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Rapist Isla Bryson complains of ‘transphobic abuse’ in prison

Isla Bryson, formerly known as Adam Graham

July 4, 2023 - 7:00am

No man should ever be housed in a women’s prison. It’s essential to restate this principle before people start drawing the wrong conclusion about the alleged abuse of a transgender prisoner at a jail in Scotland. Isla Bryson, a double rapist who enjoys the dubious distinction of being the UK’s most high-profile trans inmate, complained at the weekend about being the subject of “transphobic abuse” at HMP Edinburgh.

In a letter to the Sunday Mail, Bryson claims that the prison is “full of transphobic people” and says “I’m not doing too good” because of abuse from staff and other prisoners. Police Scotland states that a 24-year-old man has been charged in connection with threatening and abusive behaviour, but nothing else is known about the circumstances.

Bryson is, of course, the prisoner whose trial caused uproar in January, and his case is regarded as a contributing factor in Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation as First Minister. Bryson committed the rapes while living as a man, Adam Graham, and his appearance in court under a female name created headlines containing risible phrases such as “her penis”

Scottish politicians who enthusiastically supported the SNP’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill squirmed when asked whether Bryson was really trans or gaming the system in order to be sent to a women’s prison in Stirling. He spent one night in the women’s estate before being moved to Edinburgh, where the alleged abuse took place.

I’m sure prison isn’t a pleasant experience for Bryson, but that’s squarely the fault of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS). It was one of the earliest scalps for trans activists, who were involved in writing policy on trans prisoners as early as 2011. What they came up with completely ignored the wishes and welfare of women, insisting that inmates should be housed in a prison that suits “the gender in which the person in custody is currently living”. Even the most minimal protection for female prisoners, such as putting male-bodied inmates in single cells, “should be avoided wherever possible”.

The likely outcome was obvious: male sex offenders only had to “identify” as women and they would be housed in a women’s prison, where female inmates would be forced to share showers, toilets and recreation areas with them. To add insult to injury, the policy went on to say that trans inmates should be allowed access to prosthetics, chest-binders and wigs to help them “express their gender identity”. 

The policy came into effect nine years ago but it took the spectacle of Bryson, turning up at court in a blond wig and tight leggings, to make the public sit up and take notice. What we’re witnessing now is the abject failure of the SPS to rethink its policy once its ludicrous trans-inclusive experiment fell apart. The argument for a separate wing for trans-identifying inmates has always been compelling — but repeatedly rejected by trans activists and prison services.

Female prisoners should never have been used as human shields to protect trans-identified males from other men. Bryson is a convicted sex offender, serving an eight-year sentence, and his complaints are not an argument for moving him to a women’s prison. They are, however, an illustration of the folly of allowing public policy to be influenced by gender warriors, with dire results for both women and trans-identified prisoners.


Joan Smith is a novelist and columnist. She has been Chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board since 2013. Her book Homegrown: How Domestic Violence Turns Men Into Terrorists was published in 2019.

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Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
11 months ago

He cannot be getting transphobic abuse, since nobody, apart from Nicola Sturgeon, believes that he is trans.
He will be getting abuse because he is an evil rapist who tried to game the system to get into a women’s prison.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

You said something true. Expect an unpleasant conversation with your bank.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

You said something true. Expect an unpleasant conversation with your bank.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
11 months ago

He cannot be getting transphobic abuse, since nobody, apart from Nicola Sturgeon, believes that he is trans.
He will be getting abuse because he is an evil rapist who tried to game the system to get into a women’s prison.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

Thank you for not “misgendering” this revolting man. A couple of months ago I cancelled my subscription to the Telegraph because of their lamentable insistence on calling him and other “trans” sex offenders “she” and “her”.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven


Removed comment as I’m not sure it’s correct.

Last edited 11 months ago by Judy Englander
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Cryptic!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Cryptic!

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Isn’t this a legal issue? As in, the paper can be sued for ‘misgendering’? You can legally change your gender after all.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven


Removed comment as I’m not sure it’s correct.

