Tristyn Bell-Willows

Tristyn Bell-Willows, a violent male who identifies as a trans woman, was convicted at Sheffield Crown Court in March 2020 of blackmail, and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Bell-Willows, 33, has previous convictions for arson in 2006, and possession of an offensive weapon in 2007.

Bell-Willows had been living rent-free with his partner (the victim) before being asked to leave in May 2017; at this time, Bell-Willows was living as a gay man, appearing to have self-identified as a trans woman at some point since the offence. On being asked to leave, Bell-Willows tried to extort money from the victim, knowing that he had recently received a £17,000 pension lump sum. Together with sister, Heidi Osborne, they demanded £7,000 or they would go to the police and make allegations of rape.

One text from Bell-Willows read: “There is another way out of it – you could pay me and I will walk away and keep quiet.” They printed the allegations and stuck them on walls of the victim’s shop, and Osborne told him she would “take your life apart, brick by brick.” The victim immediately contacted police and a full investigation found no evidence to substantiate the rape allegations.

In his impact statement the victim said: “This has been hanging over my head for two years. He had been going around telling people I raped him. He was telling people who came into my shop… He has taken advantage of my good nature. He has repaid my generosity and kindness by spreading rumours about me and demanding money.”

As the victim used male pronouns for Bell-Willows we can presume that the judge did not compel him to use female pronouns. Contrast this to how female victims are prevented from naming their transgender assailants as male – in 2018, Judge Kenneth Grant warned Maria MacLachlan to refer to Tara Wolf, the violent trans-identified male who was convicted of assaulting her as “she”. While Ms MacLachlan was giving evidence, she was told “The defendant wished to be referred to as a woman, so perhaps you could refer to her as ‘she’ for the purpose of the proceedings.” 

The judge told Bell-Willows “Regrettably you have shown not a shred of contrition. Many would characterise your conduct as irredeemably wicked.” He also acknowledged Bell-Willows had “endured gender dysphoria” since being a teenager, and “an appalling early life which led to baleful consequences” and alcohol and drugs issues.

Heidi Osborne pleaded guilty to blackmail and was sentenced to two years, suspended for 24 months, with 20 rehabilitation days. She had threatened to damage the victim’s shop and “tell people what had been happening.”

See also this tag for other trans-identified males that have made false rape allegations, including child sex offender Jasmine Hill and prolific burglar Chantelle Simmons.

Photo via We Are Barnsley

Media reports

Doncaster Free Press archive