Paul Hayes / Lisa Woodhall

Silhouette image via Wikimedia Commons

Paul Hayes/ Lisa Woodhall, a violent male who identifies as a trans woman, was convicted of wounding with intent at Plymouth Crown Court in 2005 and sentenced to four years and six months in prison.

Media reports differ on the details of the offence, with the BBC and Metro reporting that Woodhall slashed the eyelids of an ex-boyfriend’s male partner and Pink News reporting it was the victim’s throat that was slashed.

Woodhall, from Taunton, was held at women’s closed category prison HMP Eastwood Park in Gloucestershire, having undergone surgery to live as a trans woman in 2004. The prisoner had a history of mental ill health, self harm and articulated repeated threats against staff while in prison.

On 8th October 2006, Woodhall died in hospital aged 28 after being discovered with a ligature around their neck. At the time of death the prisoner was confined to their cell and risk management conditions were in place mandating that three officers had to be present to unlock the cell as a result of the repeated threats made to staff and the risk to other prisoners.

The inquest jury was asked to consider whether the prison authorities had acted to secure Woodhall’s safety. They ruled adequate care had been provided by the prison and returned a verdict of suicide.

In line with the Samaritan’s best practice guidelines on reporting suicide, the contents of Woodhall’s suicide note is not included here.

The Prisons & Probation Ombudsman report on the death of the prisoner is available: It details Woodhall’s severe mental health issues and violent threats alongside substantial efforts by both HMP Eastwood Park and HMP Send to mitigate the prisoner’s risk to themselves and other prisoners. After breaking the cardinal rule of the therapeutic community (TC) at HMP Send (another female prison) of pursuing a sexual relationship with another member of the group, Woodhall told the TC psychologist that sexual contact was followed briefly by a desire to kill. Another prisoner at HMP Send was moved for her safety after complaining that Woodhall stalked her. Staff, too, reported being intimidated and afraid, including nurses who were party to Woodhall’s threats to harm a prisoner or staff and Woodhall’s assertion of  identifying with the transsexual killer in the film The Silence of the Lambs.

Media reports:

BBC  archive

Metro  archive

Pink News  archive