Jessica Winfield / Martin Ponting

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Jessica Winfield / Martin Ponting, a violent male who identifies as a trans woman, was convicted of raping two girls in 1995 and sentenced to life imprisonment. Winfield/Ponting begun medical intervention to live as a trans woman while in prison but had not undergone gender reassignment (i.e. surgical removal of the penis) when transferred from category A men’s prison HMP Whitemoor, in Cambridgeshire, to women’s prison HMP Bronzefield in March 2017.

Pink News headline, Sep 2017

It was reported in September 2017 that Winfield/Ponting had been segregated from the female general population at Bronzefield after making ‘unwanted advances’ i.e. sexually threatening other prisoners, at least half of whom will have experienced domestic/sexual violence previously.

Pink News, however noted that media coverage which ‘misgendered’ and ‘deadnamed’ Winfield/Ponting was ‘horrifying’, rather than the fact that a rapist had sexually terrorised women (likely already traumatised by sexual violence) who had no way to escape from the threat posed.  See also Paris Green who had to be moved to a male prison after sexually pursuing female prisoners in two different female prisons.

Given that the vast majority of rapists, even child rapists given life sentences, do not spend over 20 years in prison, it can reasonably be inferred that there were considerable aggravating factors in Winfield/Ponting’s sexual offending which merited extended incarceration to protect the public from the ongoing risk the prisoner poses. One of Winfield/Ponting’s victims was a girl under 16 and the other was a disabled family friend.

Winfield was also reported as being involved with petty crime and was caught with a sawn-off shotgun and testing homemade explosives after police were alerted.

The Sun front page, 21 March 2017

One of Winfield’s victims commented to The Sun “He has no conception of consequences, he has no filter to say what is right and what isn’t. He is a danger to everyone around him.” She also added, “There are not enough words to describe him and the evil he has done. It is diabolical they have allowed him to have a sex change and diabolical that he could be freed this year.”

Winfield’s own brother Nigel, also commented “The best they could do is throw away the key. He is a menace to the public and people need to be warned about him.”

Media reports:

The Sun https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4400327/transgender-rapist-womens-prison/

Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4856268/Transgender-rapist-moved-women-jail-segregated.html

Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4333384/Double-rapist-10k-sex-change-moved-female-jail.html

The Sun https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3137217/victims-fury-as-double-rapist-who-attacked-two-young-girls-is-moved-to-a-women-only-jail-after-10k-nhs-sex-change-op/

The Sun https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3145822/transgender-double-rapist-had-10000-nhs-sex-change-just-to-get-noticed-says-ex-partner/

Pink News http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/21/decision-to-move-trans-woman-prisoner-to-all-female-prison-criticised-as-diabolical/

BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/6329095.stm