Davina Ayrton – trans woman jailed for rape

Davina Ayrton – trans woman jailed for rape

Photo from the BBC


We looked in January at the case of Davina Ayrton, a trans woman who was found guilty of raping a 15 year old in 2004. Sentence was adjourned, and on 4th March 2016 Ms Ayrton was sentenced to 8 years in prison.


Facts and Sentence 

The facts have not been that well reported, but it seems that Ms Ayrton raped the victim in a garage. During this, the victim “screamed and shouted during the attack and told Ayrton to stop“.

Apart from the change in her gender, there was nothing reported about Ms Ayrton’s background other than that she was “abused as a child and was sorry for what she has done“.

Although the offence is an historic one, the Judge would have been bound to apply the Sentencing Guidelines as they stand today (see page 10).

Without knowing more details, it’s hard to say how the Judge came to the sentence that he did. We would guess that the severity of the attack and the youth of the victim made this a Category 2B offence, with a starting point of 8 years.

The sentence of 8 years seems about right, and we wouldn’t expect an appeal to be successful. As to the reason why it was reported – it seems that Ms Ayrton will serve her sentence in a male prison.

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


    • I don’t think Tara Hudson and Davina Ayrton’s cases should be compared to each other.

      Without knowing either individual: it appears that Tara Hudson “lived her life as a female” as it would be recognised by a psychologist or psychiatrist assessing her suitability for surgery, the fact that she has had numerous surgery to appear more feminine also supports this assessment; Davina Ayrton’s behaviour on the other hand would not meet the criteria (again reinforcing that I know neither individual and so basing my comments on what is reported in the press).

  1. The comparison with the Tara Hudson case is inevitable but probably not all that helpful. Hudsonwas clearly a significant way down the road to complete gender reassignment – she appeared as a feminine woman, she had undergone extensive hormone treatment and she lived her everyday life as such. She would fall firmly into the transgender category.

    Davina Ayrton, by contrast, appears to be in the transvestite category, in that while she may wear women’s clothes and makeup she still quite clearly presents as a man.

    It is not an exact science by any means but the distinction in these cases would seem to make logical sense.

    To take any other approach would just open the flood gates to dozens of men arriving at court in a wig in an effort to avoid being sent to a male prison.

  2. I was surprised to see this reported so widely, the implication being that Davina should serve her sentence in a women’s prison. This is someone serving a sentence for a seemingly reasonably violent rape, given the length of the sentence. Would it really be appropriate for her to be in a women’s prison?