Gavin / Katie Brannen

Gavin/Katie Brannen, a male who identifies as a trans woman, entered not guilty pleas at Newcastle Crown Court to two charges of rape in March 2017. The offences were allegedly perpetrated against a male complainant in January 2017.

Brannen, 26, was bailed on condition of abiding by an electronic curfew and not entering on-licensed premises prior to a further hearing on 25 September and trial on 4 December 2017.

Media reporting of Brannen’s case

All media reported the story as a woman being charged with raping a man, despite the UK legal definition of rape within the Sexual Offences Act 2003 specifying it as an offence committed only by those possessing a penis as defined by the CPS. (The tiny number of women convicted of rape in the UK are actually guilty of an inchoate offence involving incitement or conspiracy with a man to commit the rape.)

In April 2013 Brannen appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court under the name Gavin Brannen and dressed in stereotypical women’s attire after evading a £27 taxi fare. The court heard on that occasion that Brannen was going through gender reassignment and wanted to be known as Katie. Then in 2014, Brannen reappeared at the same court charged with the same offence but under the name of Katie Brannen.

Brannen pleaded guilty to making off without payment and was fined £110 and warned that ‘she had to learn the consequences of her decisions’.

The implications of ascribing male crime to women was covered in this article by Rachel Johnson which included both Brannen’s alleged offences and Lisa Hauxwell‘s sexual offences being reported in the media as being committed by women.

**Update December 2017**

Brannen was acquitted of rape at Newcastle Crown Court after prosecutors offered no evidence in October and the defendant was therefore found not guilty. This indicates the complainant (a cab driver) felt unable to attend court and testify against Brannen.

That acquittal could not be reported at the time as Brannen was facing further, unrelated allegations in relation to the cabbie, of sexual assault, theft, damaging property and common assault. These charges were also dropped in December 2017.

The court heard Brannen has previous convictions for 42 offences including public order, being drunk and disorderly and making off without payment. Brannen pleaded guilty to a public order offence and received a conditional discharge for 12 months and was ordered to pay £100 costs.

Photo via Newcastle Chronicle

Media reports:

Newcastle Chronicle archive

The Shields Gazette  archive

Daily Mail   archive

Evening Chronicle

South Shields Gazette