Connect with us

World

Ex-governor of Scottish women’s prison ‘would have quit’ over Isla Bryson

News Agencies

Published

on

The retired governor of a Scottish women’s prison housing transgender double rapist Isla Bryson declared today that if she were still in charge and had to take in the sex attacker, she would quit. 

Rhona Hotchkiss believes it is ‘appalling’ the 31-year-old was sent to Cornton Vale jail after being convicted of raping two women while a man, Adam Graham.

Bryson is being held at Scotland’s only full female jail while risk assessments are carried out ahead of sentencing on February 28. But critics say the abuser is a danger to women and the case has prompted calls for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon‘s stalling Gender Recognition Reform Bill to be reviewed.

Advertisement

Miss Hotchkiss is an ally of JK Rowling and director of the author’s Beira’s Place project – a ‘woman-only’ sexual violence support service in Edinburgh that does not cater for trans women.

The retired prison boss said: ‘This [Isla Bryson] would have been a resignation issue for me. I am absolutely clear about the fact that they should be in a male prison – you simply cannot have someone like this terrorising women. It’s appalling. The thought that a double rapist can identify his way into a women’s prison should shock everyone.

‘The other shocking aspect is, the Scottish parliament could have chosen to legislate against that happening and they didn’t.’

Advertisement

Ms Sturgeon will come under fresh pressure today over the decision to place Bryson in a women’s prison. She will be grilled at First Ministers Questions at noon amid fury from Scottish Tories and demands for an explanation. 

Transgender rapist Isla Bryson (pictured at Glasgow's High Court) has been sent to a women's prison despite carrying out the crimes as a man and transitioning after being charged

Isla Bryson, 31, was known as Adam Graham (pictured) and had a Mike Tyson-style face tattoo during the violent sex attacks in 2016 and 2019

Transgender rapist Isla Bryson has been sent to a women’s prison despite carrying out the crimes as a man and transitioning after being charged

Rhona Hotchkiss (bottom right) is a director of the women-only sexual violence support service Beira's Place in Edinburgh, which will not cater for trans women. It is funded by Ms Rowling, who is a director with (left to right back row) Susan Smith, Johann Lamont and Margaret McCartney

Rhona Hotchkiss (bottom right) is a director of the women-only sexual violence support service Beira’s Place in Edinburgh, which will not cater for trans women. It is funded by Ms Rowling, who is a director with (left to right back row) Susan Smith, Johann Lamont and Margaret McCartney

Miss Hotchkiss told LBC Radio: ‘Before I left I was in a very difficult situation where I was refusing to force female staff to search male-bodied prisoners and I was told that I would be making life very difficult for myself.

‘Had I not been going to take early retirement anyway, I would have stayed and pursued that. But today, this would have been a resignation issue for me.

Advertisement

‘I have no doubt this is a red line I would not have crossed and as the governor of Cornton Vale I would have refused to have this person in my prison.’

Scotland’s First Minister was questioned at a press conference on Monday at St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh about appalling signs at the Rally for Trans Equality in Glasgow on Saturday.

Police Scotland has said it is investigating after reports into a sign at the rally. SNP MP Kirsten Oswald and her party colleague, MSP Kaukab Stewart, were pictured with signs in the background calling to ‘decapitate TERFs [trans-exclusionary radical feminists]’.

Advertisement

Miss Hotchkiss tweeted of Ms Sturgeon: ‘Women have been telling her for years that violent misogyny is a cornerstone of trans ideology & she’s been ignoring us. She still is’.

It comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab slammed Ms Sturgeon after she Bryson from the women’s prison. 

Downing Street showed ‘concerns’ about the Scottish government putting the male-bodied rapist in a women’s prison. 

Advertisement

The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said he had ‘seen the reporting and understands the concerns’ over the decision to let the transgender woman – formerly known as Adam Graham – be held in a women’s prison despite raping two women. 

Mr Raab tweeted that such a move would not happen south of the border, after the Government overhauled rules to stop transgender sex offenders from being held in women’s prisons. 

Downing Street showed 'concerns' about the Scottish government putting a male-bodied rapist in a women's prison - in a move that will place pressure on Nicola Sturgeon to reverse the decision

Downing Street showed ‘concerns’ about the Scottish government putting a male-bodied rapist in a women’s prison – in a move that will place pressure on Nicola Sturgeon to reverse the decision

Rishi Sunak's spokesperson said he had 'seen the reporting and understands the concerns' over the decision

Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said he had ‘seen the reporting and understands the concerns’ over the decision

Under the changes, Mr Raab said transgender women who had committed sex crimes or retained male genitalia could not be held in women’s prisons except in the most exceptional cases authorised by ministers.    

