Davina Ayrton – trans woman convicted of rape

Davina Ayrton – trans woman convicted of rape

Photo from the BBC


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.

Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.


  1. Seems to me that the ‘soft option’ will prevail. Do-Gooders will see to that.

    Trans women into a female prison.

    Trans men into a female prison.

  2. It’s time for the prison service to say that you are of your birth gender unless you have a certificate under the Gender Recognition Act to say otherwise. No ifs, no buts.

  3. I don’t care how they identify the prison you go to depends on the gender/genitals that you were born with. Society doesn’t have to indulge every delusion.

  4. Once you get a Gender Recognition Certificate – which is a long and tortuous process – that’s it, you are of the acquired gender. If Davina has one, she’s a woman; the fact that she committed the crime when she was a man being neither here nor there. If she has not got one, he’s a man, and the fact that he wishes to identify as a woman is also neither here nor there.

    If gender change is a delusion – we have already indulged it by the Act, itself the result of the Human Rights Act, and there’s no going back.

  5. Yes it’s a delusion and the gender recognition Act is one of those laws that should be repealed but that’s a whole other conversation. Right now some rapey bloke may be allowed to be locked up in a womans prison with real women and that’s preposterous.

    • That’s a wider discussion as you say, but I think some form of gender dysmorphia is generally accepted as existing.

      Ms Ayrton will go to a mens prison, and I suspect will stay there throughout her sentence because he hasn’t started transitioning. Whether she is in a male or female prison, I imagine she’ll be segregated for her protection, before even thinking of the risk she may pose (if any) to anybody else.

    • My lord, L-E-S, but if you said that on some sites you’d be flamed to a crisp and most of the posters doing it would be women, trans or born that way!

      You don’t get a certificate of being trans woman until you’ve had surgery which removes the bit of the male anatomy with which rapists commit rape. But as Dan says this person who uses the name Davina (and that’s a matter of choice, I suppose) will be in a male prison. And rightly so. We don’t disagree about that. Happy New Year from your sibling in the soul.

      • Happy new year to you too Andrew.

        I know should be bound for the ducking stool at the very least and I stand accused of being a TERF (I had to google it). I want to be clear while I respect that some people truly believe they were born in the wrong body etc (body dysphoria), rather like the emperor’s new clothes, I wish them no ill and certainly not harm but they’re wrong. However neither am going to indulge them in this delusion. You may have come across the case or Rachel Dozeal (spelling?? a white woman in the US, born to white parents who claimed to be a black woman and when exposed then said what she meant was that she identified as a black woman, what did she know of racial hatred or racism other than on the outside looking in.

        Similarly, no matter how real the trans people belief/delusion that they are a man or a woman it is unconnected to the struggle or fight of actual women for equality against oppression, misogny and sexism which starts from the day a girl is born. The aggressiveness with which these men (and it’s usually men) insist they are women and want to be in female spaces it is just another example of what men want trumping anything else and the abuse meted out to anyone who dissents.

        I know I said I wasn’t going to but seen as how we were discussing it. Anyway the mods can delete this and have me thrown into jail at their leisure.

        Yours in sisterhood and best wishes for properous new year.

      • Andrew – that is incorrect. No surgery is required for a GRC; neither are hormones. It’s a common misapprehension, and actually I believe most people don’t realise this is the case. People hear “trans woman” and assume surgery has taken place or is imminent, but that is often not so. Someone with a GRC may have fully intact and, how to put it, “operational” male genitalia and legally be a woman, with a passport saying F etc.

        There is room for a balancing act in some cases but taking everything into account, when someone does not have a GRC, has not taken any hormones and has not had any surgery, plus has been convicted of a crime of sexual violence against a woman, personally I cannot see how they can go to a women’s prison.

        • Thank you LJ: you live and learn. In that case I agree with L-E-S even more than I did before.

          L-E-S If you and I agree does that mean we are both wrong?

          • Yes you’re both wrong.

            Comparing Rachel Dolezal (at least look up someone’s name if you are going to write idiotic posts) situation to that of a transgendered person is not understanding either of those situations.

            And being transgendered is nothing to do with equality either. No transgendered person becomes a woman (or man … there is a large though minority proportion of transgendered people who are “born” female but know they are male) to do things that a woman (or man) can do or go the places they can go.

            Yes there is a small “vocal” number of transgendered people who can give the wrong impression about the vast majority of transgendered individuals who just want to get on with their life without criticism.

            Davina is guilty of rape and should be dealt with as the law requires. But please don’t tar every transgendered person based on her behaviour. Whatever prison she ends up in she is likely to have a miserable time…

  6. I’m usually wrong Andrew. In this case it appears that we both are and it is unusual to be in agreement! In this case I’m happy that my views whilst raising an eyebrow or two are not completely off the chart.

