‘I know that I’m going to do something silly’, warned transgender prisoner found dead in cell

Vicky Thompson with boyfriend Robert Steele.
Vicky Thompson with boyfriend Robert Steele.
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The partner of a transgender woman who was found dead in a Leeds prison cell has told an inquest she did not want to be in a male jail and wrote to him saying: “I know I’m going to do something silly.”

Vikki Thompson, 21, died at Leeds Prison in November 2015 where she had been on remand for a month, an inquest in Wakefield heard.

A coroner was told she had repeatedly told prison and court escort staff that she would be “carried out in a box”.

Giving evidence, Miss Thompson’s partner Robert Steele said: “I believe she shouldn’t have been in a male prison.”

He said he spoke to her on the phone while she was in prison and she told him she wanted to move to a female prison and her solicitors were waiting for her to make a formal application to the governor. Mr Steele also said he received a letter from his partner which said: “I don’t think I can last very long in here. I can’t sleep at night. I just feel like I won’t be here no more.”

He said the letter continued: “I know I’m going to do something silly. I don’t want to but I can’t do this.”

But, in a statement read to the court, Miss Thompson’s mother Lisa Harrison said her daughter did not say she had a problem being in a male 
prison.

“Vikki didn’t like prison but who does?” Ms Harrison said.

“She never said anything to me about it being the wrong prison for her.”

Coroner Jonathan Leach said that Miss Thompson, from Keighley, had identified as female since she was 10 years old but had never had any surgical or hormone treatment.

The coroner said that she did not have a Gender Recognition Certificate establishing her female identity so she was sent to a male prison.

The court heard how she was found dead in her cell on November 2015 with a ligature around her neck.

The inquest continues and is expected to last three weeks.

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