Transgender woman to serve time in male jail

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File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A transgender prisoner has been ordered to serve her sentence in a men's prison, not on home detention as requested.

Glen Cooper was sentenced to two years and one month in jail after she earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with intent to injure on January 17 this year.

In the Whangarei District Court today Judge Duncan Harvey gave Cooper a 15 per cent sentencing reduction in recognition of the difficulties she would have in serving her time in a men's prison.

She was also given a 15 per cent reduction for the early guilty plea.

Lawyer Kelly Ellis had, at a sentence indication hearing, appealed to Judge Harvey to consider a sentence less than two years that would enable Cooper to serve her time on home detention.

Ms Ellis submitted if Cooper went to jail in a men's prison, she would be in significant danger and at great risk of abuse.

Transgender is a recognised medical condition, which can require a variety of treatment options.

A transgender woman is a person born male who has gone through, or is in the process of, transition or gender change.

Cooper has been on remand at a men's prison while awaiting sentencing.

A police report said Cooper had been drinking with others at a Whangarei home when an argument erupted between her and another man.

Cooper punched the man in the face causing him to fall off a chair and then threw various things at him, including cups.

When the man got to his feet, Cooper hit him over the head with an unopened bottle of sparkling wine.

Ms Ellis said that was done as the man tried to punch Cooper. The man suffered two cuts to his head, which needed stitches, and an artery in his leg was cut.

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