Archive for the 'sex work' Category

Reclaim The Night: policing the borders of cis feminism

November 25, 2009

Previously, on more than one occasion, I’ve made it clear that my anger at the members of the London Feminist Network who organise the annual Reclaim The Night march here in London arises from their continuing refusal to make any public clarification of their position on trans women attending the event. For a transsexual woman like me, their use of the phrase “women only” is contentious because it carries with it the baggage of nearly half a century of our exclusion from cis women’s spaces.

That such blatant and toxic cissexism is applied to trans women is, frankly, unforgivable in this day and age, but reading the latest post on the Feminist Fightback blog (link here) makes me realise just how dangerous the march organisers’ attitudes are when applied to other cis women too.

As self-identified women committed to fighting gender-based violence, members of Feminist Fightback attended last Saturday’s march in solidarity with sex workers fighting for the right to self-organise against exploitation in their industry.

From the blog post, it seems that not only were they subjected to physical harassment and verbal abuse from other marchers, but were approached and interrogated by the police, apparently at the request of one of the stewards.

[…] we were extremely surprised to find that one of the basic principles of feminism (and all social justice movements) was forgotten in this instance – namely, that we never resort to using police aggression to silence and intimidate members of our own movement, no matter how much we may disagree with them.

And that is the crux of the matter. Feminism isn’t – or shouldn’t be – about a minority of privileged cis women using strongarm tactics against other, far more vulnerable women simply to prop up their distorted and outmoded worldviews. Might is most definitely not right, and the actions of those self-appointed guardians of a fictitious ‘true feminism’ have revealed the extent of the moral bankruptcy at the core of the London Feminist Network. They should be ashamed of themselves and if they had a shred of conscience, all those concerned would have stepped down by now.

It’s no surprise that the organisers of the Reclaim The Night march have made no public statement about this incident and their silence serves only to underline their desperation to hold on to their positions of power without accountability. But listen well, my sisters: the day is coming when you will be called to justify your appalling treatment of all those women against whom you have consistently used your privilege to discriminate, when the right and proper thing to do would have been to support and assist them in their struggle against a common enemy.

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See also:

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Demonstration against violence towards trans sex workers in Berlin, Friday 4 September

September 1, 2009

A demonstration is planned in Berlin on Friday 4 September, to protest the increasing violence against trans sex workers. Last month a trans woman was hospitalised after being attacked and stabbed. Since then the violence from neighbours has increased and some trans people have been severely injured. The trans sex workers of Frobenstraße, a street in Berlin, are facing attacks from neighbours as well as transphobic media coverage.

Two sex worker groups, a LSBT migrant group, a homeless people’s group and the Berlin trans/inter group transinterqueer have formed an alliance to hold this demonstration on Friday.

So if you are in town, please join the demonstration.

Click here to download full details of the event and circumstances around it (German, PDF)

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Cross-posted at Harlot’s Parlour

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Curtsey to Carla (via the TGEU listserv) for the heads up

“Man’s ‘secret love’ of transsexual women” – because it’s *always* about the cis man…

August 31, 2009

Wendy WilliamsThe Examiner has a two-part article (link to Part 1 here, link to Part 2 here). It’s about the increased use of so-called ‘transsexual porn’ by cis men and contains so many wrong ideas it’s hard to know where to start…

…*picks up the pink sparklehammer of deconstruction*…

How about we start with the title? “Man’s ‘secret love’ of transsexual women: Do new trends predict a second sexual revolution?” So, why is it a “secret love”? Is it because that to say it publicly would demonstrate that the cis man is using pornography that other cis men might deem to be outside the parameters of what’s acceptable to them? The problem there is that the cis man’s sexual orientation is given more weight than the transsexual woman’s gender identity.

Research gathered from more than a dozen major sources […] reveals that nearly 190 million heterosexual men are attracted to transsexual women and actively seek romantic contact with or sexually explicit images of them annually.

I wonder how many transsexual women reciprocate that interest. It seems to me that living in a world where the many forms of violent oppression against us – invariably at the hands of cis men – could make a transsexual woman very wary of having “romantic contact” with any cis man, regardless of his sexual orientation.

“The Internet really has made the whole thing more popular in the last few years,” says Steven Gallon […] “You’re now seeing [transsexuals] [sic] in mainstream advertising and on TV shows. That and the Internet have made it [socially acceptable for transsexuals] [sic] to be out there on display.”

