Jay Ferguson

Jay Ferguson
Photo via Merseyside Police

Jay/Jodie Ferguson, a female who identifies as a trans man, was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court in November 2017 of five counts of sending malicious communications and one of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Ferguson was sentenced to 22 months in a young offenders institute and banned from contacting any of the victims by a lifelong restraining order, and must sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Ferguson had sent multiple rape threats to teenagers, children and one 15-year-old victim’s mother and claiming to have raped children in a Facebook chat via a games console.

Ferguson’s defence counsel referred to the defendant using male pronouns saying “He is sorry for his offending behaviour. There appears to be an element of attention seeking and attempts to push others to reject him.” Ferguson reportedly asked police for help and “felt like she wanted to abuse children as she had been abused by her father”.

Tweet via Liverpool Echo

However, the Liverpool Echo chose to refer to the defendant in the article as a woman and used female pronouns throughout. This is in direct contrast to how the same newspaper chose to report the conviction of a male who identifies as a woman, Wendy Jones, earlier this year, where the court reporter (when challenged over reporting a male person’s crime as being committed by a woman) confirmed they were obliged to respect the pronouns/gender identity of the offender. A male who identifies as a woman when committing a sex offence is reported as a woman, but a female who identifies as a man when committing a sex offence is still reported as a woman.

As male people commit the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of sex offences in the UK every year (there were well over 13,000 male sex offenders in prison in 2016 compared to around 100 female sex offenders), it would actually make no statistical difference to include very rare convictions of trans-identified females like Ferguson among male conviction statistics whereas there is great potential to disrupt female crime statistics by including male sexual offending cases within comparatively very low female offending. For this reason, we need to maintain the recording and reporting of offending – particularly of sexual and violent crimes – by biological sex rather than self-identified ‘gender’.

The court heard Ferguson had one previous conviction for assault and possession of a knife.

Media reports

Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/chilling-threats-teenage-girl-who-13978510 archive

Archive tweet from Liverpool Echo confirming they respect the pronouns demanded by male defendants http://archive.is/Cdiyj