Jenny Swift

Jenny Swift
Photo via Liverpool Echo

Jenny / Jonathan Swift, a violent male who identifies as a trans woman, was remanded into custody at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court in November 2016, charged with the attempted murder of 26-year old Eric Flanagan. Swift, 49, a former soldier from Merseyside, was also charged with criminal damage. 

Mr Flanagan was stabbed numerous times to the face, chest and right arm before being attacked with a broken shovel during a sustained and “frenzied attack” on 15 November 2016. A paramedic who attended the scene described it as “the worst stabbing I’ve seen during my time with the ambulance service”.

Following Mr Flanagan’s death the Crown Prosecution Service authorised that Swift’s charge be updated to murder. However, the defendant was found dead in a cell at men’s Category B prison HMP Doncaster in December 2016, before being formally charged.

An inquest into Mr Flanagan’s death in October 2017 ruled that Mr Flanagan was unlawfully killed. While in custody Swift made a number of comments, including having “no remorse” for killing Mr Flanagan, the father of two young children.

As with all deaths in custody, there will be an independent investigation into Swift’s death by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman. An inquest was opened and adjourned in January 2017. Swift was reportedly taking hormones obtained without a prescription or under the supervision of a doctor, and had consumed alcohol and crack cocaine on the day Mr Flanagan was killed.

In documentation used by the police, crown prosecution service and the coroners’ court, Swift is referred to as Jonathan, which was the defendant’s registered name. This indicates the offence should be counted among male crime statistics rather than female, unlike the murder committed by Claire Darbyshire in 2016 or the attempted murder committed by Lauren Jeska which will both have been added to female crime statistics as they were listed as being perpetrated by a “female” person in court documentation.

Media reports


Daily Record

The Star

The Star

The Star

Liverpool Echo

The Sun

Doncaster Free Press