  7. Out of interest, has all the press missed something about this case…

    A Google search for “Davina Ayrton” suggests the same woman was involved in a case back in 2014 when she was (according to the Bournmouth Echo) “subject to a mental health order and is restricted to a residential care home for people with learning difficulties and mental health issues.”

    • Eloise exactly what makes a man born with a penis a woman other than because he feels he is or declares himself to be. That’s it. I’m afraid not. No way no how. It’s a delusion, albeit a very real one to them I accept, but a delusion nonetheless. Much the same way as Rachel Dolezal felt she was black but wasn’t however no-one was going to indulge her like they do transgender. This bloke (Davina) raped a woman and possessed child rape images would I want a rapey bloke locked up with women. No. Send him to lay with the other men where he belongs. He’ll learn a lot about consent and what happens when a woman says no and it’s disregarded by men. That is the closest he’s going to get to knowing what it really feels like to be a woman.

      I’m dyslexic by the way regarding other comment and hands up I got the spelling wrong seconds after looking it up. I suggest you follow your own advice about speaking out of ignorance. Yours in sisterhood.

      • No, a transsexual individual goes through a long process before society accepts they are transexual. Its not something that you wake up in the morning and declare themselves.

        If it is a delusion: given it is a delusion which is recognised by the medical profession world wide, you are not dyslexic but a lazy person who cannot be bothered to learn to read and write. Please note: I am not suggesting that; I am following through on your argument over delusions.

        So just as your actions and comments represent only you; and my comments and actions represent only me; Davina’s actions represent only her so do not use them (or that of any other transgendered individual in the public eye) to judge the wider transgendered community.

        At the end of the day, Davina Ayrton is a troubled individual and how society treats such individuals reflects on us all. I am not arguing where she should be sent to prison; I’m arguing that people who do not have the facts should not be standing in judgement over others.

        • Women do not “feel” that they are women. They just are. We don’t identify as women. We are just women. Full stop. Transpeople can identify and feel all they want, they can demand that society indulges them in their delusions but it still does not make them a woman. Rachel Dolezal’s behaviour was not only rightly called out for the complete and utter nonsense that it was, people were deeply offended by her actions. It is the same way with the transgender person. Go ahead believe what you want but if you were not born as a woman, you aren’t a woman. Your struggle to be accepted as a woman does not make you a woman. You have not fought the battles that women face from the day they were born to the day they die because they are women. Rachel had no appreciation of how deeply offensive she was being to black people, transpeople only see their own agenda it’s all about what they want and not about truth. Swanning around bleating about transphobia, living breathing parodies of the women they declare themselves to be, does not make them women. A white woman who identified as a black woman knows nothing about being black or being a black woman and a transperson knows zero, zilch at all about being a woman not matter how arrogantly and aggressively they insist that they are.

          • How do you feel about the (fewer) people who claim to have changed in the other direction, L-E-S? Are they deserters as well as delusional?

  8. (I thought I posted something similar but it didn’t show up so if this is a repeat I apologise)

    Well to be recognised as being transgendered and accepted for treatment (after starting to live in the “correct” gender usually will be prescribed hormones before after 2 years of the “real life test” being referred for surgery) is a lot more than just declaring that one “feels he is or declares himself to be”. You again appear to also dismiss the countless hundreds of transgendered individuals who are born with female genetalia and know themselves to be male – or do you just feel they are trying to get ahead in a male dominated world or something.

    So as for your suggestion it is a delusion. Given it is recognised by the medical profession world wide; if we are declaring gender dysphoria as being just a delusion, shall we also declare those who are dyslexic as being delusional and they are just too lazy to rear and write properly?

    As for Davina Ayrton: I am not judging where she should be sent to prison, but I am saying that those who do not have all the facts about an individual should not be judging her. She (it appears) is a disturbed individual and how society treats such individuals reflects on us all.

  9. Andrew – regarding the fewer people who have changed in the other direction. You will notice they are less vocal which is strange because as we know men love the sound of their own voices therefore one would expect them to be the ones making all the fuss demanding to be recognised as men. As you can tell I find the very idea ludicrous and much akin to the emperor’s new clothes scenario, that said I wish them no harm (neither the men nor the women), but it is a delusion plain and simple and not one I’m prepared to indugle.

    • H’mm. Perhaps the fact that FtM transpeople don’t acquire such a love of the sound of their own voices proves your theory that it’s all a delusion , , , I wish this blog had a smilie emoticon!

      And of course a f*ck-off emoticon would be nice too, wouldn’t it?

  10. It’s a difficult area. My initial reaction was the Rachel Dolezal was a bit crazy whereas transgenderism is a real and definite thing. Maybe that’s based on the number of people – Ms Dolezal is the only person with her ‘condition’, whereas there are plenty of people with gender dysmorphia. It is also a recognised condition.

