Richard/Rachel Fenton

Richard/Rachel Fenton, a violent male who identifies as a transgender woman, was convicted in May 2022 at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court of 21 sex offences against children and a drug offence, including seven counts of attempting to incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity. Fenton, 45, was sentenced to ten years in prison, issued with a sexual harm prevention order and made to sign the sex offenders register for life.

The Guardian reported on 10 May 2022 that “Fenton was living as a man when arrested in November 2020 and was later charged under that name. But during the sentencing [the court] heard Fenton had changed their name and was in the process of transitioning to become a woman.” Greater Manchester Police said the force first heard about Fenton’s transition in a pre-sentence report in April. Fenton has been in a male prison on remand since January 2021. The report in both The Guardian and Manchester Evening News avoided using female pronouns by referring to Fenton by name throughout.

Fenton was originally arrested November 2020, after an online vigilante group in said they had been communicating with the offender using a fake profile of a 12-year-old girl. Believing the profile to be child, Fenton tried to incite the girl to meet and engage in sexual activity and sent indecent images. Around the same time, Fenton sent indecent images to another profile of a 12 year old girl, tried to coerce her into sending indecent images of herself and tried to incite the child to meet to engage in sexual activity – however, this profile was operated by the police. After arrest and while on bail in January 2021, Fenton contacted a third “child” with the exact same sequence of offences – this profile was yet another undercover operative using a fake profile of a 13-year-old girl. Forensic examination of devices seized found multiple indecent images of children, including a large number of images depicting the sexual abuse of children and Fenton was arrested for a second time in January 2021 on suspicion of a number of sex offences.

Media reports

The Guardian archive

Manchester Evening News archive

Lancs Live archive