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‘A convicted rapist has gamed the system’: SNP Joanna Cherry leads fury as transgender double rapist is sent to a women’s prison as campaigners warn sexual predator ‘should not be called a woman’ and use the hashtag ‘#Notourcrimes’

  • Activists have criticised Isla Bryson’s placement in an all-female prison
  • Bryson guilty of two rapes committed before transitioning from Adam Graham
  • Defendant is being held at Cornton Vale women’s prison ahead of sentencing
  • Critics have said female prisoners at the Stirling jail are at risk of harm  

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The transgender rapist who changed gender from male to female before the trial deliberately ‘gamed the system’ to avoid being sent to a men’s prison in Scotland, it was claimed today.

Isla Bryson was a shaven-headed Adam Graham with a Mike Tyson-style face tattoo when carrying out the violent sex attacks in 2016 and 2019 after meeting the victims online.

But after being charged with two rapes, Bryson appeared in the dock at Glasgow High Court as a woman despite not fully transitioning and still having a penis. After less than a day of deliberation, a jury found the 31-year-old guilty of both rape charges.

Police Scotland today told MailOnline that Isla Bryson’s rapes would be recorded as offences perpetrated by a man – even though the sex attacker has been sent to Scotland’s only female prison. 

Isla Bryson, 31 was known as Adam Graham (pictured) and had a Mike Tyson-style face tattoo during the violent sex attacks in 2016 and 2019

Isla Bryson, 31 was known as Adam Graham (pictured) and had a Mike Tyson-style face tattoo during the violent sex attacks in 2016 and 2019

Isla Bryson, 31 was known as Adam Graham (pictured) and had a Mike Tyson-style face tattoo during the violent sex attacks in 2016 and 2019. Bryson declared Adam Graham a ‘dead name’ and then stood trial as a woman

Bryson pictured outside the High Court in Glasgow during the trial. The rapist has taken hormones but has not had surgery

Bryson pictured outside the High Court in Glasgow during the trial. The rapist has taken hormones but has not had surgery

And there was more confusion because the force initially declined to comment on the issue, referring MailOnline to Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish Government around four hours after receiving the request. 

The First Minister of Scotland told the BBC there was no automatic right for trans women to be sent to a women’s prison if found guilty of a crime.

Speaking to the PM programme on BBC Radio 4, Ms Sturgeon said it would be wrong to comment on the case directly but transitioning did not guarantee a criminal a place in a women’s prison.

“The fact of the matter is there is no automatic right for a trans woman convicted of an offense to go to a women’s prison,” she said.   

Around two hours after MailOnline asked the Justice Directorate for clarification on how the crime was being recorded, Police Scotland decided they could answer the question.

A spokesman said: ‘The accused was arrested and charged in 2019 as a man and was recorded as such’.

Feminist SNP MSP Joanna Cherry for Edinburgh South West, who is also a barrister, slammed the decision to send the sex attacker to Cornton Vale jail in Stirling – an all-female prison, declaring: ‘Under Scots law, the crime of rape can only be committed by somebody with a penis, and that’s a man.’And I think we should call out what’s happened here. I’m very concerned about the safety of women prisoners, with whom a convicted rapist has been placed’.

She told Times Radio: ‘To many people, it will look like this convicted rapist has gamed the system in order to try and garner sympathy, and to end up in a women’s prison.

‘And I think a lot of people will be shocked by that. So I think we should be talking about these cases…And women in prison are very vulnerable. Many women in prison have themselves been abused, and have suffered injuries over the years. And so they’re particularly vulnerable. And perhaps some people would say nobody really cares about prisoners. But the point about human rights is that they’re universal, and they apply to everyone’.

Furious campaigners have slammed the ‘disgusting’ decision to send the convicted transgender rapist to a segregation unit at a women’s prison for up to a month while risk assessments are carried out before sentencing.

The hashtag #NotOurCrimes is trending on Twitter today as woman protested the decision.

One said: ‘Always a man. Always. Look at him. And he’s being held in a women’s prison. How dare you disrespect women this way?’

Another tweeted Nicola Sturgeon: ‘This is a MAN. He is a RAPIST. No woman should have to be locked up with him’.

On social media one woman said: ‘Male when he committed the crimes, male when he was in court and male now he’s locked up in a female prison. Stop gaslighting us’. 

Some blamed Nicola Sturgeon with the case reigniting public debate over her controversial Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which would allow anyone over the age of 16 to ‘self-identify’ as the opposite sex against the need for medical evidence or diagnosis.

