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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August, 2003, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Transsexual jailed for rape attempt
A transsexual who said he tried to rape a woman so he could go to prison and have a sex change operation has been jailed for life.

Karen Louise Lawson - who used to be called Mark John Jones - committed the attack in a transsexuals' shop in Greater Manchester.

Bolton Crown Court heard the 21-year-old, of no fixed abode, had only stopped his assault when he failed to get an erection.

Lawson, who pleaded guilty to attempted rape, was jailed for life by the judge, who ruled his second violent crime was not an exceptional case.

He had committed the attempted rape just days after being freed on licence after serving half of a five-year sentence for manslaughter in a male young offenders institution.

Until you have full and proper treatment, I consider you to be potentially an extremely serious risk... to the public
Judge Derwent Hope
In 2001, when he was aged 18, he had admitted strangling his former lover when he refused to pay for Lawson's sex change operation.

During the recent case, the jury was told Lawson had gone into Transformations, in Prestwich, in October 2002 and attacked a woman.

He tried to rape her but was unable to get an erection.

Feared for her life

Lawson then went on the run but handed himself in to police in Bexleyheath, Kent, later that month.

Judge Derwent Hope, sentencing him to life in prison, said his victim had told police she feared for her life during the attack.

He told Lawson, who was referred to as she throughout the hearing: "Until you have full and proper treatment, I consider you to be potentially an extremely serious risk to any member of the public you associate with, a risk that could easily lead to that person's death."

Judge Hope also said Lawson's name would be put on to the sex offenders' register for the rest of his life.

A decision on when he would be suitable for parole would be left to the Home Secretary, he added.

Transsexuals lose equality case
14 Aug 03  |  Northamptonshire
Transsexual fails in court bid
16 Jul 03  |  Nottinghamshire

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