Transgender woman sent to male prison loses appeal

Tara Hudson says she suffers daily sexually harassment at HMP Bristol, where she is serving time for assault

A transgender woman who was sent to an all-male prison in Bristol has lost an appeal against her sentence.

Tara Hudson was given a 12 week sentence for assaulting a bar manager and sent to a jail for male inmates despite identifying as a woman.

Her appeal was today dismissed after it was ruled that Hudson had a "worrying criminal record" that includes eight previous convictions, the BBC reports.

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In response to calls for her to be moved to a women's prison, the judge ruled that it is for "the prison service and not the court to establish where a sentence should be served".

The 26-year old from Bath has lived as a woman since she was a teenager and has undergone years of surgical and hormone treatments, but has not yet been legally recognised as a woman.

Her case sparked a national campaign to have her moved to a women's facility, with LGBT groups warning that Hudson is at risk of abuse and sexual violence in a male prison.

"Can you imagine putting a woman who looks like [Hudson] in a male prison," Cheryl Morgan, a transgender member of LGBT Bristol and Diversity Trust, told the Daily Telegraph.

Hudson's mother says she has already been the victim of sexual harassment. "Inmates are screaming from their cells: 'Tara, Tara, Tara, show us your tits'", Jackie Brooklyn told The Guardian.

A petition calling for Hudson to be moved to a women's prison has received more than 150,000 signatures and demonstrations have been planned for tomorrow in London and Bristol.

"In an era of unprecedented victories for LGBT rights, people like Tara are still paying a high price at the hands of an outdated and outmoded judicial system, simply for being who they are," it says.

The Prison Service argues that it is "long-standing policy to place offenders according to their legally recognised gender. There are strict rules in place to ensure transsexual prisoners are managed safely and in accordance with the law."

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