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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 July, 2003, 19:48 GMT 20:48 UK
Transsexual fails in court bid
A transsexual prisoner segregated from other inmates after she claimed she was sexually harassed has failed in a High Court bid to be allowed out of isolation.

Steph Clarke - who was jailed for murder in 1992 - was last month put into segregation from other prisoners at HMP Ranby in Nottinghamshire.

It had been alleged she made false statements against members of staff and other prisoners.

But she claims her incarceration amounts to "torture, inhuman or degrading treatment" banned by the European Convention on Human Rights.

A request to grant a temporary injunction, which would see her released from solitary, was refused by Mr Justice Stanley Burnton, who ordered a full hearing into her case to take place on 28 July.

'False claims'

James Strachan, representing the Home Office and the Board of Visitors of HMP Ranby, argued the application was "misconceived" as the decision to segregate Ms Clarke was "taken lawfully".

The court heard how, following her conviction, Ms Clarke was originally sent to HMP Nottingham, but in 1998 was diagnosed as suffering from "gender dysphoria".

She wants to undergo a full gender reassignment and, after she complained her special needs could not be met at Nottingham, she was transferred to HMP Dovegate in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, where she began to live as a woman.

Shortly afterwards, she applied to be moved again and was transferred to HMP Ranby.

Last month, she made allegations that she had been sexually harassed by other prisoners - but they said she had coerced them to make false claims against members of staff at the jail.

The inmates involved were placed in segregation while the prison governor conducted an inquiry into the allegations.

The inquiry is expected to be completed early next week.


SEE ALSO:
Transsexuals to sue pub
03 Jul 03  |  Northamptonshire
The legal obstacles facing transsexuals
10 Apr 03  |  Lincolnshire


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