September 27, 2022 - 5:34pm

‘Woman convicted of historic offences against children in Sussex,’ reads the headline on Sussex Police’s website. But it was clear that the perpetrator was male, and not just because female child sex offenders are a relative rarity. 

In fact, the press release itself stated that Sally Ann Dixon was known as John Stephen Dixon up until 2004. The children, seven in total aged from six to 15, were abused by Dixon between 1989 and 1996 in 30 separate assaults. When one of the victims, now an adult, came forward in 2019 and reported Dixon, several others followed suit.

After Sussex Police were admonished for referring to Dixon as a woman in their statement, they responded on 27 September by tweeting: “Hi, Sussex Police do not tolerate any hateful comments towards their gender identity regardless of crimes committed. This is irrelevant to the crime that has been committed and investigated.”

So, is sex now irrelevant to sex crime?

It must be deeply upsetting for Dixon’s victims to have the truth about their perpetrator obscured. It is bad enough recounting distressing details of sexual assault without being told their abuser is now ‘a woman’. But, to make matters much worse, Dixon has been sent to Bronzefield — a women’s prison. 

Last year I interviewed Amy, a former prisoner from Bronzefield who had been sexually assaulted by a trans-identified male whilst in custody. She told me that the prison officers were terrified to deal with transgender sex offenders on the wing, even when women reported them for inappropriate behaviour. 

Amy, with the help of feminist lawyers, took a judicial review against the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to overturn its policy to allocate high risk trans-identified prisoners, including sex offenders, to female prisons.

Her lawyers argued that the policy discriminates against female prisoners, and that the government had failed to take into account the provisions of the Equality Act which allows for certain institutions and services to be female-only. If a prison wing, in which some of the most vulnerable women in society are confined, does not qualify as a suitable location for such an exemption, I struggle to think of what does. 

Why put Dixon, who does not even have a Gender Recognition Certificate and is therefore male in law as well as body, in a women’s prison? If trans-identified males are worried about being bullied or attacked by other prisoners in the male estate, then sort that out. No prisoner should be subject to fear or attack. And as for using female pronouns for males who have carried out sexual assaults? We need to challenge it at every stage — from arrest, to court, and through to conviction. It is inexcusable to claim that a ‘woman’ carried out crimes committed by men when it is women who are disproportionately the victims of sex crimes. 

In its response to complaints about its description of Dixon, Sussex Police has been exposed as yet another institution that has been captured by the madness of transgender ideology. To dismiss legitimate concern as ‘hate’ is to paint a substantial portion of women as bigots. This attitude is not just a source of disgrace for the police force, but may well discourage future victims from coming forward.

Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist, author, and feminist campaigner. Her latest book is Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation. She also writes on Substack.