Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 14:53 UK

Transsexual takes life in prison

An inquest jury has returned a verdict of suicide after a bullied transsexual prisoner hanged herself.

Lisa Woodhall, 28, was discovered at Eastwood Park women's prison, South Gloucestershire, having told a friend of her torment by other inmates.

Ms Woodhall, born Paul Hayes in Taunton, Somerset, left a note claiming she had been "murdered by ignorance and lack of appropriate care and help".

The jury found the balance of her mind was disturbed before her death in 2006.

Better communication

Ms Woodhall was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment in 2005 for slashing the eyelids of her ex-boyfriend's male partner.

Ms Woodhall's care manager, Andrew Gibbs, said she had rated herself as seven out 10 on a "wish to die" scale, three days before her death.

But he said he was happy with her progress and found she was not a high suicide risk. Staff checked her cell three times an hour.

Inmate Evelyn Shone said Ms Woodhall had been "picked on" by other prisoners, and had lost faith in the prison officers' ability to do anything about it.

The jury recorded that Ms Woodhall perceived her treatment at the prison as "inadequate and dismissive", but found that the level of care was in reality "good".

But communication between prison staff needed improving, the jury in Bristol ruled.

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