Transgender woman could get home detention
Thu, 11 Oct 2012 2:54p.m.
A Whangarei judge may allow a transgender woman to be sentenced to home detention because of the risk she faces of abuse in prison.
Glen Cooper pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with intent to injure in the Whangarei District Court late last month.
She was charged following an incident in January where she struck a man on the head with a wine bottle during an argument, and is remanded in custody at an all-male prison.
Ms Cooper's lawyer Kelly Ellis told NZ Newswire on Thursday that Judge Duncan Harvey has indicated he will recognise that her client's transgender status will allow a 10 to 15 per cent discount on a prison sentence.
Judge Harvey said a home detention sentence is within the realm of possibility, but Ms Ellis said this will require a good pre-sentence report, a favourable psychiatric report and a good address.
"We're not out of the woods yet," Ms Ellis said.
"Generally speaking if you open a big bottle of wine on somebody's head and cause them significant injuries, avoiding jail does require some pretty exceptional circumstances.
"He found a number of significant circumstances and being transgender was one of them."
A transgender person is someone who is trying to change gender and is taking medical steps to do so, Ms Ellis said.
She said Ms Cooper would not be able to begin hormone treatment while she was in prison, which, she argued, was in breach the Bill of Rights Act.
Judge Harvey didn't accept this argument, saying Ms Cooper could have done more to seek treatment earlier, Ms Ellis said.
However, Judge Harvey accepted that Ms Cooper could face a hard time in prison.
Ms Ellis said that while her client is now in segregation, she still lives in fear of sexual assaults and locks herself in her cell most of the time.
Ms Cooper will reappear in court for sentencing on November 23.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
11/10/2012 4:47:53 p.m.
Until such time as we allow transgenders to change their sex on birth certs then we have an obligation to look afterthem in these situations. The idea of prison is not to be a death sentence.
Agree with changing sex or not you cannot allow people to be hurt or killed even if they are criminals.
11/10/2012 4:05:07 p.m.
What is this PC crap. If you do something illegal a prison sentence should not be reduced because you might get picked on in prison (wouldn't that open the floodgates). If you don't want to go to prison, don't break the law - it is as simple as that.
Now police in one city have reported dramatic results, slash...
Tourists in Christchurch are being kicked out of the interna...
A man is dead and a woman is critically injured after an inc...
The opening of an international racetrack in Cromwell has he...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.