    I don’t understand it, but that doesn’t stop it being valid. I’m also aware that 100 years ago being attracted to the same sex would have been seen as a ‘delusion’ and indulgent, and many things that transgender people are called today. I suspect that LES will be on the wrong side of history on this one.

    We can argue as to what makes someone a man or a woman and whether that can change, but I think ultimately it is probably not an entirely straightforward one.

    One difference between Ms Dolezal and transgender is that a fertilised egg is capable of being a male or a female, where the specific mix of DNA in an embryo means the ‘racial outcome’ will be within defined parameters. As a non-biologist, I can see why it’s possible that something can go wrong and what ‘should have been’ an X chromosome turns out as a Y, whereas there’s no possibility of the equivalent happening with race.

    • I take your point Dan about being on the wrong side of history that may be so. I want to be clear I do not presume to tell anyone who to love or how to love – as long as all parties concerned are consenting adults. Dress up, dress down, don’t dress at all (behind closed doors naked rambler fans) all okay with me. Love men, love women, love both jointly or severally. My objection is to being told what being a woman is and that what “that” is gets to be defined by anyone other than women and worse still being told offensively what it is by men playing at dress up is beyond the pale.

      • L-E-S … you talk about transgendered individuals “acquir[ing] such a love of the sound of their own voices” yet for the majority of transgendered individuals that is exactly what does not happen. Most transgendered individuals just want to go about their lives without anyone telling them what is right or wrong, and without wanting to tell anyone else what is right or wrong for them. For many transgendered individuals; the publicity people like Caitlyn Jenner court creates more problems as they were previously unnoticed, but now people make such a fuss about it. They just want to be left along to live, work and make the same mistakes that everyone makes at one time or another in their lives.

        “My objection is to being told what being a woman is and that what “that” is gets to be defined by anyone other than women and worse still being told offensively what it is by men playing at dress up is beyond the pale.”
        You object to being told what being a woman is; yet you are doing exactly the same by saying that they cannot be a woman because they do not fit your criteria for what a woman is. It appears you define women only by their genitalia, yet I’m sure you would acknowledge there is a lot more to a woman than that?

        Its only in a few cases where they feel they are treated badly that they start to shout and want people to recognise them for who they have always been. As for prison, I can’t help thinking that a transgendered person is going to have a miserable time whatever prison they are sent to (male or female) … I can’t see female prisoners accepting them any better than male prisoners and so they are likely to end up in the vulnerable prisoners section/wing (I’m assuming there is similar in female prisons?).

        And with respect to Rachel Dolezal: my reading of the situation (including discussions with others who were closely affected by the issues) was that the big issue over her was about her denial. If she had spoken up and said “while my parentage is not of african american, though my childhood and beyond I have more closely identified with those of African American and mixed race and as a result I can empathise and represent them (as my job entails)” she would have had much less problem and people would accept her. Instead she incessently denied the allegations and had her head buried in the sand and couldn’t recognise the concerns of those she was representing.

        In the same way if a transgendered person was standing as a spokes person for a gender equalities organisation then her background is of important, but in (almost) any other walk of life it is of complete irrelevance to anyone outside of their close family and friends.

        • Eloise I didn’t talk about transgendered individuals acquiring such a love of their own voice (that was from my fellow sibling) but yes it was said. What I said was alluding to was that it was strange that transpeople those born female but who say that they are men are less vocal then their born male but I’m really a woman counterparts, and this was strange because in our male dominated society it’s mens voices who drown out women. Therefore, if these transwomen are the women that they claim to be we would expect to hear little from them and plenty of noise and protest from transmen. Instead the reverse is true. We see and hear the same male privilege from transwomen as we do from men. In fact they behave exactly as men do when they can’t women to comply with their beliefs they resort to threats of violence, verbal abuse, gendered slurs. They dare to label us cis – of ALL THE CHEEK.
          You said “You object to being told what being a woman is; yet you are doing exactly the same by saying that they cannot be a woman because they do not fit your criteria for what a woman is. It appears you define women only by their genitalia, yet I’m sure you would acknowledge there is a lot more to a woman than that?…”
          However you have omitted to tell me what it is that makes a man born with a penis a woman. What is it?
          There may be many things that makes a woman a woman but first and foremost we are born women/female. While being a women may be about more than genitalia however neither can our female genitalia be ignored or treated as irrelevant when it is entirely relevant to our treatment and our shared experiences. And no way does a man born with a penis have any of those experiences. He is someone on the outside looking in.
          And neither do I believe that men with their crown jewels still intact be allowed into female safe spaces such as female toilets and or changing rooms. If a man goes the whole hog and lops his penis off (with the aid of surgeon) I’m prepared to accept he is going someway to showing he really believes his delusion. As for the others – dress up. Nothing more nothing less. As I said I don’t wish them any harm and I don’t understand why anyone would want to kill or beat them up (but I know this has/does happen).
          Finally, If a man or transwoman commits rape with his penis then off to a male prison he should go and if he/she has a miserable time I have no sympathy and am completely unmoved by his plight.

