Leeds & West Yorkshire

Transgender prisoner Vikki Thompson 'considered at risk'

Robert Steel and Vikki Thompson Image copyright Robert Steele
Image caption The case of Vikki Thompson who died at the all-male Armley jail was raised in the House of Lords

A transgender woman who was found dead at a male prison was considered to be "at risk of self-harm", an inquest has heard.

Vikki Thompson, 21, of Neville Street, Keighley, died at Armley jail on 13 November. She had said she would kill herself if sent to a male prison.

She was in custody awaiting sentencing for robbery and was being held in a single-occupancy cell at HMP Leeds.

Wakefield Coroner's Court was told staff had been checking her hourly.

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When she was checked at 19:00 GMT, Ms Thompson was seen to be lying on her bed, giving no cause for concern, the inquest heard.

But when she was checked again at 20:10 she could not be seen and staff went into Ms Thompson's cell.

Emergency services were called and she was pronounced dead 38 minutes later.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death was thought to be hanging.

The inquest was adjourned for police and Prison Service investigations. It will be heard by a jury at a later date.

Ms Thompson's body has been released to her family for cremation.

Her death has prompted calls for a shake-up of the government's handling of transgender prisoners and a change in policy.

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