Transgender rapist Isla Bryson will not be jailed in all-female prison, Nicola Sturgeon says

Nicola Sturgeon says the transgender woman Isla Bryson, who was convicted of rape, will not be imprisoned in an all-female prison. Rachel Younger has the latest

Transgender woman Isla Bryson, who was convicted of raping two women before transitioning, will not be imprisoned in the all-female Cornton Vale prison in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The Scottish First Minister spoke as the row continued over where Bryson, who was found guilty earlier this week, should be imprisoned.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed a risk assessment is being carried out by the Scottish Prison Service, as she stressed Bryson would not be accommodated at Cornton Vale women’s prison near Stirling.

Ms Sturgeon said: “It would not be appropriate for me in respect of any prisoner to give details of where they are being incarcerated.

“But given the understandable public and parliamentary concern in this case I can confirm to parliament that this prisoner will not be incarcerated at Cornton Vale women’s prison.

“I hope that provides assurance to the public.”

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed a risk assessment is being carried out by the Scottish Prison Service. Credit: PA

Bryson, previously known as Adam Graham, was on Tuesday found guilty of raping one woman in Clydebank in 2016 and another in Drumchapel, Glasgow, in 2019, following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Bryson was understood to be being held at Cornton Vale ahead of sentencing next month.

During the court proceedings, Bryson claimed to identify as transgender at the age of four but did not make the decision to transition until the age of 29.

Bryson is currently taking hormones and seeking surgery to complete gender reassignment.

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Bryson described “struggling with my sexuality and having issues emotionally” in 2016.

Meanwhile, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has also criticised the decision to hold Bryson in a women’s prison.

Speaking to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday, Ms Cooper said: “This dangerous rapist should not be in a women’s prison and it should be clear that if someone poses a danger to women and committed crimes against women, they should not be being housed in a women’s prison.

“That is straightforward and I think most people would agree with that.”

Fiona Cruickshanks, head of operations and protection at the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), said if an individual inmate poses a particular risk, they can be removed and separated from other prisoners.

She told BBC’s Reporting Scotland on Wednesday: “If we think that an individual poses particular risks, or if there is a particular risk to them, then we have the opportunity to remove them from mainstream and keep them separated until such times as our decision is made on how we best manage that risk.

“Any transgender person who is admitted into custody is admitted into the establishment that matches their identified gender that they were living in within the community.”

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