  11. You really can’t determine gender by a quick look in someone’s underwear. Let us start by reminding ourselves that there is a material minority of people who do have physiological intersex conditions. These are people where physiological examination does not allow any clear conclusion as to whether they are precisely physiologically male or female. There is a large spectrum of conditions. First, it turns out that there are chromosomal conditions of a nature that you cannot clearly determine that possessors are exactly XY or XX. But even where there is no evident chromosomal condition, then there still quite a lot of people who do not have the genitalia that their chromosomes would imply. Quite often in such cases the genitalia are non-standard, but also it is common for the non-standard nature of them not to be externally visible. The controversial South African runner may well have had an intersex condition that was not externally visible, and not diagnosed until the concerns arose. Some of the people who are described as having “sex changes” may be better described as “resolving” their physiological intersex condition.

    Another case that challenges our preconceptions is that of the former East German female athletes who were required to take performance enhancing drugs that masculinised them. Some of them became so completely and permanently masculinised that they could not continue to identify or live with themselves as being women, and some proceeded to have complete surgical sex changes. Likely some did not go so far, but nevertheless remained heavily masculinised, and may have lived as men.

    We have to acknowledge from this that we cannot examine people’s physiological form or their chromosomes and be sure what their sex is. Even when we cannot clearly identify a physiological intersex condition, maybe they do in fact have one. The sheer frequency of the condition that people who appear reasonably clearly to be of one physiological sex have some internal strong sense that they “ought” to be of the opposite and seek gender reassignment therapy, and are apparently quite sane, means that delusion is not an adequate explanation for all these cases. Maybe there are in fact other intersex conditions we cannot yet physiologically identify, and this is the manifestation. But neither does this exclude the possibility that some people are indeed deluded, or even faking the condition.

    Once we acknowledge these facts, we have to acknowledge that categorisation into M and F is not clear in a material minority of cases. There will be occasional problems if we do things that require people so to identify themselves. In putting people in prison, we only condemning them to deprivation of liberty, not to suffer the risk of serious assault by the other inmates. We must both protect people from those risks when they are sufficiently serious. This works in both directions: both concern as to what a person may suffer, and concern over what suffering they may impose on others. We should remember the recent suicide of a TG person who was in the “wrong” prison.

    • It seems to be me there appears to be an awful lot of “men” in the wrong body rather than the reverse. My point, to reiterate, and it was not directed at intersex people rather those who say that they are transgender and in particular the men who say that they are women. Women are not “assigned” woman at birth neither do they “identify” as a woman they are just a woman. Men, those born with a penis (intersex aside), do not get to dictate to me – a woman, what being a woman is, nor do they get to create a label for me of cis or anything else for that matter. Just because they believe that being a woman is having breasts, hair extensions, dressing up in and acting in a peculiarly affected manner of girlishness, all shaking back long tresses, scarlet lipstick, killer heels, and legs crossed coquettisly at the knees in a complete parody of what they see when they look at women that also does not make them a woman. The aggressiveness and abusiveness with which some men pursue their goal to impose on us women acceptance of their fetish/kink is both offensive and alienating.

      Regarding the wrong prison if a penis is used to rape a woman the rapist belongs in a man’s prison. If it is not liked or felt to be unfair surely that was really something worth considering before the rape rather than after.

      • There’s a trans woman, certificate and all I believe, whom I see in the course of work and who fits that description bang on! She dresses like the front cover of a women’s weekly from the Sixties. But of course she still has the larger Adam’s apple and hands in proportion to her height that my gender are usually born with.

        It’s not rocket science, is it? Dress how you like, change your name if you want; but if your organs of reproduction are of the external variety and you get yourself imprisoned you belong in a men’s Nick.

        • Hormone treatment and surgery doesn’t fix your bone structure, you are stuck with that. What if the person with the “external organs of reproduction” has XX or unclear chromosomes? What if those “external organs” are in fact not functioning due to another intersex condition?
          Let us remember that “masculinised” features may be present even in those who have a relatively mild intersex condition. For example they featured in the concern about the South African runner, who appeared to be rather masculinised though she had “internal organs”. You can read more about that case at http://sportsscientists.com/
          It really isn’t as simple as you say.

          • Ms Ayrton’s external organs were working all too well when she raped some unfortunate woman. She has no business taking them into a women’s prison. That bit is as simple as that.

  12. In the specific case at hand, that may prove to be the correct judgement. The more general argument is different.