Somerset

Transgender prisoner Tara Hudson released

Tara Hudson Image copyright Jackie Brooklyn
Image caption Tara Hudson, 26, from Bath, was jailed for 12 weeks and placed in the all-male HMP Bristol after admitting assault

A transgender woman who was transferred to a female jail after thousands signed a petition to move her has been released from prison.

Tara Hudson, 26, from Bath, was initially jailed for 12 weeks and placed in the all-male HMP Bristol after admitting assault.

More than 150,000 people signed petitions calling for her to be moved.

BBC correspondent Jon Kay said Ms Hudson was seen leaving HMP Eastwood Park just before 10:30 GMT.

It is believed she was crouching inside a relative's car as it pulled away from the jail, he said.

Image caption A relative of Tara Hudson was seen driving away from the prison with a figure crouching in the back

'Prisons under pressure'

The make-up artist, who has had reconstructive surgery and lived as a woman all her adult life, was jailed at the end of October after she admitted head-butting a barman in Bath, causing damage to his teeth.

Magistrates said the assault, which came three weeks after Hudson had been given a conditional discharge, was so serious that only custody could be justified.

Supporters claimed Ms Hudson, who is still legally a man, had been placed in "extreme danger" of sexual violence by being sent to a male prison.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said he was unable to comment on specific cases.

Image copyright Tara Hudson
Image caption Tara Hudson was described in court as having a "worrying criminal record"

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said the prison service was under pressure and was struggling to "treat everybody as an individual."

She added: "In most prisons I visit, there will be maybe one or two people who are in similar circumstances. Far too often people are held in segregation or some form of isolation because it's considered too risky for them to mix with other prisoners.

"That is almost bound to affect their mental health."

As Hudson was released, the funeral of Vikki Thompson, another transgender woman held at a male prison, took place in Yorkshire.

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