A transgender woman killed herself after complaining about being bullied by guards at a UK male prison.
Jenny Swift, 49, was found dead in her cell at HMP Doncaster on 30 December last year.
Suicide pact to stop guards ‘bulling trans women’
An inquest has heard how she backed out of a suicide pact formed with three fellow trans prisoners over complaints of bullying by guards.
They were hoping to join together to stop being ‘intimidated’ and ‘not being listened to by prison staff’, a jury heard.
Paris Clarke, a trans prisoner, said they made a ‘pact of suicide’ to stand up against the guards.
However they later realized a suicide pact ‘wasn’t a good idea’.
Trans prisoner before death: ‘I’m starting to turn back into a man’
Jurors heard how Swift had been taking hormone replacement treatment before she arrived at the prison in November, five weeks before she killed herself.
Desperate to move to a female prison, Clarke said Swift told her: ‘I’m starting to turn back into a man’.
According to another prisoner, prison officers would infuriate Swift by calling her ‘fella’ and using her previous name.
John Martindale, the prison’s custodial operations manager, told jurors he spoke to Swift on Christmas Day and she was ‘laughing and joking’.
Staff said Jenny Swift could move into a female prison
Prison staff had spoken to her about medication and the possibility of moving to a female prison.
He said she had recently been moved to a wing with another transgender prisoner to make her feel more comfortable.
Jane Fae, trans campaigner, told Gay Star News removing hormone treatment from trans people can have devastating circumstances.
‘Withdrawing hormones from a trans woman without adequate medical supervision is tantamount to torture,’ she said.
‘Tantamount to torture’
‘Apart from the physiological problems, a sudden withdrawal of hormones can trigger heart problems. It is very well documented that withdrawal of hormones for trans women will have serious psychological side effects including depression and suicidal thoughts.’
The inquest continues.
In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline in the US is 1-800-273-8255. Australia’s crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14.