Oh how we love sweeping generalisations based on incorrect assumptions and stereotypes. The – comparatively few – transsexual women seen in the mass media are usually hypersexualised and portrayed as conforming to all the binary ‘norms’ applied to cis women; there is no room for the less ‘glamorous’ of us. In addition, more often than not the – comparatively few – roles of transsexual women are given to cis women. And anyone who seriously thinks that it’s “[socially acceptable for transsexuals] [sic] to be out there on display” has obviously not been keeping up with the news feeds, nor spent any time at the TDOR website.

Such displays come as no surprise to Hollywood darling Seth Rogen […] “One thing I’ve learned through various mainstream sex sites is that way more guys are into transsexual porn than one would like to think,” […] “I feel like it’s the elephant in America’s room: the secret love of transsexual porno.”

That is such a depressing quote. It centres the experiences of cis men above those of transsexual women and, in the process, contributes to our further marginalisation and objectification via this gross hypersexualisation. And, for me, the ‘elephant in the room’ quote underlines how many cis men evidently feel guilty about, and uncomfortable with, their sexualities and project that on to transsexual women.

All of that is bad enough, but it bothers me more that the lived experiences of transsexual women sex workers are completely erased in pursuit of making cis men feel better about themselves. The fact is that many transsexual women move into sex work because it’s the only form of paid work open to them. Hormone therapy and surgery does not come cheap, and having to do sex work to pay your medical bills seems to me like coercion, plain and simple, and nothing at all to do with spearheading a ‘sexual revolution’. But no, we must overlook that and concentrate on ego-stroking the cis men. (An aside: how many of the transsexual women thus coerced into sex work have yet to undergo surgery – and is surgical status a factor in the manufacture and consumption of ‘transsexual porn’?)

But it’s the “heterosexual male” descriptor that continues to baffle many observers – or so they claim. Might they, too, be harboring a “trans-secret?” Gallon thinks they might be: “The majority of customers [who purchase transsexual porn] are straight men.” In fact, Gallon says, “[transsexual content generates] practically no response in the gay market at all. I don’t even bother to promote it to the gay market, because it would be a waste of money.” Not only are most of his customers heterosexual men, Gallon says, “some are movie stars, rock stars and sports figures” – guys most would consider “heterosexual role models.”

“Let me tell you, it’s not gay,” […] “Gay men do not want to watch [transsexual women]. It’s straight men who want to watch it.”

This is quite a compelling insight into the testosterone-fuelled and prejudiced logic of those cis men who use ‘transsexual porn’. These “heterosexual role models” are just as likely to react with violence towards any transsexual women they come across in real life, who dares not to meet their absurd constructs of how we should express ourselves – and yet will happily accept images of a transsexual woman’s sexed body, provided it’s in a sexual context, and provided they still control the context. How many of these cis men – were they to find themselves in a real life tryst with a transsexual woman – would be prepared to indulge in recreating demeaning onscreen fantasies with a living sentient being with her own needs and desires, instead of viewing passively?

And as for the barely concealed gay panic that runs through the quotes: is this not, in reality, another manifestation of the transphobic tropes that transsexual women can only ever be our assigned-at-birth gender and are nothing more than deluded “blokes in frocks”? (Note also that not one of these “socially acceptable” transsexual women appears in the interviews included in the article)

There may be a “willing suspension of disbelief” when cis men make and use transsexual porn, but they sure as hell keep a firm grip on their cissexism and trans-misogyny while they’re at it…

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Cross-posted at Harlot’s Parlour

Sex work and sexuality group blog

August 24, 2009

Via Caroline at Loserdust (link here):

Sex work and sexuality group blog

I am in the midst of setting up a group blog for sex workers and allies about, as the title of this post suggests, sex work and sexuality.

I’d like for it to be concerned mainly with the UK and Europe, though I do want to include US bloggers and issues.

I think this has a hell of a lot of potential. Blogging is a fantastic way of getting the message out to people and so often the US dominates discourse, so having a blog to really push the UK and Europe forward will be a very big thing. And I want this to work.