Advertisement

Both Downing Street and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) revealed they were powerless to stop the Scottish government’s move as criminal justice is a devolved responsibility. 

The decision has no wider impact on the UK’s equality laws or practices in English and Welsh jails.  

A government source told The Telegraph: ‘The point is that we are taking a more common sense approach. We are going further in our reform of the prison rules in a way that the public would expect to ensure that prisoners get the safety they would expect behind bars.’

Advertisement

Bryson only started to transition after appearing in court on the rape charges. MPs and MSPs warned yesterday that female inmates could be at risk, and the move sent a signal that male sex offenders could ‘game the system’. 

The case has prompted calls for Nicola Sturgeon’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill to be reviewed. 

The Bill, which was blocked by Mr Sunak, would allow anyone over the age of 16 to ‘self-identify’ as the opposite sex without the need for medical evidence or diagnosis. 

Advertisement

Nationalist MP Joanna Cherry told Times Radio: ‘To many people, it will look like this convicted rapist has gamed the system [and] a lot of people will be shocked by that.

‘Women in prison are very vulnerable. Many have themselves been abused and suffered injuries over the years. 

‘The point about human rights is that they’re universal, and they apply to everyone.

Advertisement

‘So I’m very concerned about the safety of women prisoners, with whom a convicted rapist has been placed. 

‘Under Scots law, the crime of rape can only be committed by somebody with a penis, and that’s a man. I think we should call out what’s happened here.’ 

An amendment to the Bill that would have prevented people changing gender while awaiting trial was proposed by the Tories but was voted down by MSPs. 

Advertisement

In an urgent question at Holyrood yesterday, Scottish Tory community safety spokesman Russell Findlay said: ‘This scenario is exactly what I tried to stop during the passage of Nicola Sturgeon’s Bill, but my amendment was voted down by the narrowest of margins. 

‘Even with this flawed Bill in limbo, violent criminals are exploiting the system and putting vulnerable women at risk.’ 

Justice Secretary Keith Brown said: ‘I trust the Scottish Prison Service to deal with this. 

Advertisement

‘They do not, as is the case in England and Wales, have their process determined by the presence of a gender recognition certificate. So if somebody did have a GRC, it wouldn’t guarantee them the right to be transferred to the place of their choice.

‘Every decision is carried out on the basis of risk.’ 

Mr Findlay said: ‘Rather than direct the SPS to block this rapist and any others from being sent to a women’s prison, the justice secretary passed the buck to them.’ 

Advertisement

He added: ‘I’d urge Nicola Sturgeon to admit she has got this badly wrong and include our amendment in any redrafted version of the Bill.’ 

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said ‘common sense’ changes in England ‘will mean transgender women who have committed sex crimes or retain male genitalia can’t be held in women’s prisons’. 

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said: ‘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.’ 

Advertisement

Miss Sturgeon told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: ‘There is no automatic right for a trans woman convicted of an offence to go to a women’s prison. 

‘The SPS individually assesses all prisoners or potential prisoners, does detailed risk assessments of the safety of the individual prisoner [and] of those that will be around the individual prisoner. 

‘This is about individual risk assessments.’

Advertisement

The news is provided by Daily Mail © 2022 Daily Mails, published & Edited by EMEA Tribune210520-twitter-verified-cs-70cdee.jpg (1500×750)

The latest news from the News Agencies

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Breaking News

Editor Pick’s

Latest Entertainment

Entertainment9 hours ago

Titans and Doom Patrol canceled after 4 seasons

The end is coming for both Titans and Doom Patrol. On Wednesday, HBO Max axed both of the DC Comics...

Entertainment10 hours ago

Austin Butler Finally Gives Ex Vanessa Hudgens Credit for Elvis Inspiration

Austin Butler has nothing but burning gratitude for his ex Vanessa Hudgens. The Elvis star finally thanked his former girlfriend—who...

Entertainment12 hours ago

Adam Scott shares interaction on set of ‘Boy Meets World’ that’s been ‘tugging at’ him for nearly 3 decades

Adam Scott attends the AFI Awards Luncheon at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on Jan. 13 in...

