A TRANSGENDER prisoner — who was born a man — has been jailed for life for sexually abusing two women at a female prison and two earlier rapes.
Karen White — formerly a convicted paedophile known as Christopher Wood — donned a wig, make-up and fake breasts while being held in custody, but was said to have used her new identity to target female inmates.
Prosecutor Christopher Dunn told Leeds crown court: ‘She is allegedly a transgender female. The prosecution say allegedly because there’s smatterings of evidence in this case that the defendant’s approach to transitioning has been less than committed.
‘The prosecution suggest the reason for the lack of commitment towards transitioning is so the defendant can use a transgender persona to put herself in contact with vulnerable persons she can then abuse.’
White, 52, has been moved to a men’s prison. She was arrested last year for stabbing a neighbour with a steak knife but asked to be sent to a female-only jail while on remand because she identified as a woman. Prison service officials on a transgender case board agreed to her request despite previous convictions for indecent assault and gross indecency with a child.
White was sent to HMP New Hall in West Yorkshire, a women’s prison with a mother-and-baby unit, where she began gender realignment.
Within days she assaulted a female prisoner by sexually pressing up against her. She also exposed her male genitalia during the attack.
Later, White, who was born Stephen Wood, grabbed a second inmate’s hand and thrust it on to her fake breasts, telling her: ‘Oh look, they are not real ones.’
When police began to investigate, it emerged that White, who pleaded guilty to all charges, had raped a woman in her 20s up to six times in 2016. Another woman came forward to reveal she was raped in August 2003 when White was known as Stephen and living in Manchester. It had such a traumatic effect on her, she tried to take her own life.
While awaiting trial, White told probation officers she had a sexual interest in children and could abuse a child and ‘think nothing of it’.
Former neighbours expressed scepticism about her motivation in transitioning. One told The Times White had walked into her flat one day as a man ‘and walked out the next day as Karen’.
Judge Christopher Batty sentenced White, who appeared via videolink with shoulder-length blonde hair, to a minimum of nine-and-a-half years in jail. He told her: ‘You are a predator and highly manipulative and, in my view, you are a danger. You represent a significant risk of serious harm to children, to women and the general public.’
The Prison Service apologised for the mistakes made in the case. It said it worked ‘to manage all prisoners, including those who are transgender, sensitively and in line with the law’ but the safety of all prisoners ‘must be our absolute priority’.
White is ‘very unlikely’ to be moved back to a female jail, a source told Metro.