Kira Leverton

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Kira Leverton, a violent male who identifies as a trans woman, was convicted in June 2017 of multiple sex offences against children including inciting a young boy and girl in a country outside the UK to engage in sexual activity via an online gaming app and possession of images depicting child sexual abuse.

Judge David Ticehurst (who has given lenient sentences to paedophiles in the past) imposed a two year community order and 40 days rehabilitation activities. Leverton, 29, was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) and must sign the sexual offenders register for five years.

When arrested Leverton told police “It’s a girl thing. I like them ages six and up.” The court was told Leverton, 29, “was not interested in very young children”  but that 11 and 12 year olds “hit the mark”.

Screengrab from Somerset Live

Leverton’s defence team told the court the defendant was awaiting surgery to complete transition from male to trans woman, saying: “If she is sentenced to imprisonment you can imagine the problems that could cause. Prison is not geared up to cope with people in her position” and that prison would “damage her emotional well-being.” The defendant was referred to as a woman rather than a transgender woman in newspaper headlines, and when challenged Somerset Live responded that “we report the proceedings in the court, no more and no less. If you are unhappy with those, it is a matter between you and the court in the first instance.”

At the sentencing hearing, the judge told Leverton: “Going to prison will damage your emotional well-being? What about the emotional well-being of of the children you have watched being abused? Were it not for people like you, then children would not be abused. Those children suffer physical and psychological harm that will last a lifetime.”

Police discovered 144 category A images (the most serious category), 44 category A videos, 203 category B pictures and 13 images, and 153 category C photos and two videos.They also found seven images of extreme pornography involving horses and 425 prohibited images of children and one movie. The images and videos had been downloaded over a prolonged period between 2015 and 2016 and the charges relating to inciting a girl aged 13 to engage in sexual activity and a boy of similar age occurred between 2013 and 2015.

The judge has previously justified not sending men committing similar crimes to prison as the sentences would not be long enough to complete sex offender rehabilitation programmes.  However, the Ministry of Justice said Sexual Offending Treatment Programmes are available in both custody and the community but refused to clarify in February 2017 whether an offender could be enrolled on a rehabilitation programme after serving a short custodial sentence. 

Following the sentencing, an NSPCC spokesman for South West England said: “The offences committed by Leverton were extremely serious. The youngsters in these pictures and videos, many of which fell into the most serious category of offending, are the victims of child abuse and the horrific experiences they endured for the images to be created should not be underestimated. The sexual harm prevention order and treatment programme imposed in this case must be policed and carried out effectively to aid Leverton’s rehabilitation and to prevent any repeat of this appalling behaviour.”

If you have concerns about a child you can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or [email protected]

Media reports

Somerset Live http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/woman-sentenced-images-child-sex-256657

Somerset Live http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/woman-accused-child-sex-abuse-79552