Andrew Lynley Ward/Beth Hannay

Andrew Lynley Ward/Beth Hannay, a male who identifies as a trans woman was convicted at Leeds Crown Court in August 2020 of three counts of making indecent images of children and breaching the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) by installing a software cleaner designed to hide the history of downloading such images.

A routine check by police had found 17 indecent images on Ward/Hannay’s device, five of which were Category A, the most serious, involving sexual penetration of children and/or infants.

Ward/Hannay, an ex-teacher in a Bolton school, was previously convicted in 2012 for possession of almost ten thousand indecent images of children and jailed for 12 months. Further images showing ‘extreme’ sexual activity with animals were also found, along with ‘instruction material’ on how to abuse children. Ward/Hannay, 55, was put on the sex offender’s register for 10 years and a SHPO was imposed prohibiting owning devices on which internet use could not be monitored.

The judge gave Ward/Hannay, 55, a three-year community order rather than a custodial sentence citing the fact that a programme of treatment for sexual offending was only available outside prison. He also warned that any breach of the terms of the order or re-offending would result in a jail sentence.

The judge also challenged Ward/Hannay’s assertion that the behaviour was an addiction, saying “It’s quite clear you were getting sexual gratification from those images. You call it an addiction, it’s much worse than that. It’s a perversion and goes against the standards that decent people have. As long as you say it’s an addiction you are not owning the blame.”

Most media coverage refers to Ward/Hannay with male pronouns as the court heard that although now “living as a female,” for the purpose of the case the offender was being “referred to as a man and by his previous name”.

Photo via Manchester Evening News

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