicious.