A transsexual drug dealer has escaped a jail sentence after a judge ruled it would ruin his chances of completing a sex change.
Ian Morris, 41, who changed his name to Jean in 2009, is due to start Government-funded hormone treatment next week.
He was on trial after police intercepted nearly 2kg of the hallucinogenic drug ketamine which was sent to his flat.
Mr Morris’s lawyers pleaded with Judge Mark Horton to spare him a jail term because of his sex change operation and asserted that he would find it “difficult” in a male prison.
The judge agreed and suspended Mr Morris’s eleven month sentence at Bristol Crown Court.
In July a transsexual who downloaded pornographic images of children was spared jail because the judge said prison would be an “appalling experience” for him.
The 20-year-old man, who was formerly known as Luke but now goes by the name Laura Voyce, had not yet completed his sex swap treatment.
He faced up to nine months in a male prison for 14 counts of downloading indecent images of children from the internet.
Four of the images were ‘level four’, the second most serious level, featuring semi-naked children being abused.
In 2009 a transsexual man serving a life sentence for manslaughter and attempted rape won a transfer to a women’s prison.
A High Court judge ruled that it was a breach of the man’s human rights to keep him in the male prison, where he had been held in an area for ‘vulnerable prisoners’.
But the Department of Justice argued that the prisoner would be no more likely to find acceptance in a female jail, and that the long periods of segregation he would require could cost £80,000 per year.
Critics of sex change operations say that gender dysphoria is a psychiatric problem, not a physical one, and radical physical surgery does more harm than good.
In November a man who underwent sex change surgery to look like a woman – then changed back – warned that the NHS should halt all sex change operations.
Charles Kane, who spent £100,000 on operations to make him look like a woman, says he needed counselling, not surgery.
Mr Kane said: “People who think they are a woman trapped in a male body are, in my opinion, completely deluded. I certainly was.
He added: “In many ways I see myself as a victim of the medical profession.”
In 2002 doctors from the NHS Portman Clinic – an internationally acclaimed centre – stated that after surgery, “what many patients find is that they are left with a mutilated body, but the internal conflicts remain”.
A Home Office report from April 2000 said: “Many people revert to their biological sex after living for some time in the opposite sex”.