Last edited 11 months ago by Judy Englander
Jane Watson
Jane Watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Isn’t this a legal issue? As in, the paper can be sued for ‘misgendering’? You can legally change your gender after all.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

Thank you for not “misgendering” this revolting man. A couple of months ago I cancelled my subscription to the Telegraph because of their lamentable insistence on calling him and other “trans” sex offenders “she” and “her”.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
11 months ago

I could comment on this article, but I’m worried that my bank account will be closed.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Too late, I am afraid.
Reading is enough!

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Too late, I am afraid.
Reading is enough!

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
11 months ago

I could comment on this article, but I’m worried that my bank account will be closed.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago

“Bryson committed the rapes while living as a man, Adam Graham”
He didn’t “live as” a man. He was, is, and will always be a man.
And there is no such thing as “living as”. There is only “being” on the one hand, and “pretending to be” on the other.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
11 months ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master–that’s all’.

Your masters say he was living as a man having been arbitrarily assigned to that sex at birth by a midwife who failed to spot his true inner gender having been misled by the dangly bits that he used rather aggressively when “living as a man”.

Be careful before you contradict your masters or you might have your bank account cancelled or worse.

JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I always quote Alice and the Cheshire Cat, who has become even more perspicatious recently

“Tell me puss, which way should I walk?

That depends where you want to get to.

I’m not sure, said Alice.

In that case, any direction will do!”

JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I always quote Alice and the Cheshire Cat, who has become even more perspicatious recently

“Tell me puss, which way should I walk?

That depends where you want to get to.

I’m not sure, said Alice.

In that case, any direction will do!”

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

He’s pretending to live as a woman now.

Stephen Heywood
Stephen Heywood
11 months ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

Society can refuse to accept the dangerous nonsense of surrendering to the whole prisons/toilets/changing rooms/sports thing while still accepting that it’s a bit petty to complain about the expression “living as a man/woman” which is really no more objectionable than “identifies as a man/woman”. Leaving aside where we put convicted rapists, if it’s reasonable to reject the idea of “is a man/woman”, then how else do we describe the fact that X wants to be treated socially as a man/woman? Unless the real issue here is that we prefer that X lives and behaves as we decide. Presumably, if a work colleague announces that in future they want to live/identify as a woman, then it’s not just a fear of Human Resources which stops us sticking our fingers in our ears and saying “No no no no no, you’re not, you’re only pretending”. If someone asks “How’s old Fred these days”, then I don’t see any problem with replying “Oh, he’s living as a woman these days”. After all, in the case of Bryson, the immediate reply would probably be “Oh, he’s a convicted rapist these days”, at which point we can then accept that how he prefers to live takes second place to protecting women and girls. I seriously think that the people pushing the whole prisons/toilets/changing rooms/sports agenda are largely not trans people at all but lawyers, bureaucrats and politicians.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

“how else do we describe the fact that X wants to be treated socially as a man/woman?”
Living as if he/she was a woman/man?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

“how else do we describe the fact that X wants to be treated socially as a man/woman?”
Living as if he/she was a woman/man?

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
11 months ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master–that’s all’.

Your masters say he was living as a man having been arbitrarily assigned to that sex at birth by a midwife who failed to spot his true inner gender having been misled by the dangly bits that he used rather aggressively when “living as a man”.

Be careful before you contradict your masters or you might have your bank account cancelled or worse.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

He’s pretending to live as a woman now.

Stephen Heywood
Stephen Heywood
11 months ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

Society can refuse to accept the dangerous nonsense of surrendering to the whole prisons/toilets/changing rooms/sports thing while still accepting that it’s a bit petty to complain about the expression “living as a man/woman” which is really no more objectionable than “identifies as a man/woman”. Leaving aside where we put convicted rapists, if it’s reasonable to reject the idea of “is a man/woman”, then how else do we describe the fact that X wants to be treated socially as a man/woman? Unless the real issue here is that we prefer that X lives and behaves as we decide. Presumably, if a work colleague announces that in future they want to live/identify as a woman, then it’s not just a fear of Human Resources which stops us sticking our fingers in our ears and saying “No no no no no, you’re not, you’re only pretending”. If someone asks “How’s old Fred these days”, then I don’t see any problem with replying “Oh, he’s living as a woman these days”. After all, in the case of Bryson, the immediate reply would probably be “Oh, he’s a convicted rapist these days”, at which point we can then accept that how he prefers to live takes second place to protecting women and girls. I seriously think that the people pushing the whole prisons/toilets/changing rooms/sports agenda are largely not trans people at all but lawyers, bureaucrats and politicians.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago

“Bryson committed the rapes while living as a man, Adam Graham”
He didn’t “live as” a man. He was, is, and will always be a man.
And there is no such thing as “living as”. There is only “being” on the one hand, and “pretending to be” on the other.

