Transgender killer who strangled male cellmate to death with shoelaces and now identifies as a baby says she fears she would not survive if moved to a men’s jail
- Transgender female prisoner Sophie Eastwood, 38, is scared of a men’s prison
- The killer, who identifies as a baby, claims she would be at risk of sexual violence
A transgender prisoner serving a life sentence for murder says she fears she would not survive if moved to a men’s jail.
Daniel Eastwood was jailed at Dumfries Young Offenders Institution for dangerous driving at age 18 and was a month away from the end of his sentence when he strangled 22-year-old cellmate Paul Algie to death with shoelaces in 2004.
Eastwood, now 38 and identifying as a female named Sophie, began transitioning from male to female while in prison and since 2017 has been incarcerated at Cornton Vale – Scotland’s only all-female jail.
The prison had become the centre of a row over transgender inmates after Isla Bryson, who was convicted of raping two women while she was a man called Adam Graham, was initially housed there.
Now Eastwood, who has claimed she identifies as a baby, has revealed she is worried she ‘would not survive’ in a male prison if she was moved.
36-year-old Sophie Eastwood, (pictured) who was born as Daniel Eastwood, ‘transitioned’ to a woman in 2017 but now identifies as a baby
Eastwood (pictured while still Daniel) was serving in a youth institute when she killed her cellmate as a male
She is currently incarcerated at Cornton Vale women’s prison in Scotland
Speaking to the Daily Record, Eastwood described how prior to being moved to Cornton Vale she was ‘threatened’ by her male cell mates.
She said: ‘The main threat was that I would suffer serious sexual violence. It was a relief to be moved to the female estate where I have felt safe and I’ve gained the trust of fellow prisoners.
‘I think Scottish Prison Service staff manage trans prisoners well but it would be impossible for me to feel safe in a male prison.
‘I have no history of gender violence. But the recent outcry has led to the SPS having to review every transgender person in custody.
‘I believe I’m in the right place and don’t think I could survive in the male estate.’
The debate surrounding trans prisoners in female jails has been spurred on by the Scottish government’s decision and subsequent U-turn on placing double rapist Isla Bryson in Cornton Vale.
Double rapist Isla Bryson (pictured), who was previously known as Adam Graham, was removed from Cornton Vale female prison
Following public outcry, Bryson, named Adam Graham until 2020, was removed to a male wing of a prison last month, however the Scottish Prison Service has since announced they will perform full case reviews of every trans prisoner in custody, something Sophie says makes her fear for her safety.
Prior to Bryson being removed from Cornton Vale, she and Eastwood shared the same facilities – however Eastwood has said that Bryson has ‘exploited the system’ – and made ‘genuine trans prisoners less safe.’
She said: ‘It’s really unfortunate because the public’s view of trans people generally has now been damaged but not by the behaviour of any trans person.’
Eastwood’s own conduct whilst incarcerated has been controversial.
After announcing she was a baby last year, Eastwood demanded guards hold her hand whenever she left her cell with prison wardens taking her demands seriously.
A source from the Scottish Prison Service told the Record the prisoner had been ‘difficult and manipulative’ over the years, which is why she is still behind bars after 17 years.
MailOnline has approached the Scottish Prison Service for more information.
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