Laura Voyce (a.k.a. Luke Voyce) a transsexual from the United Kingdom, charged with 14 counts of downloading indecent images of children, will be spared of incarceration because a judge has ruled it would be an appalling experience.
Voyce, 20, is biologically still a man, but legally a woman.
The court heard a stash of indecent images was found on Voyce’s computer by police investigating another allegation.
Four of the 14 images uncovered were at level 4, the second worst category of child pornography, and depicted youngsters being abused.
Kay Driver, defending, told the court that Voyce still maintains her innocence and would be forced to go to a male prison if jailed.
She added that her client had suffered “gender insecurities” throughout her youth which had led to “substantial bullying”, “isolation”, and “disrespect for her own body which led her to be used by others”.
Voyce was convicted and sentenced to 9 months in prison, but the sentence was suspended (by judge Lesley Newton) for a year with supervision and 100 hours of unpaid work. Furthermore, Voyce was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 5 years.
Frankly, you deserve to go to prison, but I can’t bring myself to send you to prison, entirely because I think prison would be an appalling experience for you (…) I do not see how you could be kept safe in a prison environment with the best will in the world on the part of those who run such establishments.
Newton considered the possession of level 3 and level 4 images to be “alarming”.
I take these offences very seriously; these are real children who are being abused so that people like you can look at them.
As far as I know, prison is an appalling experience for most people, so I can’t understand Newton’s determination to keep this offender out of jail. If Voyce’s “gender insecurities” are an issue, he/she could be incarcerated in a women’s facility in order to keep him/her safe from bullying or inappropriate behaviour from other inmates.
July 14th, 2010.
The Daily Telegraph