What I need – some folks from the UK and Europe. So, if you are a sex worker or ally from the UK / Europe and you’d like to participate in this, whether you’d like to be a regular contributer, post sporadically or just want to be in on the ride, give me a shout: shepherd[dot]cc[at]gmail[dot]com. I’ve already got one or two very groovy people, so you’ll be in awesome company :)

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Cross-posted at The F-Word

News cameras capture beating, undressing and humiliation of trans street worker

March 14, 2009

Via Blabbeando (via this Tweet by @helen_of_boyd), a reminder of this vigilante attack by a neighborhood watch group on a trans street worker in Peru earlier this year.

Apparently, the news report was broadcast on Wednesday, January 28th, so this might have happened earlier in the week. It shows men belonging to two neighborhood watch groups in Tarapoto, Peru, capturing a transgender sex worker and a client for allegedly engaging in sexual acts out in the open. The report says that both were stripped, their hair shorn off, beaten and humiliated, although the report only seems to capture what happened to the transgender woman.

Most chillingly is one of the members of the group, Jutson Alvarado, brings up the recent stabbing of another transgender person in the streets of Tarapoto and seems in approval of that attack. “We definitely have agreed to eradicate this”, he says on camera.

Neighborhood watch: quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Robyn Browne trial: cis man convicted of murder

January 20, 2009

James Hopkins, 42, from Leeds, was yesterday found guilty of murdering Robyn Browne in 1997. He will be sentenced on 22 January.

Via BBC News (which is still, unfortunately, misgendering Ms Browne in its report):

In a statement, Ms Browne’s family thanked the police, the prosecution team and their liaison officer for their efforts. They also thanked the jury for their unanimous verdict.

Ms Browne’s sister, Louise, said: “Now there can be some sort of closure. Her death impacts on those who knew her.”

As it does on the wider trans community. Thankfully the trans panic defence (and see also) wasn’t even tried in this case, no thanks to the prosecution’s apparent lack of understanding of (or tact for) Ms Browne’s transsexuality.

And from the Yorkshire Evening Post:

Mr Hilliard said: “There is some evidence that Robyn did have some clients who were in the public eye.”

But he said of Hopkins’s claims: “It was all untrue.”

Ms Browne’s sister Louise said in a statement to the court that his [sic] sister had been much loved despite her lifestyle.

“Lifestyle”? Being trans is many things, but it is categorically not a lifestyle choice…

I dunno. I’m glad that a verdict was secured aginst Mr Hopkins, whatever the “real” story – it seemed clear from the start that Ms Browne died by his hand, and thankfully that fact was not obscured.

But there’s no cause for celebration in all this.

The constant misgendering of Ms Browne by Mr Hopkins, Ms Abbott, the media and, most disturbing of all, by the prosecution, amounts to nothing more and nothing less than a complete dehumanisation of Ms Browne by all concerned. Ms Browne died alone, victim of a violent and frenzied stabbing and it took nearly twelve years for justice to be served. These facts on their own are hard enough to bear – but it seems that even after the verdict has been handed down, it’s still too much to ask that her identity be respected.

RIP Robyn Browne.

ETA: From the Daily Telegraph

Judge Martin Stephens said Hopkins would be jailed for life after a decision on the minimum term to be served.

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Previous related posts (reverse chronological order):

Robyn Browne murder trial: “Celebrity clients spared court appearance”

January 16, 2009

Sourced from the Yorkshire Evening Post again; depressingly the journalist still sees fit to misgender Ms Browne at every turn – and this fact is made more apparent when you realise that none of the quotes from the trial do so (for once).

Clearly the journalist has never come across such documents as the NLGA Stylebook Supplement on LGBT Terminology or the GLAAD Media Reference Guide. Even the NUJ’s own Model Agreement on LGBT for its members (in its twelve page booklet, the Sexual Legislation Handbook – direct link to PDF here) devotes nearly half its content to explaining how its members should be treated regarding any transsexual and gender reassignment issues they may have.

Anyway…

Celebrity clients spared court appearance in Leeds transexual murder trial

CELEBRITY clients of a murdered transsexual have not been called to give evidence to avoid embarrassing them, an Old Bailey jury heard.

Conveniently ignoring that there would probably have been no court case had Ms Browne not been stabbed to death. Also conveniently perpetuating the myth that “celebrities” are somehow too precious, too delicate, too special to be subject to the due process of the law. “Embarrassed” by what? – publicly admitting that they used a trans woman for sex? – or that their adoring fans might be disappointed to find that, guess what, celebrities are only human too?

