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Transsexual woman wins pension battle

A married man who became a woman has won her fight to receive a pension from the age of 60, five years earlier than if she had stayed a man.

Christopher Timbrell, 68, changed his name to Christine in 2000 after a sex change. In 2002, she applied to the Inland Revenue for her state pension, which she asked to be backdated to her 60th birthday a year earlier.

But her new gender status was not recognised in law because she has not divorced her wife, Joy. Most transsexuals, under 2004 legislation, are entitled to enjoy the full status of their new gender, but the new law had a caveat that married transsexuals could only apply to have their gender recognised if their marriages had been annulled or dissolved.

Ms Timbrell took her case to the Court of Appeal after the Department of Work and Pensions said she was entitled to a state pension from the age of 65, the usual age for a man.