Jodie/Jay Ferguson

Jodie/Jay 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 from 2015 for assault and possession of a knife in public.

*Update January 2020*

Ferguson was was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court in January 2020 of possessing an indecent image of a child and possessing a bladed article. Prosecutors said they believed Ferguson posed ‘an immediate risk’ to the public and was jailed for 14 months.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Ferguson had written letters to officers at HMP Styal indicating an intention to abduct and rape a child on release and an intention to use a social network or Tinder to do so. Within days of release on 16 August 2019, Ferguson rang police at around 4.50am on 21 August saying a man called Leon Jones had sent indecent photos of children to them. When the police attended and examined the phone, it emerged that Ferguson had encouraged Jones to send the videos and “spoke quite graphically about what he [Ferguson] had done to young children in the past”. After being released on bail, Ferguson walked into Huyton Police Station at 9pm on 26 August claiming to have a weapon. A grey kitchen knife in a plastic sheath was found in the waistband of Ferguson’s trousers.

*Update March 2021* 

Ferguson appeared via video link from remand at HMP New Hall to plead guilty to two breaches of the Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) imposed in 2017. Media coverage revealed that Ferguson is diagnosed with a personality disorder, has “cognitive deficits and relationship issues” and problems with alcohol and drug misuse.

The SHPO breach occurred  between 27 February and 1 March 2021, when, “without reasonable excuse” Ferguson accessed dating apps for lesbian and bisexual women (Zoe and Only Women) via Facebook. Ferguson also accessed Facebook Messenger to make contact with a female relative.  

During the hearing, it was also revealed that in August 2020, Ferguson was convicted of malicious communications after sending a letter on 6 February 2020 containing threats to a female officer within the Merseyside sex offender unit. The letter threatened “to track them and tie them up and attack them with a rape kit”. Ferguson had apparently previously put together a rape kit containing a balaclava and gloves, having taken the idea from the TV programme Law & Order.  Ferguson was given a two-year restraining order preventing them from going to HMP Styal or from contacting the member of staff. 

Jailing Ferguson for 10 months for the SHPO breaches in early 2021, Judge Potter said: “The court has sadly no confidence that you, whether in approved premises or not, will not commit further breaches” and told Ferguson that “You are assessed by [the Probation Service] as a very high risk of causing serious harm to children, the public and staff that you come into contact with.”

Photo via Sex Offenders Database

Media reports

Liverpool Echo  archive 

Liverpool Echo

Metro  archive

Birmingham Mail  archive 

Liverpool Echo archive

Archive tweet from Liverpool Echo confirming they respect the pronouns demanded by male defendants