Melissa Young

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Melissa Young, a violent male who identifies as a trans woman, was convicted of the murder of a neighbour, Alan Williamson in Edinburgh on Christmas Day 2013. Young, 37, was sentenced at the High Court at Livingston in 2014 and must serve at least 20 years before applying for parole. The Crown had earlier rejected Young’s plea of guilty to culpable homicide.

Mr Williamson sustained 29 injuries from multiple stab wounds; 12 to the left side of his chest, 12 to his left upper limb and five to his left lower limb, all  inflicted by a kitchen knife with a six-inch blade. Young tried to blame the victim for his own murder by saying the “cruel and wicked attack”  was provoked by him not liking the Christmas presents Young had given him.

When police arrived at Young’s flat, the defendant was covered in blood and told them: “The power it gave me was amazing.” A toxicology report revealed that blood taken after arrest showed traces of four different drugs and Young was later found to be over the drink drive limit. A doctor told the court Young was was liable to “violent and dangerous outbursts”, was on 14 prescription drugs, inhaled solvents daily, drank to excess and had smoked heroin the morning before the alleged murder.

It emerged during the trial that Young had previously abducted and assaulted Mr Williamson earlier in 2013, after falsely alleging that he’d stolen Young’s house keys, confining him against his will and presenting a knife at him, placing him in such a state of apprehension for his safety that he jumped from the first floor balcony of the flat to the garden below.

Passing sentence, Judge Lord Boyd told Young “Having murdered him you set about trying to persuade health professionals that you were suffering from diminished responsibility. While it’s true that you have a severe personality disorder it’s clear it played no part in what happened that night.” He also added “You showed no remorse, in fact you told this court that you were ‘indifferent’ to his death.”

While on remand at HMP Cornton Vale, a woman’s prison, Young was convicted of assault having attacked and bit a female prison officer in the stomach in June 2014, drawing blood. Young lunged towards the prison officer , seizing and pulling her by the hair, causing her to fall to the floor, then lay on top of her kicked and struggled with her before administering the bite. An allegation that Young assaulted a second female warder and bit her on the body, also causing injury, was dropped by the prosecution. Young was sentenced to a further six months imprisonment for the assault, despite the defence attempting to cite Young’s transgender status as mitigation by telling the court “There is a substantial medical health background as she is transgender.”

Media reports

BBC http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-28811152

Edinburgh News http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/murder-trial-transgender-woman-claims-posession-1-3505691

Edinburgh News http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/crime/transgender-woman-killed-neighbour-at-christmas-1-3384994

Edinburgh News http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transgender-killer-bit-prison-officer-1-3565393 archive