Tina Lennon
Tina Lennon
11 months ago

Yes good that stating the obvious that he’s a man. Then unfortunately we have the last sentence of the article! ‘dire results for both women and trans identified prisoners. No just women.

Tina Lennon
Tina Lennon
11 months ago

Yes good that stating the obvious that he’s a man. Then unfortunately we have the last sentence of the article! ‘dire results for both women and trans identified prisoners. No just women.

Steven Targett
Steven Targett
11 months ago

One could say “Serves him right”. A sad state of affairs when other criminals mete out the justice Graham deserves.

Greg Morrison
Greg Morrison
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Targett

My thoughts exactly. IMO a decent society would have hanged him for rape (for the record, I’d be more than happy for him to wear a dress for the occasion. I’m very open minded and liberal).

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Greg Morrison

Vivisection at Tyburn would be my choice.

R S Foster
R S Foster
11 months ago

…they weren’t actually anatomized at Tyburn, just hanged and then handed over to Surgeon’s Hall…where an enthuastic public could proceed from the execution to the dismemberment, thereby providing a full day’s amusement to the fashionable set. But I approve the sentiment…

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  R S Foster

Your are correct for those condemned under the Murder Act, 1751, but I was referring to the penalty for those condemned for High Treason* which did involved immediate vivisection after a very brief period of strangulation *.*

(* The Treason Act, 1351.)
(* *The reason for this is too unpleasant to repeat, even for hardened UnHerd commentators.)

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  R S Foster

Your are correct for those condemned under the Murder Act, 1751, but I was referring to the penalty for those condemned for High Treason* which did involved immediate vivisection after a very brief period of strangulation *.*

(* The Treason Act, 1351.)
(* *The reason for this is too unpleasant to repeat, even for hardened UnHerd commentators.)

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
R S Foster
R S Foster
11 months ago

…they weren’t actually anatomized at Tyburn, just hanged and then handed over to Surgeon’s Hall…where an enthuastic public could proceed from the execution to the dismemberment, thereby providing a full day’s amusement to the fashionable set. But I approve the sentiment…

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Greg Morrison

Vivisection at Tyburn would be my choice.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Targett

He will be getting a lot of stick, mentally and physically, because he is a rapist. Men on the inside usually have family on the outside so what they do to sex offenders is a warning to those on the outside that they just don’t like them and what they can expect if they are caught. You can’t force people to like each other in prison, the armed forces or any other group of people.

Greg Morrison
Greg Morrison
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Targett

My thoughts exactly. IMO a decent society would have hanged him for rape (for the record, I’d be more than happy for him to wear a dress for the occasion. I’m very open minded and liberal).

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Targett

He will be getting a lot of stick, mentally and physically, because he is a rapist. Men on the inside usually have family on the outside so what they do to sex offenders is a warning to those on the outside that they just don’t like them and what they can expect if they are caught. You can’t force people to like each other in prison, the armed forces or any other group of people.

Steven Targett
Steven Targett
11 months ago

One could say “Serves him right”. A sad state of affairs when other criminals mete out the justice Graham deserves.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
11 months ago

Since when was prison going to be a walk in the park? It’s supposed to be hard! It’s punishment for crimes committed!

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
11 months ago

Since when was prison going to be a walk in the park? It’s supposed to be hard! It’s punishment for crimes committed!

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
11 months ago

“inmates should be housed in a prison that suits “the gender in which the person in custody is currently living”

Presumably if you identify as non-binary they have to release you as you don’t identify as either a man or a woman and they don’t have any non-binary prisons yet. Somehow the characters in Alice in Wonderland seem to have escaped into the real world and are writing public policy. Words mean exactly what I want them to mean… was that the Red Queen or the White Queen – I forget.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I think it was the caterpillar smoking the hookah atop the shroom.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Having looked it up it seems it was Humpty Dumpty.

