A transgender prisoner has been jailed for life after admitting sexually assaulting two women inmates while being held on remand and the previous rapes of two other women.
Karen White, 52, was described as a ‘predator’ who was a danger to women and children, Leeds Crown Court heard.
White, who was born male but now identifies as a woman and is transitioning, was jailed for two counts of rape, two sexual assaults and one offence of wounding.
The court heard she used her ‘transgender persona’ to put herself in contact with vulnerable women.
She must serve a minimum term of nine-and-a-half years before parole can be considered.
White appeared by video link from HMP Leeds, and sat impassive during the hearing, wearing a patterned blouse and glasses with shoulder-length blond hair.
She attacked two women while at HMP New Hall, a women’s prison between September and October last year. At the time she was on remand for other offences.
White also had previous convictions for indecent assault, indecent exposure and gross indecency involving children, violence and dishonesty.
Passing sentence Judge Christopher Batty told the defendant: ‘You are a predator and highly manipulative and in my view you are a danger.
‘You represent a significant risk of serious harm to children, to women and to the general public.’
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.’
Mr Dunn told the court White was first arrested after attacking a 66-year-old neighbour with a steak-knife in Mytholmroyde, West Yorkshire last August 15.
She accused her victim of a sexual approach and ‘slobbering all over’ her in the communal laundry at their accommodation then later stabbed him with the knife, saying: ‘I’m going to kill you.’
While on remand at HMP New Hall, White began gender re-allignment, wearing a wig, make-up and false breasts.
While there she became friendly with another female inmate, until an incident on September 13 last year while in the queue for prisoners to get medication.
Mr Dunn said: ‘The complainant, while waiting, felt something hard press against the small of her back. She turned around to see the defendant stood there. She could see the defendant’s penis erect and sticking out of the top of her pants, covered by her tights.’
The matter was then reported to police and another prison assault came to light.
Another inmate told how she was in the prison workshop with White when the defendant was making ‘inappropriate comments about blow jobs.’
White then grabbed her hand and put it on the defendant’s left breast with the words: ‘Oh look, they are not real ones.’
White admitted both offences of sexual assault.
While in jail, White had written to an earlier rape victim had raped but which was not reported to police at the time. She subsequently complained to the prison authorities and police began to investigate.