UK Man Avoids Jail Time by Claiming To Be Trans Woman


There’s some confusion over whether Leila Le Fey should be classified as a man or a woman under United Kingdom law. As such, the biological male who reportedly identifies as a woman will avoid six months of jail time for threatening a man with a claw hammer.

Such is the case of Le Fey — who, as The Spectator blogger Julie Bindel points out, has a significant assortment of other names. He’s also been known as Layla Le Fey, Adam Hodgson and Marcus Smith. If that seems a bit confusing, the crime he pleaded guilty to isn’t.

Le Fey had tried to steal a bottle of wine from a grocery store in the seaside resort of Brighton, roughly 40 miles south of London. When confronted, he brandished the claw hammer.

I’m assuming he got the wine. Whatever the case, he also got a six-month sentence when he pleaded guilty to common assault and possession of an offensive weapon, given that he’d already had a conviction for knife possession. Hope it was a decent vintage, at least.

“When you took out the claw hammer it must have been terrifying,” Judge Stephen Mooney said when handing down his sentence at Lewes Crown Court this past week, according to Bindel.

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“It must be immediate custody because I see nothing in the offense itself or indeed in you that would render it unjust for me not to implement it.”

It took less than an hour for that sentence to hold up. Instead, because the reportedly transgender Le Fey couldn’t be legally identified as a man or a woman under U.K. law, he was going free with a six-month suspended sentence.

How could this happen? Well, Le Fey lacked his Gender Recognition Certificate, which would identify that he had changed sex from male-to-female under U.K. law. According to the U.K. Daily Mail, the certificate signifies that an individual has undergone sex reassignment surgery or has transitioned to their new gender. One must have transitioned for two years to get the certificate.

No certificate, no chance that Le Fey would go to a women’s prison. And, according to the U.K. Metro, Le Fey’s barrister, Rebecca Upton, said the only way for her to prove her client’s gender was to have the client submit to an “undignified examination.”

So instead, he got a suspended sentence.

“Issues have now arisen,” Mooney said as he gave Le Fey a suspended sentence, according to the Daily Mail.

“You have heard why in those circumstances I came to the conclusion that I had to send you to prison.

“There are circumstances where it can be regarded as disproportionate in a society that acknowledges diversity, but has a lack of resources otherwise to deal with it.

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“Having reflected again upon the impact an immediate custodial sentence would have, the difficulties there are and the intractable problems the prison service would face, I have reconsidered whether imprisonment must be immediate.

“In light of this information I have come to the conclusion that in your particular case it allows me to hope for some form of rehabilitation.”

And so, Leila Le Fey is a free man because he claimed to be a woman without actually having the proper documentation to pass himself off as one.

In the Spectator, Bindel lamented the decision — and not just because an individual refused to follow the proper channels to legally change gender and instead relied on self-identification was getting off scot-free.

“A recent report by the ministry of justice and the prison and probation service (HMPPS), ‘The Care and Management of Individuals Who Are Transgender’, advises staff that some transgender individuals can pose a risk. This, the report says, needs to be ‘managed’. It also states that the transgender identity of male to female prisoners must be kept secret from female prisoners. In other words, women are not allowed to know that a fox has broken into the henhouse,” Bindel wrote.

“I am sick and tired of men using self-identification in order to abuse and prey on women and girls and to be given a ‘get out of jail free’ card. A record number of male offenders in prison now identify as female. The Daily Telegraph reported that there are more than 100 such prisoners, double the figure from two years ago. Fair Play for Women estimates that half of all transgender prisoners are sex offenders or dangerous category A inmates.

“So when will pandering, cowardly liberals wake up to the fact that trans-identifying males such as Le Fey are taking advantage of the current situation? A woman in Le Fey’s position would be sitting in a hideous prison cell right now. Judge Mooney has set a precedent he may well live to regret.”

Or perhaps not. I find the slippery slope argument to be lazy most of the time, but it isn’t when elements of British officialdom have no desire to arrest their descent down that slippery slope.

Judge Mooney’s words were as transparent as could be: Britain did “not make the necessary or appropriate adjustments in all ways it can to reflect the adjustments of society as a whole.” In other words, jails should allow self-identification even though Britain already has an extremely progressive policy in this matter.

Thus, Le Fey is as free as a bird because he didn’t actually do the work to officially identify as a female — and thus, his debt to society and to his victim are obviated in one stroke of a pen.

Time marches on and it stops for no one or no thing in the transgender debate — not science, not the lack of it and not millennia of tradition.

Dare we call it transgender privilege?

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture