Chantelle Simmons

Silhouette image via Wikimedia Commons

Chantelle Simmons, a male who identifies as a trans woman, was convicted at Leicester Crown Court in February 2018 of six thefts, taking a vehicle (a taxi) without consent, burglary and fraudulently using a stolen bank card, between June and October 2017.

Despite having 30 previous convictions and committing these latest “spectacular collection of offences” while serving a suspended sentence, Simmons, 25, avoided a minimum three year jail term under a ‘three strikes’ house burglary rule regarding 15 other similar offences, and received a 20 month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

The court also heard how Simmons threatened to falsely accuse a shopkeeper of rape when he asked for the return of a dress, £200 in cash and bank cards the defendant had just stolen from his store.

The judge received media criticism for allowing the offender to ‘choose’ their sentence. In mitigation, Simmons’ barrister, Philip Gibbs, told the court the defendant had ADHD, drug misuse issues and frontal lobe brain damage and had experienced a traumatic childhood.

Mr Gibbs said: “She’s a very vulnerable and fragile person with learning difficulties. She underwent gender reassignment and one wonders why, in her mental state, she was allowed to go through such a dramatic change in 2015; the consequences have been catastrophic with a tremendous amount of damage. She’s had numerous suicide attempts.”

*Update September 2018*

Somewhat unsurprisingly Simmons then went on to perpetrate a string of similar distraction burglaries, often targeting vulnerable older people.

Simmons followed one elderly couple uninvited into their home and asked for a glass of water, falsely claiming to be pregnant (see also Allahra Aziz, a trans-identified male who claimed in court to have given birth to a child) and then stole the man’s wallet. On another occasion Simmons undressed in a man’s home and offered sex with him, but was asked to leave.

Simmons was sentenced to 34 month term for the latest offences and 20 months of the suspended sentence imposed in February, was activated to run consecutively. Sentencing was via video link from HMP Peterborough, though it is unknown whether Simmons is in the male or female section.

Media reports

Leicester Mercury archive

Leicester Mercury archive

Daily Mirror archive

Birmingham Live