A transgender man who tricked three women into sexual relationships by using a prosthetic penis has been jailed for 10 years.
Tarjit Singh, who was born a female named Hannah Walters but now identifies as a man, had abusive relationships with three women between June 2010 and March 2016.
The court heard how Singh threatened to set fire to one victim after attacking her with lighter fluid and subsequently fracturing her nose with a mobile phone. The court also heard how Singh slapped and punched her.
Singh, of Enfield, north London, was convicted of three counts of assault by penetration, six counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and one count of making a threat to kill, after a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court earlier this year.
During the course of the relationships, the 32-year-old would keep clothing on and have sex with the women using a prosthetic penis in the dark. One of the victims was 16 years old when the relationship began.
Giving the sentence on Wednesday, judge Oscar Del Fabbro said Singh represented a “risk to the public of serious harm in the future” and was a “dangerous offender” who had committed repeated acts of violence and assaults against three “vulnerable” victims.
He added that Singh was “an accomplished and manipulative liar” who had not been honest.
The judge added: “Instead of opening a frank and honest discussion about your gender and how you wanted to live your life, you chose a different path – you chose a path of deceit.
“You persuaded them you were male and acted like you were male.”
Singh will serve 10 years in prison with another three years on licence. A sexual harm prevention order was also imposed.
One of the victims said in an impact statement read out in court: “My mental health has been affected and I have severe anxiety and depression. I have had to take medication for depression.
“I was only 16 at the time and was at a very vulnerable place in my life. The defendant used this to his own advantage. They used me for their own sickening games.
“He had time to perfect his methods over the years and I was not the only one. I was so young when it happened and I ended up in an abusive relationship, which made me think this was normal behaviour in a relationship.
“I was robbed of the most important years of my life. I was unable to finish my studies and complete college.
“For a long time I was afraid of going out. I always feel like I have to watch over my shoulder.
“It will take me a long time to get over what I have gone through.”
Another victim said in her impact statement that she had not been able to rebuild her life after the abusive relationship.
“I had a miscarriage just before the trial and I had to think about Hannah,” the victim said. “I struggle to put into words how what Hannah did affected me.
“Nothing can explain the impact on me physically, emotionally and mentally. I am still not over it and struggle to imagine a time when I will be over what happened.
“I don't feel myself any more. I don't like going to places where there will be a lot of people.
“I used to be a fun-loving girl. I feel he has stolen my twenties off me. I am too scared to go to places and constantly feel scared of new people. This has affected my relationship with my partner as I don't trust people. I get scared of what is going to happen to me next.
“I have a recurring nightmare and wake up scared about what happened to me. I just want this pain she caused me to stop and stop it happening to anyone else.
“I hope the sentence she receives reflects the seriousness of the crimes and trauma she has caused.”
The 32-year-old met vulnerable victims through social media and in chicken shops, with the third victim – who has learning difficulties – being lured through a dating site called Plenty of Fish.
Singh was caught out after a relationship became abusive and the victim made a complaint to the police. The investigation then linked back to two earlier victims.
During the trial, the prosecution was able to present mobile phone evidence that showed a history of websites visited by Singh, which included FreeToMProsthetics.com, a company that makes ultra-realistic prosthetic penises.
The judge praised the victims and their families for “reliving the trauma” of the “gruelling” events by giving evidence during the trial to ensure Singh faced justice.
Melissa Garner, from the CPS, said: “These victims have been deceived, betrayed and lied to in the most disturbing and traumatic of ways. One of the victims was just 16 years old when she met the defendant.
“Singh has never admitted his crimes and has continued to claim that these victims were aware of his gender.
“Sexual offences can be some of the most complex cases that we prosecute. I hope these convictions go some way in providing the victims with closure. The CPS is committed to bringing sexual offenders to justice.”