Hopkins has stated he went to the flat to help to steal a secret list of famous clients who were being blackmailed by the victim and that the killer was a Jamaican known as ‘Appee’.

The clients have been questioned by police.

In his closing speech, prosecutor Nicholas Hilliard said: “There is some evidence the victim may have had some well-known clients. You don’t know who they are, only that they have told police they have not paid anyone. We have not called them to court because there was no need to embarrass them.”

Confessed

Speaking of the “secret list,” Mr Hilliard said: “Is this all a red herring, something fuelled by something the defendant saw in a newspaper, that someone well known used the services of the victim?”
Mr Hilliard said Hopkins’s final version of events was a lie – just as his previous two accounts had been.

This is interesting. If the implication is accurate – that there was no address book – then doesn’t that seem to suggest that the reason Mr Hopkins went to Ms Browne’s flat was to have sex with her? And if that’s the reality, then it might seem that the stabbing of Ms Browne would be more appropriately categorised as a trans panic attack (see also) after he realised that Ms Browne was a trans woman. The deaths of Kellie Telesford and Angie Zapata in apparently similar circumstances come all too readily to mind.

Hopkins told police he had never been to Miss Browne’s flat, but had confessed to his partner, Donna Abbott he was there when the victim was stabbed.

According to Ms Abbott, Hopkins told her Miss Browne was stabbed accidentally as she lunged at him with a knife when he tried to rip the secret pages from her Filofax.

The word ‘ludicrous’ is in my mind, for some reason. I just can’t work out how one person might “lunge” at another and then “accidentally” stab herself nine times, including in the back of her own neck.

“You have had a rare opportunity to see how the defendant’s lying story developed,” Mr Hilliard told the jury.

Hopkins left a bloody palm print at the scene which meant it was impossible to maintain his story about never having met the victim. He then told Ms Abbott about the struggle as an explanation. “It was all he was able to come up with at that time.”

He then wrote to Ms Abbott telling her his new version.

In a letter smuggled out of jail Hopkins told her to say police forced her to make a statement about his first account. He wrote: “The main thing to say is you were terrified of the police because they kept threatening you.”

“Your statement could be worse for me than the palm print. Make sure no silly **** sees this because this letter will send me down.”

Nothing there that hasn’t already been made public – not that that makes the whole sad and sordid story any more bearable. Then this:

The court has heard the final injuries were inflicted on Ms Browne as she lay face down on her bed.

As if having one’s life so violently extinguished at the age of just 23 wasn’t bad enough, but to have lost it by being literally stabbed in the back is a truly horrific thought. And having already been stabbed several times, was she really such a threat that – even lying face down in her own blood, perhaps already dying – that it was necessary to continue the attack in what seems like a frenzy of uncontrolled rage?

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Previous related posts (reverse chronological order):

Robyn Browne murder trial: denials and misgendering continue

January 14, 2009

Via BBC News:

Man denies murdering transsexual

[…]

Cross examining him, Nicholas Hilliard QC, prosecuting, asked him about a letter he had sent while in custody to his then girlfriend, Donna Abbott, who had made a statement to police claiming he had confessed to her about the killing.

In the letter he had implored her to change her story and say he had not told her anything about the 1997 incident and wrote: “They have no proof I told you anything”.

Mr Hopkins denied he had been putting pressure on her but added: “This letter is the only thing I’m going to have trouble explaining. But I was in a terrible state at the time I wrote it.”

Mr Hilliard claimed he had “made up” his whole account and said: “The truth is you went to that flat on your own didn’t you?”

“No,” replied Mr Hopkins.

“You went into the bedroom and Mr Browne said make yourself comfortable…you took out a knife and stabbed that man to death,” accused Mr Hilliard.

Mr Hopkins replied: “Where did that knife come from? I never carried a knife in my life.”

But Mr Hilliard continued: “You stabbed him in the body and then as he lay on the bed you stabbed him in the back of the neck.”

“No,” he replied.

[…]

“You are guilty of his murder, aren’t you?” said Mr Hilliard.

“Guilty of making a lot of mistakes in my life maybe,” replied Mr Hopkins, “guilty of not ringing the emergency services and guilty of writing that letter but I have never been a violent man in my life.”

[…]

The trial continues.

Mr Hopkins continues to avoid answering the question of whether or not he stabbed Ms Browne.

