Transgender rapist in all-female jail sexually assaulted inmates, but now sent to a men's prison for life

The prison service has apologised after a transgender sex offender was placed in an all-female prison and went on to sexually assault two women inmates.

Karen White was born a man but - despite having a history of sex attacks - was placed in women's prison HMP New Hall after telling authorities of his identification as a woman.

While in the women's prison, 'predator' White sexually assaulted two female inmates.

Prosecutors said White- who appeared in court via video link wearing a patterned blouse and glasses with shoulder-length blond hair- used a 'transgender persona' to gain access to vulnerable females.

The 52-year-old- who has a previous conviction for indecently assaulting a child in 2001- has now been ordered to serve a life sentence for the jail sex attacks and two rapes carried out when he was still a man.

The prison service today admitted mistakes were made when White was assigned to the all-female jail.

A spokesman said: 'We apologise sincerely for the mistakes which were made in this case. While we work to manage all prisoners, including those who are transgender, sensitively and in line with the law, we are clear that the safety of all prisoners must be our absolute priority.' 

The sentence will be served in a men's jail, where White has since been moved. 

Christopher Dunn, prosecuting, told the court: 'She is allegedly a transgender female.

'The prosecution say allegedly because there's smatterings of evidence in this case that the defendant's approach to transitioning has been less than committed.

'The prosecution suggest the reason for the lack of commitment towards transitioning is so the defendant can use a transgender persona to put herself in contact with vulnerable persons she can then abuse.'

White had previous convictions for indecent assault, indecent exposure and gross indecency involving children, in a campaign of attacks which started when he was a man known as Stephen Wood and living in Manchester.

Despite having previously cross-dressed, he began identifying as a woman while awaiting trial for attacking a neighbour last August.

White was therefore allowed to live in a women's jail while on remand and carried out the two sex attacks on women inmates between September and October last year.

White was jailed for two counts of rape, the two sexual assaults in jail and one offence of wounding.

Parole will not be considered for at least nine-and-a-half years. 

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