In 2004, David Ayrton (then aged 23) met a 15 year old girl, seemingly in a garage. That night he raped her – the details here are really scant, and there’s not much more than that available.
What got this into the news was that when the trial happened in 2016, David Ayrton was now living as a woman – Davina Ayrton.
On 8th January 2016, Ms Ayrton was found guilty of rape. She will be sentenced on 4th March.
What will happen?
The case is actually straightforward. Ms Ayrton will be sentenced as anyone else would be. The Judge will start with the Sentencing Guidelines.
Without more details of the facts, it is not really possible to say where it falls in the guidelines (see the table on page 10), but at a rough guess it is a 3B case. This gives a starting point of 5 years.
But we will have to see what the Judge made of the case when it come to sentence. It may be that the case is in a higher category due to the vulnerability of the victim or other factors that we are not aware of.
The question that the public have been more interested in is where Ms Ayrton will go to prison. The Judge stated that she will go to HMP Winchester (a mens prison), but it will be a matter for the prison service as to where she is housed.
It is clear that some steps will have to be taken to protect her as it is likely that Ms Ayrton will be vulnerable in custody. We have looked at the question of where transgender people will serve their sentence previously.
It is a very difficult and complicated area, that throws up all sorts of potential issues. There is probably not one right answer, and there are certainly no easy answer, but it is something that the Prison Service will have to get to grips with soon.