Gareth / Gina Owen

Gareth / Gina Owen, a violent male who identifies as a trans woman, was convicted of two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity at Taunton Crown Court in August 2016. The offences were committed in 2004 before Owen had surgery to live as a trans woman.

The judge, David Ticehurst, sentenced Owen to a two year conditional discharge citing difficulties in sentencing as the reason for a non-custodial sentence, and that courses designed to treat sex offenders were only available to men. Further examples of Judge Ticehurst imposing lenient sentences for serious sexual offences against children are available here. Claude Knights, chief executive of the child protection charity Kidscape, condemned the sentence as did the NSPCC who added “This kind of activity can ruin childhoods, with the effects lasting into adulthood.”

Owen, aged 61, was ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for two years and pay £500 compensation to the victim, who has spoken publicly about the lasting effects of the abuse on his life and called for the closing of the loophole which allowed Owen to walk free.

Owen denied the charges at an earlier hearing (meaning that the victim had to go through two and a half years of additional stress before the case went to court) but then changed plea on the first day of the scheduled trial. This is a common tactic among sex offenders who are essentially waiting to see whether the complainant will be too traumatised to attend court and hence make conviction unlikely in their absence.

Photo via SWNS

Media reports

The Mirror

The Mirror

Central Somerset Gazette