Entertainment12 hours ago

Diane Keaton says she hasn’t been on a date in 15 years: ‘I’m kind of odd, but I’m doing fine’

Diane Keaton’s makes some funny confessions love life in new interview. (Photo: Reuters) Could Diane Keaton and Richard Gere have...

Entertainment14 hours ago

Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and Wife Lauren Welcome Second Baby, Daughter Mia Bella: Photos

mike sorrentino courtesy of mike and lauren sorrentino Mike Sorrentino and Lauren Sorrentino are officially parents of two! The Jersey...

Entertainment16 hours ago

Razzie Awards face sharp criticism for nominating ‘Firestarter’ child star: ‘Repulsive and wrong’ (updated)

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in ‘Firestarter’ (Photo: Ken Woroner/Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection) UPDATE Jan. 25, 2023: In response to the outcry,...

Entertainment16 hours ago

Razzie Awards apologize after ‘repulsive’ nomination for ‘Firestarter’ child star (updated)

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in ‘Firestarter’ (Photo: Ken Woroner/Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection) UPDATE Jan. 25, 2023: In response to the outcry,...

Entertainment16 hours ago

Pamela Anderson doc director ‘not surprised’ Tim Allen, Sylvester Stallone are denying anecdotes, but says ‘her North Star is honesty’

Filmmaker Ryan White — who is behind Netflix’s Pamela Anderson doc — says “she just cannot be dishonest,” amid denials...

Advertisement

Latest Sports

Sports40 mins ago

NFL playoffs picks, predictions: Eagles, Bengals to Super Bowl with wins vs. 49ers, Chiefs

Which teams will win the NFC Championship Game and the AFC Championship Game to advance to the Super Bowl?

Sports1 hour ago

Here’s what could give Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes the most trouble with his ankle injury

How might Patrick Mahomes be limited against the Bengals? Here’s what medical pros with high-ankle sprain experience say.

Sports2 hours ago

Eagles vs. 49ers NFC championship tickets are on track to be NFL’s most expensive conference title game ever

The average price for a ticket to Sunday's NFC title game reached $2,468 on Monday.

Sports2 hours ago

Kendrick Nunn fits right in with Wizards in impressive debut

After months of injuries and roster setbacks, Nunn's Wizards debut proves he has a lot left in the tank.

Sports3 hours ago

Scott Rolen elected to Baseball Hall of Fame while Alex Rodriguez again falls well short

The eight-time Gold Glover barely cleared the 75% vote threshold for induction.

Sports3 hours ago

Bills GM takes a bite out of the Bengals in a display of brutal honesty I The Rush

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane was asked about what his team could borrow from the Cincinnati Bengals’ successful receiving...

Sports4 hours ago

LeBron welcomes back AD, keeps chasing Kareem

LeBron James scored 20 points and nearly had a triple-double, while Anthony Davis returned in style as the Lakers took...

Sports4 hours ago

Warriors star Stephen Curry ejected after throwing mouthguard over Jordan Poole shot vs. Grizzlies

Stephen Curry was not happy with Jordan Poole — and officials tossed him from the game in the final seconds...

Technology Hot News

Technology1 week ago

Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" .. the technology giants are planning to lay off 64,000 employees

After 10 years of driving the stock market bull run, big tech companies are racing to downsize staff to adapt...

Technology1 week ago

Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors

Yesterday, Tuesday, Apple unveiled MacBooks powered by the new, faster “M2 Pro” and “M2 Max” processor chips, in a surprise...

Technology1 week ago

All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung

Samsung has officially announced that the (Galaxy Unpacked 2023) event will be held this year on Wednesday, February 1, which...

Technology1 week ago

FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency

Bankrupt American cryptocurrency firm FTX announced today, Wednesday, that $415 million in cryptocurrency has been hacked and stolen from the...

Technology1 week ago

Because of a "fraudulent tweet"… Elon Musk's trial begins

Elon Musk's trial began Tuesday in San Francisco with the selection of jury members who will have to decide whether...

Technology1 week ago

An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions

Experts have developed an electric spoon that is able to replace spices and flavors and affect the taste buds in...

Technology2 weeks ago

The biggest dangers of using tracking devices.. so you can escape?

If you spot an unknown Bluetooth tagging device, there are ways to disable the device so it can't track your...

Technology2 weeks ago

New Twitter.. For You tab to web version

The Twitter platform announced that it will bring the new tab (For You), which launched last Tuesday for iPhones and...

Advertisement