Unfortunately the transphobic hate speech, manifested as the relentless misgendering of Ms Browne, is also still very much in evidence, unremarked and accepted by everyone concerned, it seems. Bad enough that both the prosecution and defendant use male pronouns when referring to Ms Browne, and I understand that the BBC is simply reporting their words verbatim. But it is not acceptable – indeed, it is downright offensive – for the reporter to perpetuate this insulting behaviour.

This paragraph is frankly disgraceful:

The 23-year-old, who was born James Errol Browne, had been having treatment for a sex change but had not had the final operation. He was found with nine stab wounds to the chest and neck in a flat in Soho, central London.

As I’ve said before, Ms Browne’s pre-transition status is of supreme irrelevance and the reporter’s misgendering nothing less than unacceptable. I find it hard to believe that the BBC does not have its own journalistic guidelines covering this sort of situation – the NLGA and GLAAD both have easy-to-follow guidelines and in the absence of anything similar in Britain, perhaps the journalist on the BBC (and the Yorkshire Evening Post, for that matter) could receive sensitivity training taking these as a starting point.

But somehow, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Ms Browne is not here to correct the misgendering. The case itself is distressing enough and this kind of hate speech merely adds insult to injury.

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Previous related posts (reverse chronological order):

Robyn Browne trial: accused claims he tried to save the victim

January 13, 2009

This is becoming tiresome, Mr Hopkins. You still want us to believe this later version of your story of how Ms Browne died, which exonerates you and implicates another. Why not just tell us what really happened, hm? Via the Yorkshire Evening Post:

Transsexual ‘was killed by a Jamaican’

A roofer accused of murdering a transsexual prostitute claims he tried to save the victim from being attacked by someone else.

James Hopkins, 42, from Leeds, told a court the real killer of 23-year-old Robyn Browne was a Jamaican man, he knew as “Appee.”

He told jurors the pair had conned their way into Ms Brown’s flat in Marylebone, London, to get an address book.

Hopkins, the Old Bailey heard, then saw Appee struggling with the victim on the bed and tried to pull him away.

He said: “I could see there was a lot of blood coming from around Browne’s abdomen, chest area.”

“Appee made for Browne again. I grabbed him and this time Appee turned round and headbutted me.”

“I staggered back and Appee returned and stabbed Browne up near the neck. I was in a state of shock. I couldn’t believe what happened.”

You’re not the only one, Mr Hopkins. I only hope the court doesn’t believe you, too. Because, as we’ve heard, apparently you’ve already confessed to stabbing Ms Browne when you went to her flat to steal her address book for the princely sum of £500:

Hopkins had allegedly told his partner, Donna Abbott, during a prison visit how Robyn Browne was stabbed accidentally during a struggle at the flat.

Hopkins also claimed he had been paid £500 to steal an address book containing the names of famous clients who were being blackmailed by the victim, the court heard.

As for all this, well, do you honestly expect us to believe that’s what really happened? Because all this talk about Appee completely contradicts what we’ve heard previously. Surely you haven’t forgot your partner’s assertion that you wrote to her asking her to lie? Here, let me refresh your memory: “The main thing to say if you have to go to court is that I wasn’t alone and Appy was with me.” Remember that? “The main thing to say […] is that I wasn’t alone”? From your letter last April? Oh come on, Mr Hopkins, we went through all this only a few days ago.

No?

Still sticking to this version, then?

But giving evidence, Hopkins claimed that the plan was drawn up during a drinking session in the West End with Appee, who he had met while staying at the Queens Hotel in Brixton, south London.

He said: “He asked me if I would do him a favour. He said there was a girl that lived nearby that had some phone numbers that he needed, a book that she wouldn’t return.”

“She wouldn’t let him in the flat so would I go and get him access.”

Hopkins said he made an appointment for 7pm thinking she was a female prostitute.

He added: “When the door opened it was a black man in a dress, a bathrobe. I asked to use the bathroom and I heard Browne moving into the bedroom.”

Hopkins claimed he then pressed the buzzer to let Appee into the building.

