Transgender murderer Paris Green to have reassignment surgery on NHS The Times 19.11.18

The original article is here.

A transgender murderer serving a life sentence in prison has been given the go-ahead to have gender reassignment surgery paid for by the NHS.

In a move that has been described by prison officers as a “security nightmare”, Paris Green will be escorted on a 1,000-mile round-trip from a prison in Scotland to a hospital in the south of England. Under 24-hour guard, she will then undergo surgery and a period of recovery lasting up to two weeks, a process that will cost tens of thousands of pounds.

Green, who has identified as a woman since 2011, was jailed for life in 2013 for murdering a man who, along with two accomplices, she tortured, sexually assaulted and beat to death.

Prison sources revealed last week that Green, 27, had been given approval for the surgery, which she will be the first serving prisoner in Scotland to undergo. The operation is scheduled to go ahead within weeks.

Prison officers raised fears that the decision sent out the wrong message to victims of serious crime. They also expressed concerns over the transportation of a maximum-security prisoner.

One experienced officer said: “Most of the people I’ve discussed this with think it’s outrageous. You can murder someone brutally but while you’re in prison you’re entitled to everything you ask for, no matter the burden you put on a stretched system, because it might breach your human rights to say no.

“What about the rights of the victim and his family? Is anyone thinking of them? Is it not another slap in the face they could do without?”

Another officer said: “This will be a logistical and security nightmare for the prison service and for the health service, and they have more important things to worry about.

“This is not a life-saving operation. It is not vital to keep Green healthy. If you’re serving life for murder, I think some things should be outside your reach and this is one of them.”

Andy Hogg, of the Prison Officers’ Association Scotland, said: “We do not make the rules, we don’t comment on them and we don’t decide who goes to jail or when they get out. We just carry out our duties with professionalism and humanity.”

Green, who was born Peter Laing, spent much of her childhood in care. Her mother had five other children, who were all put up for adoption. In 2011 she officially changed her name.

She was jailed for life and ordered to serve at least 18 years in prison in November 2013 after she was found guilty of murder at the High Court in Edinburgh. Green and two accomplices lured Robert Shankland, 45, to her flat, tied him up and tortured him for hours, beating him so badly that they left a footprint on his neck. They also sexually assaulted him with a rolling pin.

Judge John Morris said at the trial: “It beggars belief you could act towards another human in this way. You left the victim, even in death, without any dignity.”

Green began her sentence at Cornton Vale women’s prison in Stirling but was moved after reports that she had had sex with other prisoners in her cell. She is now held in a women’s wing at Edinburgh prison.

Scotland’s hospitals lack the resources or experience to carry out full gender reassignment surgery. As a result, almost all Scots who undergo the procedure on the NHS travel to the Nuffield private hospital in Brighton.

In Green’s case, the NHS will meet the £20,000 cost of the operation and a stay of several days in a private room. If further surgery is recommended for Green it is likely to pay for the procedures at a cost of up to £60,000.

A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: “We cannot discuss individual cases but if a request is made by the NHS for surgery for one of the prisoners it is treating, we would not and could not stand in the way.”