A female prisoner has described her ordeal at the hands of a
transgender woman who sexually molested inmates at a women's jail
during a three-month reign of terror.
Waiving her anonymity in an interview with The Mail on Sunday,
Cheryle Kempton is the first victim to speak out in the hope that it
prevents other women facing a similar fate.
And in a shocking account, Cheryle, 45, reveals she was one of four
victims of sex predator Karen White, who was sent to the jail
despite having had neither surgery nor hormone treatment.
White, 56, was sent to HMP New Hall, which houses 360 women, despite
being a convicted paedophile on remand for grievous bodily harm,
multiple rapes and other sexual offences against women.
She believes White – who was born Stephen Wood – faked being
transgender for the sole purpose of preying on vulnerable women and
took advantage of new legislation which allows men who live as women
to serve time at female prisons.
'She would get special privileges to buy make-up on certain sites
like Asos and she was allowed to use the internet to buy her wigs,'
said Cheryle. 'We were never allowed to do that, so why was she?'
Under new guidance, judges must now consider forcing alleged victims
of sexual offences to refer to transgender defendants by the gender
they wish – as well as keeping their previous names a secret.
Decisions on where to place inmates such as White are initially
taken by a local transgender case board made up of prison managers
and psychologists. In this case, White's previous crimes were not
taken into account.
Cheryle says she will never forget the balmy September afternoon in
2017 when White strolled across the exercise yard at the jail near
Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and asked if she could borrow some oil
for her e-cigarette.
'She pushed herself up behind me and I could feel that she was
aroused,' said Cheryle. 'I went mad. She was whispering, 'You know
you want it.' '
Next day, White grabbed Cheryle's hand and put it on her crotch.
'She grabbed my arm so hard, without saying a word. I froze as I was
in shock but then I lost it with anger and picked up a pair of
'I had to be dragged out and she was denying it. For that split
second she had power over me and I'm furious at myself for allowing
that as I'm not that kind of person. I just thought, 'You vile
Soon afterwards Cheryle discovered that White had sexually assaulted
'Karen had tried to force herself on an inmate she had become
friendly with, and another prisoner had walked in and witnessed it
and managed to pull her off,' she recalled.