You should have been a novelist; you certainly seem to have a very fertile imagination. Although, I must say I’m surprised you haven’t tried to use the trans panic defence (see also) – well, so far, anyway. Perhaps you’re saving it for another day’s prevarication, although I hope not. I just wish you’d tell the court what really happened, because for some reason – and maybe it’s just my suspicious mind, but it seems to me that if there is any truth to be found in your words, then it was more likely in that letter you wrote to your partner last April than in all this talk of conspiring with Appee…

Oh, and Mr Hopkins: how many times? Robyn Browne was a transsexual woman. Your continuing ungendering of her is sorely trying my patience…

Predictably, Mr Hopkins continues to deny murder and so the case continues. Further updates to follow as and when.

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Previous related posts (reverse chronological order):

Robyn Browne trial, Day 3: accused “not responsible for anybody’s death”

January 9, 2009

Via the Yorkshire Evening Post, a brief summary of yesterday’s proceedings at the Old Bailey in connection with the trial of James Hopkins for the murder of Robyn Browne in 1997:

Leeds accused ‘never met’ murdered transexual

[…] “To my knowledge I do not know the person or the address referred to by the police.”

“I met a lot of people at a lot of different addresses due to my lifestyle.”

“I have never stabbed or have been involved in stabbing anyone. I have nothing further to say at this time.”

I’m not convinced, actually, Mr Hopkins, that there’s nothing more for you to say. I have a hunch there’s plenty more you might consider saying to the court. Starting with a straight answer to the question you seem to be going out of your way to avoid:

“Did I do it?”

You’ve already said that you know a lot about it and how it happened – so why not share that information with the rest of us? Telling the truth is the least you could do for the memory of Robyn Browne.

[…] Having refused to answer a series of questions after his arrest, Hopkins was confronted with forensic evidence from the flat in Gosfield Street, Marylebone.

Told his prints were found on copies of the Sun newspaper and Loot adverstising paper in the living room, Hopkins was asked: “Have you anything to say about this,” and replied: “No.”

As above, Mr Hopkins: I believe there are things that you could, and should, say about it.

He added: “I did not kill anybody called James Brown. I am not a violent person. I have never been violent.”

A disingenuous approach like that doesn’t do you any favours. Of course you “did not kill anybody called James Brown” – because the person you’ve already confessed to killing was called Robyn Browne. Stop this deliberate misgendering, please, Mr Hopkins – it’s offensive, unnecessary and really doesn’t help your case in any way at all.

And your claims of non-violence? Well, let’s just say that, on the basis of what I’ve read so far, I find that very hard to believe. Only a couple of days ago, we were hearing how you “confessed to the 1997 killing of [Ms Browne] in letters to [your] partner and young son”.

So which is it? Once again I ask: did you stab Ms Browne multiple times and leave her for dead?

“I am not responsible for anybody’s death.”

To paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies, “Well you would say that, wouldn’t you?”

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ETA: Further update – yep, via YEP – describing Donna Abbott’s testimony:

Donna Abbott said James Hopkins confessed to fighting with victim Robyn Browne when she visited him in prison after his arrest.

She told a jury at The Old Bailey: “He said he went in, it turned into a struggle and there was a fight. He said he caught him in the neck and the chest with the knife.”

Oh please Ms Abbott, not you as well? How many times – you do not refer to Robyn Browne with male pronouns.

Sorry, it just makes me cross – as if there haven’t been enough disrespectful things said about Ms Browne already, apparently simply because she was a trans woman…

Ms Abbott added: “Jim said someone was being threatened and they asked him to go and get the book. When James went there he knew it was a prostitute and a lot of well-known people were getting threatened.”

Again. Ms Abbott, you do not refer to trans women as “it”. Ever. Just because someone like Allen Andrade (accused of the murder of Angie Zapata) uses such dehumanising language doesn’t make it all right for you to do the same.

Hopkins claimed he had been told to steal an address book from the flat in West London by a criminal known as Pineapple Head or ‘Appy,’ the court heard.

[…]

Ms Abbott said: “Jim told me it could be his palm print and it could be his blood. He said: ‘I haven’t done this Donna.’ He said if he goes down someone else would go down with him.”

Ms Abbott at first kept quiet about Hopkins’ claims but later gave a statement after one of her friends told police.

Hopkins then wrote her a final letter in April last year asking her to lie in court, it is claimed.

It read: “The main thing to say if you have to go to court is that I wasn’t alone and Appy was with me.”

Ms Abbott insisted that Hopkins never mentioned Appy was in the flat as well.

As before, Mr Hopkins denies murder and the case continues. Further updates will follow as and when available.

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Previous related posts (reverse chronological order):