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‘Hannibal Lecter Jr’ killer says she’s not being freed because she’s transgender

Sophie Eastwood, 36, was sentenced to life with a minimum 15-year sentence for murdering her cell mate in 2004 while in jail for a dangerous driving offense

Sophie Eastwood, 36, is serving a life sentence with a minimum of 15-years for killing Paul Algie, 22, in 2004

A murderer who was nicknamed by prison staff as Scotland’s Hannibal Lecter Jnr believes she is being discriminated against for being transgender.

Sophie Eastwood, 36, was first imprisoned in 2004 for a dangerous driving, but is now serving a life sentence after murdering her cell mate, killing Paul Algie, 22.

She strangled him with a shoelace a month before her release with ­“considerable and prolonged” force.

This gave her the nickname ‘Hannibal Lecter Jr’ as prison staff were shocked by the level of force she used.

She killed him in 2004 and was sentenced to a minimum of 15-years, which has now passed.



Eastwood has been living in the women’s unit since 2018, but feels that if she remained a man, she would be free
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Image:

Daily Record)




She has not been freed despite her claiming that she has met the criteria for early release, and has served 17 years behind bars.

Sophie has been living as a woman for the last four-years of her sentence, and was formerly known as Daniel Eastwood.

She has been living in the women’s unit since 2018, but she believes that her gender identity is the reason that she is serving longer than the minimum sentence.

Eastwood spoke to the Daily Record from Polmont Prison and claimed that she would have been freed if she had remained as a man.

She said: “In January 2020, I met all the standard criteria to pass to less secure ­conditions, except being biologically female.

“The prison service wanted me to have a psychological assessment as I hadn’t had one since starting to live as female.









“After that, I was told by a manager that I would have passed the assessment had I still been living as a man.

“I felt this was sexist and transphobic. The SPS was implying that as a man I didn’t ­represent a risk to the public but as a woman I did. I don’t think there’s any evidence to support that.”

She also shared that she had overdosed while in prison, which she states was in a desperate to attempt to be transferred to hospital after some other health problems were ignored.

She said: “I was desperate. It wasn’t a suicide attempt, I just felt I needed to be in hospital.”

The inmate claims that she was refused medical care to treat internal damage cause by self-harm attempts, and she has an infected wound from where she has had stoma bags fitted.

She said: “It is painful, the acid is burning my skin. It’s a full-time job keeping the wounds clean.

“He [the surgeon] had looked at my medical history, apparently, and had seen I have a considerable history of self-harm. That has included swallowing razor blades, but I have not done anything like that for three years.

“He said he was concerned there was a high likelihood that I would self-harm and undo anything he had done for me.

“I was returned to prison and told that if the wounds turned septic, which I fear could kill me, then they would treat me but otherwise I’d have to live with it.

“I can hardly eat so I’ve lost 15 kilos in three months and can’t build up my health or strength.”

Eastwood’s father has contacted the SPS and NHS Forth Valley. He said: “She did a terrible thing but still deserves to be treated humanely.

Eastwood said she realised at a psychologist session in 2016 that she was not a gay man but identified instead as a woman.

She takes a drug that blocks the production of the male hormone testosterone.

Eastwood claims to be remorseful, saying: “I was 18. To say I had unresolved issues would be a massive understatement.

“I was naive, immature, and thought that killing my ­cell mate would get me sectioned and I’d spend the rest of my life in hospital being looked after. I’m sorry and regret it every day.

A source said the SPS had a “well-established track record in supporting inmates no matter their gender or sexual ­orientation”. An SPS spokesman said: “We can’t comment on individual prisoners.”

Decisions on medical ­treatment required by prisoners are taken by NHS staff in jails. NHS Forth Valley said it could not comment on individual patients or their clinical needs.


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