Richard McCabe / Melissa Young

Richard McCabe / 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. Young also claimed that the archangel St Michael had taken over their body as an instrument of God to punish the “unclean demon”.

It emerged during the trial that Young – who was 6ft 3 inches tall –  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 brandishing 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. Young’s former pimp also revealed that the other women at the brothel he ran “were frightened of [Young]. She would start these fights because she had an inferiority complex.”

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 in Stirling) Young was convicted of assault, having attacked and bitten 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.”

*Update February 2023*

Young featured in a Times article on 15 February 2023 in which Scottish prison authorities have been criticised for endangering vulnerable women after it emerged that four of the five transgender inmates held in the female prison estate are murderers. The fifth trans prisoner is believed to be child sex offender named Harryetta Thompson who has now been segregated from female prisoners after they discovered Thompson’s offending history.

Kate Coleman, of Keep Prisons Single Sex, said: “These are violent male offenders, all four of whom have caused significant problems in the female estate . . . including sexual exhibitionism (Stewart and Eastwood), harassment and stalking (Eastwood), sexual threats and inappropriate sexual relationships (Green) and violent assault (Young).”

Photo via Daily Record

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