He ends the the exchange with Alice on this subject by saying: ‘The question is,’ …‘which is to be master–that’s all’. This, of course, is the aim of the woke to ensure they are the masters.

Let us hope our Humpty Dumptys have a great fall and can never be put together again.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Aha, thanks for setting me right. As it happens, Dodgson/Carroll was one of the 19th century’s foremost logicians, and I had a thoroughly undistinguished career in analytical philosophy, including teaching logic to undergrads intermittently for several years.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Aha, thanks for setting me right. As it happens, Dodgson/Carroll was one of the 19th century’s foremost logicians, and I had a thoroughly undistinguished career in analytical philosophy, including teaching logic to undergrads intermittently for several years.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Having looked it up it seems it was Humpty Dumpty.

He ends the the exchange with Alice on this subject by saying: ‘The question is,’ …‘which is to be master–that’s all’. This, of course, is the aim of the woke to ensure they are the masters.

Let us hope our Humpty Dumptys have a great fall and can never be put together again.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I think it was the caterpillar smoking the hookah atop the shroom.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
11 months ago

“inmates should be housed in a prison that suits “the gender in which the person in custody is currently living”

Presumably if you identify as non-binary they have to release you as you don’t identify as either a man or a woman and they don’t have any non-binary prisons yet. Somehow the characters in Alice in Wonderland seem to have escaped into the real world and are writing public policy. Words mean exactly what I want them to mean… was that the Red Queen or the White Queen – I forget.

Matt M
Matt M
11 months ago

In a civilised world double-rapist Adam Graham would be given an involuntary sex reassignment as part of his punishment

Matt M
Matt M
11 months ago

In a civilised world double-rapist Adam Graham would be given an involuntary sex reassignment as part of his punishment

Margaret Bluman
Margaret Bluman
11 months ago

The Scottish women’s prison to which men who identify as trans were sent does not have individual cells. Women live in small groups with shared facilities. Apparently the previous governor resigned in protest at the danger to women inmates. It really is beyond belief. But at least male prisoners know a male when they see him.

Margaret Bluman
Margaret Bluman
11 months ago

The Scottish women’s prison to which men who identify as trans were sent does not have individual cells. Women live in small groups with shared facilities. Apparently the previous governor resigned in protest at the danger to women inmates. It really is beyond belief. But at least male prisoners know a male when they see him.

Caroline Minnear
Caroline Minnear
11 months ago

When you commit an awful crime you forgo you’re rights, trans rights/human rights. Imprisonment is a loss of a human right.
It’s absolutely wild that “his trans rights” get any airtime at all.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago

Furthermore, no-one, whether they have committed a crime or not, has any ‘right’ to have their ‘identity’ respected and/or affirmed by anyone else or by society at large. Such a ‘right’ would mean imposing a duty on others to defer to that person’s narcissistic view of themselves.
On the contrary, each of those others has the right to view anyone else as they see fit and to judge them in whichever way they want, including negatively. They are only prohibited from expressing such negative judgements in a consistently abusive manner, which does not include their use of pronouns, which far from belonging to the person to whom they are applied, are the rightful property only of those who use them.

Last edited 11 months ago by Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago

Furthermore, no-one, whether they have committed a crime or not, has any ‘right’ to have their ‘identity’ respected and/or affirmed by anyone else or by society at large. Such a ‘right’ would mean imposing a duty on others to defer to that person’s narcissistic view of themselves.
On the contrary, each of those others has the right to view anyone else as they see fit and to judge them in whichever way they want, including negatively. They are only prohibited from expressing such negative judgements in a consistently abusive manner, which does not include their use of pronouns, which far from belonging to the person to whom they are applied, are the rightful property only of those who use them.