Tory MP Miriam Cates told MailOnline: ‘It is almost impossible to believe that in a civilised society a man convicted of raping two women can be remanded in a women’s prison.

‘This case illustrates the significant safeguarding risks associated with allowing people to self-identify their gender.

‘Proponents of self-ID claim naively that it will not be abused but unfortunately sexual predators will use any available loophole to gain access to vulnerable women’.

Bryson, who claimed to have had gender issues since the age of four, began transitioning from a man to a woman in 2020 after being charged with the rapes. The rapist has been taking hormones but has not had any surgery.

The attacker denied the accusations, telling jurors any sex was consensual – although Bryson insisted to having no joy in sleeping with women and told the court they made the ‘first move’.

There was no reference to the 31-year-old having a gender recognition certificate during the trial. 

Bryson was found guilty of the two rapes yesterday. It is understood the defendant is being held in a segregation unit at Cornton Vale women’s prison, where the attacker will be risk assessed ahead of sentencing on February 28. Officials will decide whether the sex attacker will serve the final jail term in a women’s or men’s prison.

Susan Smith, of campaign group For Women Scotland, said it was ‘disgusting’ that Bryson is being held at Cornton Vale.

She said: ‘The risk assessment should be perfectly clear.’ 

She insisted Bryson was a danger to women and ‘should be nowhere near the sort of vulnerable women who are in prison’.

Miss Smith added: ‘Some of our MSPs must have led incredibly sheltered lives if they think that predatory and abusive men would not try everything they could to further hurt victims and to seek easier access to potential future victims.’

A Scottish Prison Service (SPS) spokeswoman said: ‘Decisions by the SPS as to the most appropriate location to accommodate transgender people are made on an individualised basis, informed by a multi-disciplinary assessment of both risk and need.

‘Such decisions seek to protect both the wellbeing and rights of the individual as well as the welfare and rights of others around them, including staff, in order to achieve an outcome that balances risks and promotes the safety of all.

‘Where there are any concerns about any risks posed by an individual, either to themselves or others, we retain the ability to keep them separate from the mainstream population until an agreed management plan is in place.’

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Decisions taken by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) on the placement of transgender prisoners are based on protecting both the wellbeing and rights of the individual and those around them, including staff.

‘The SPS use comprehensive individualised risk assessments to inform decisions, such as the appropriate location of transgender people in custody, and not the basis of a Gender Recognition Certificate.

‘The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill does not change this process in any way.’

The Scottish Government said: ‘Decisions taken by the Scottish Prison Service on the placement of transgender prisoners are based on protecting both the wellbeing and rights of the individual and those around them.’ 

Bryson was found guilty of the two rapes yesterday. The defendant denied the charges, saying in evidence she ‘would never hurt another human being’. 

Her defence KC Edward Targowski even told High Court in Glasgow: ‘If you accept that evidence, that she is transitioning, that she is aiming to continue on that path to becoming female gender, that goes a long way to acquitting her of these charges’.   

Scottish Conservative shadow community safety minister Russell Findlay said yesterday: ‘This rapist decided that he was no longer a man only after appearing in court on a rape charge.

‘We now have the utterly perverse situation where a Scottish court refers to someone who says he identifies as female using ‘her penis’ to rape two vulnerable women.

‘We warned of the inevitability of this happening if the SNP’s gender self-ID law passed, but for it to have become reality is deeply worrying and an affront to the victims.’ 

Isla Bryson, 31, from Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, arrives at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday. Following a six-day trial at the High Court a jury has found the transgender woman guilty of raping two women before transitioning

Isla Bryson, 31, from Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, arrives at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday. Following a six-day trial at the High Court a jury has found the transgender woman guilty of raping two women before transitioning 

The first victim recalled repeatedly stating ‘no’ as her ‘muscular’ attacker raped her when the then-man got into bed beside her in 2016. The second woman was raped at a flat when they were planning to watch the film Mean Girls in 2019.

Bryson had first appeared in the dock in July 2019 as Adam Graham. By the start of her six-day trial the defendant was known as Isla Bryson. Bryson is currently taking hormones and seeking surgery to complete gender reassignment. 

In December around 60 protesters gathered outside Cornton Vale when trans woman paedophile Katie Dolatowski was sent there. It came amid ongoing controversy over Nicola Sturgeon’s Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill (GRR), which would allow anyone anyone over 16 to ‘self-identify’ as the opposite sex without needing medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. 

On Monday Rishi Sunak blocked Ms Sturgeon’s controversial gender reforms after receiving clear legal advice that they would undermine women’s rights in the UK.

