Rapist who underwent gender transition has been moved to a women’s prison

Convicted sex offender Jessica Winfield, formerly Martin Ponting, relocated to HMP Bronzefield

Aine Fox
Tuesday 21 March 2017 09:15 GMT
The prison has been subject to scrutiny in the past over inmate deaths
The prison has been subject to scrutiny in the past over inmate deaths (PA)

A rapist has been moved to a women-only prison after having gender reassignment surgery to become female, it has been reported.

Jessica Winfield, formerly known as Martin Ponting, was relocated to HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, the Sun said.

The convicted rapist was previously held at top-security Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire, one of Britain's toughest jails.

Ten years ago Winfield complained of being victimised by staff and inmates because she was at that time a male transsexual.

She wrote to prisoners' newspaper Inside Time to say she was given a “hard time because of my sexuality, possibly through lack of understanding and empathy”.

One of Ponting's victims described the fact he was allowed a sex change as “diabolical”.

She told the newspaper: “There are not enough words to describe him and the evil he has done.

“It is diabolical they have allowed him to have a sex change and diabolical that he could be freed this year.

“He may have changed physically but his brain is still the same.”

A Prison Service spokesman said: “We do not comment on individuals.”

John Pilley, also known as Jane Anne, made legal history in 1999 when he became the first inmate in England and Wales to be granted permission for a sex change operation.

Pilley was serving life for attempted murder and kidnapping a woman taxi driver.

It was later reported he decided to become a man again and was waiting to have his second operation on the NHS.

Campaign group Voice4Victims said Wingate's case “highlights the great imbalance of equality within our justice system”.

Claire Waxman told the Sun help for victims and sex change operations for prisoners should be funded equally.


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