Last edited 11 months ago by Russell Sharpe
Caroline Minnear
Caroline Minnear
11 months ago

When you commit an awful crime you forgo you’re rights, trans rights/human rights. Imprisonment is a loss of a human right.
It’s absolutely wild that “his trans rights” get any airtime at all.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
11 months ago

Poor baby he’s unhappy with the treatment he claims to be receiving while in prison for rape. If he hadn’t of raped women in the first place he wouldn’t be in prison for rape.
he should remain in the men’s prison, why should female prisoners be put at risk from this rapist.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
11 months ago

Poor baby he’s unhappy with the treatment he claims to be receiving while in prison for rape. If he hadn’t of raped women in the first place he wouldn’t be in prison for rape.
he should remain in the men’s prison, why should female prisoners be put at risk from this rapist.

Lang Cleg
Lang Cleg
11 months ago

Convicted sex offenders aren’t popular with other prisoners shocker. Prisoners use crude language when expressing disapproval shocker.
Male prisons are well used to managing risks associated with housing sex offenders. Inspections should reveal whether individual prisons have robust systems dealing with those risks. If they don’t then they need remedial measures.
Nothing to see here.

Lang Cleg
Lang Cleg
11 months ago

Convicted sex offenders aren’t popular with other prisoners shocker. Prisoners use crude language when expressing disapproval shocker.
Male prisons are well used to managing risks associated with housing sex offenders. Inspections should reveal whether individual prisons have robust systems dealing with those risks. If they don’t then they need remedial measures.
Nothing to see here.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
11 months ago

Joan, do you bank with more than one bank or do you plan to keep.your money under the mattress?

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
11 months ago

Joan, do you bank with more than one bank or do you plan to keep.your money under the mattress?

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
11 months ago

Boo the Eff Hoo!
He deserves far more than 8 years in prison.
Sex offenders receive insanely light sentences.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
11 months ago

Boo the Eff Hoo!
He deserves far more than 8 years in prison.
Sex offenders receive insanely light sentences.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago

Where is J Watson to put the case for incarcerating male rapists in women’s prisons.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

At a Pride parade chanting about being queer and coming for our children.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

It’s a worry for some of us.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

At a Pride parade chanting about being queer and coming for our children.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

It’s a worry for some of us.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago

Where is J Watson to put the case for incarcerating male rapists in women’s prisons.

Judy Simpson
Judy Simpson
11 months ago

If Adam Graham is being abused in jail, perhaps he’ll think twice before raping another woman when he’s out.

Judy Simpson
Judy Simpson
11 months ago

If Adam Graham is being abused in jail, perhaps he’ll think twice before raping another woman when he’s out.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago

“I’m sure prison isn’t a pleasant experience for Bryson, but that’s squarely the fault of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS).” Prison isn’t meant to be a pleasant experience for any prisoner.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago

“I’m sure prison isn’t a pleasant experience for Bryson, but that’s squarely the fault of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS).” Prison isn’t meant to be a pleasant experience for any prisoner.

Cate Terwilliger
Cate Terwilliger
11 months ago

Patently absurd; whenever a man’s involved, it seems women count for nothing.
In Minnesota (U.S.), a trans-identified male inmate recently won nearly a half-million dollars from state taxpayers. Why? Because the Department of Corrections did not adquately validate his “gender identity” by transferring him to a women’s prison (now accomplished) nor providing bottom surgery, which taxpayers may also now be on the hook for. Predictably, media failed to report this man has a 40-year-criminal record (heaven forbid, they “deadname” him, though this information is public), and is plausibly also gaming the system — not to assault women, but to have taxpayers foot the bill for the full expression of his mental illness. Upon release next year, he can go back to re-offending as a “woman” — and will probably be recorded as such by gender-pandering bureaucrats.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
11 months ago

Good Grief. Hurting someone’s feelings in the US seems very expensive – nearly half a million. I didn’t realise the US had gone over to fully socialised medicine with free body transformations. Does he get a regular perm, colour and nails done on the taxpayer too?

Cate Terwilliger
Cate Terwilliger
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I would not be surprised. It’s especially expensive to hurt a Special Gender Person’s feelings in NYC, where landlords and employers can be fined up to $250,000 for “misgendering.” Seriously: If they persist in calling a person by his or her biological sex pronoun instead of the delusional pronoun the person prefers, that’s the penalty. Things are nuts in California, too, where refusing to affirm a child’s “gender identity” can work against parents in custody cases.
It’s hard to find much to celebrate this Independence Day. (I’d ask you to take us back, but why would you?)