Transgender killer who identifies as a baby fears male prison move

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A transgender killer who has been locked up with women for six years has said she fears becoming a target if she is returned to a male prison. Sophie Eastwood is serving a life sentence for murdering a cell mate in 2004 when she was known as Daniel.

Eastwood, who also claims to identify as a baby, has been in Cornton Vale prison in Stirling, Scotland, with female prisoners since 2017. The trans woman has said she believes she would be a target for sexual violence if she is moved.

It comes after the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) announced a full case review for every transgender person in custody after the public outcry over trans double rapist Isla Bryson, who was initially sent to a female jail.

Eastwood, 38, said: “I was threatened by other prisoners in the male estate when I started to transition and the main threat was that I would suffer serious sexual violence.

“It was a relief to be moved to the female estate where I have felt safe and I’ve gained the trust of fellow prisoners.

“I think Scottish Prison Service staff manage trans prisoners well, but it would be impossible for me to feel safe in a male prison.”

She added: “I have no history of gender violence, but the recent outcry has led to the SPS having to review every transgender person in custody.

“I believe I’m in the right place and don’t think I could survive in the male estate.”


Eastwood believes the Bryson case has set back trans rights. She told the Daily Record: “It’s really unfortunate because the public’s view of trans people generally has now been damaged, but not by the behaviour of any trans person – by someone probably trying to exploit the system.

“As a result, genuine trans­prisoners are now less safe than we were. No one can be 100 percent certain how the reassessments will go when additional pressures have been introduced.”

Bryson’s mother said earlier this month that the 31-year-old never mentioned wanting to be a girl as a child.  Bryson was convicted last month of raping two women, one in Clydebank in 2016 and one in Drumchapel, Glasgow, in 2019, committing the offences while still a man known as Adam Graham.

Janet Bryson told the Sunday Mail she is “disgusted and heartbroken” that her son has turned out to be a rapist.

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She said: “My son never expressed any wish to me that he wanted to be a girl, dressed in any other way or ever asked to be called by any other name than Adam growing up. Never once, at the age of four or at any other age.”

Eastwood had been jailed for dangerous driving when she killed cell-mate Paul Algie, 22, in 2004.A month before Eastwood’s due date for release from Dumfries Young Offenders Institution, she strangled Algie with shoelaces.

Eastwood was ordered to serve a minimum 15 years at the High Court in Glasgow, but has served 19. She has been living as a woman since she started to transition in 2017. She said she “deeply regrets” her violent crime.

Eastwood said: “I was 18. To say I had unresolved issues would be a massive understatement. I was terrified about how I would cope on the outside.

“I thought that what I did would get me sectioned and I’d spend the rest of my life in hospital being looked after.

“That wasn’t a rational way to think. I’m sorry and I deeply regret it every day.”

An SPS spokesperson said: “We have commenced an urgent review of all transgender cases currently managed in our ­establishments.

“Our first concern is always, and remains, the health, safety, and wellbeing of all the people in our care, and that of our staff.

“We have very robust risk-assessment processes and a track record of keeping people safe in often challenging circumstances.”

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