The Scottish law would allow people to seek a gender recognition certificate after living in their new gender for just three months, and without the need for medical evidence.

Campaigners warned it could allow biological males to access women-only spaces such as changing rooms, prisons and hostels for battered women, undermining current protections in the Equality Act, which covers England and Wales as well as Scotland.

The gender law was passed by the Scottish parliament last month, with the backing of Labour and the Liberal Democrats as well as the ruling SNP.

Today Isla Bryson appears to be heading to an all-female jail. 

Tory MP Miriam Cates told MailOnline: ‘It is almost impossible to believe that in a civilised society a man convicted of raping two women can be remanded in a women’s prison.’

At the trial, the defendant was known as Isla Bryson with jurors told Adam Graham was now a ‘dead name’ – one ‘a transgender person was given at birth and no longer uses upon transitioning’.

Isla Bryson, was previously known as Adam Graham and born a man. Bryson began transitioning in 2020, aged 29

Isla Bryson, was previously known as Adam Graham and born a man. Bryson began transitioning in 2020, aged 29

Bryson told the trial that she has received hormone treatment and is expecting further, adding: ‘I obviously want all the surgery that the NHS can provide’.  

The defendant had attacked the first victim at a flat in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire having met on the Badoo dating site while known as Adam.

This was immediately after Bryson’s marriage to a woman had ended.

In her evidence, Bryson claimed to have effectively used the 30 year-old for somewhere to stay. 

But, the victim told how she had been ‘head over heels in love’ with Adam. However, she soon suffered as Adam went from ‘caring’ to flying into a rage at trivial matters.

The rape occurred on September 16 2016 after Bryson locked the door and got into bed beside her.

In pre-recorded testimony played to jurors, the victim said: ‘I thought Adam had came for a cuddle and – at that moment – everything felt weird and wrong.

‘I did not know what was going on.’

The woman recalled repeatedly stating ‘no’ as a ‘muscular’ Adam forced himself upon her.

The ordeal only ended when the victim’s mum turned on a light in the hall.

The second woman was raped at a flat in Drumchapel, Glasgow on June 27 2019.

Bryson told jurors how she had shared her ‘sexuality issues’ with the 34-year-old having met on the social media site Bigo.

Bryson was convicted of rape at the High Court in Glasgow (pictured)

Bryson was convicted of rape at the High Court in Glasgow (pictured)

The court heard the pair were together at the flat planning to watch the film Mean Girls.

The victim recalled feeling ‘crushed’ as the attacker she knew as Adam forced himself on her.

She stated: ‘I told him to stop and he did not. He kept going. That is when I closed my eyes and let him do what he wanted to do.’

In her own evidence, Bryson often became emotional and refuted the charges.

Bryson said: ‘I would never do that. I would never hurt any woman.’

Bryson did admit ‘cheating’ on the first victim adding: ‘She loved me. It kills me because I hurt her like that.’

Regarding sexual contact with the second woman, Bryson told jurors: ‘I did not make the first move. I can assure you.’

Bryson’s lawyer had also asked about her gender issues. Bryson said she was first aware of this when she was four.

Bryson told jurors: ‘I was always hanging about with the girls and always doing make up.’

Bryson said she first made the decision about ‘transition’ from a man to a woman in 2020 after first appearing to face the rape charge.

Bryson has received hormone treatment and is expecting further. Asked about surgery, the defendant stated: ‘I obviously want all the surgery that the NHS can provide.’

After the verdict, prosecutor John Keenan KC said the first rape attack had been reported to the authorities in 2016, but that there were no further ‘proceedings at that stage’.

Lord Scott deferred sentencing on Bryson until February 28 in Stirling.

Bryson already had three summary level convictions – not for sexual matters – and has never been jailed before.

But, the judge told her: ‘You have been convicted of two extremely serious charges.

‘Given what you have been convicted of, a a significant custodial sentence is inevitable.

‘I will revoke bail and remand you in custody meantime.’

Bryson had turned up most days with a large suitcase. The media and public had to watch proceedings from a viewing room elsewhere in the court building.

A previous trial was abandoned due to Bryson reporting being unwell after having her photo taken as the defendant arrived at court.

It is understood Bryson will be held in the segregation unit at Cornton Vale women’s jail in Stirlingshire.

This is a unit where inmates can be held for their own safety or the safety of other prisoners.

A subsequent move to the general population, alongside other women, is possible pending a risk assessment.

Prisoners can held in segregation for years but it must be kept under regular review to comply with human rights laws.

Source: Daily Mail UK

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