Nicola Sturgeon dodges over publishing trans rapist reviewFebruary 9, 2023
Nicola Sturgeon faces fresh storm over trans rapist Isla Bryson as she suggests case review ‘findings’ will be released TODAY – but refuses to confirm it will be published in full
- Nicola Sturgeon dodged over whether trans rapist review will be released in full
- Review ordered after outcry that Isla Bryson was placed in a women’s prison
Nicola Sturgeon is facing a fresh storm over the trans rapist case after she suggested the ‘findings’ of a review will be released today – but refused to confirm the report will be published in full.
The SNP leader dodged as she was grilled at First Minister’s Questions on when the results of the urgent review will appear.
The investigation was ordered by Scottish Justice Secretary Keith Brown after a public outcry that Isla Bryson had initially been placed in a women’s prison.
Bryson – who will be sentenced later this month for raping two women while she was a man – was then moved to the men’s estate.
The review was due to be completed by the Scottish Prison Service last Friday, and Ms Sturgeon confirmed Mr Brown has now received it – suggesting the headline conclusions will be out later.
Nicola Sturgeon dodged as she was grilled at First Minister’s Questions on when the results of the urgent review will appear
The investigation was ordered by Scottish Justice Secretary Keith Brown after a public outcry that Isla Bryson (pictured) had initially been placed in a women’s prison
Gender protests held outside Holyrood
Protesters have gathered outside Holyrood to urge Scottish ministers against placing transgender criminals in female prisons.
Women’s rights campaigners with For Women Scotland joined with reform group Keep Prisons Safe and chanted ‘shame’ at the decision to place prisoners who have self-identified as female in Cornton Vale, Scotland’s only all-female jail.
The group said urgent questions must be answered on how the Scottish Prison Service, which assesses transgender allocation based on ‘risk’, deemed the placements suitable.
Scottish Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton told the crowd that the case of double rapist Isla Bryson, who was a man known as Adam Graham at the time of the offences, exposed ‘major flaws’ in current policy.
‘The findings of the report will be published,’ Ms Sturgeon said.
‘The Cabinet Secretary confirmed – I believe he confirmed in this chamber – that he will update the Criminal Justice Committee this week, Parliament rises today for this week and both the Cabinet Secretary and the chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service Teresa Medhurst will actually attend the Justice Committee on February 22.’
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross urged the First Minister to commit to publishing the full report rather than just ‘findings’.
He said: ‘Why not publish the findings and the full report that your Justice Secretary has had for over 24 hours?’
Mr Ross also questioned the First Minister on the case of Tiffany Scott, who was convicted of stalking a 13-year-old girl while Andrew Burns and had requested to be moved to the female prison estate.
On the day reports of Scott’s request appeared, a Scottish Government pause on the housing of trans prisoners with a history of violence against women in the female estate was put in place.
Mr Ross said his party has spoken to a retired prison officer who said officers had been ‘threatened with disciplinary measures’ if they refused to refer to Scott with female pronouns.
‘They said that Scott ‘has used gender recognition as a tool to create as much chaos as possible within the prison system’,’ Mr Ross added.
The officer, the Tory leader claimed, continued: ‘This is a classic example of devious, dangerous individuals who are exploiting this dangerous situation.’
Reports have also claimed that female prison officers have had to carry out strip searches of Scott while in prison, something Mr Ross said was ‘completely unacceptable’, urging the First Minister to intervene.
Ms Sturgeon said: ‘Those on the prison estate are dealt with depending on the nature of the crime and the nature of the risk posed and, again, it’s important for reasons of public assurance to underline that as well, and that is demonstrated in the two recent cases that have been cited in the media in recent days and here again today.’
She said the SPS has been dealing with transgender prisoners for ‘many, many years now’ and have been doing so ‘safely and effectively’, and that the prison service can use technology to search prisoners.
‘The SPS is experienced in these matters, I trust their handling of these matters and it’s important that we continue to ensure they are handled appropriately,’ the First Minister said.
Protesters have gathered outside Holyrood to urge Scottish ministers against placing transgender criminals in female prisons
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