Sussex Police in gender row over trans paedophile

Sussex police have been criticised for their responses on an official Twitter feed - Clive Gee/PA
Sussex police have been criticised for their responses on an official Twitter feed – Clive Gee/PA

Sussex Police has been criticised for saying it did not tolerate “hateful comments” to a member of the public who expressed gender critical views over a trans paedophile.

The force tweeted that Sally Ann Dixon, 58, had been jailed for 20 years for sexually abusing children in a seaside caravan.

Her trial heard that she was living as a man when she carried out a campaign of offending against two boys and five girls.

The force’s tweet however described her case as a “woman convicted of historic offences against children in Sussex”.

Clare King, who describes herself as a mother and school governor on the social media site, replied: “No Sussex Police. This is not a female crime.”

Addressing the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner’s Twitter account, she added: “Can you or the police force please clarify if this has been recorded as a ‘female’ crime on your stats?”

Ms King’s tweet was shared by another member of the public, with the account @Weatherwax6655, who added: “This is a man, committing sexual offences against children.

“Katy [Bourne, the Police and Crime Commissioner] please get your force in order.”

The force was criticised when it responded to her message saying: “Hi, Sussex Police do not tolerate any hateful comments towards their gender identity regardless of crimes committed. This is irrelevant to the crime that has been committed and investigated.”

Gender critical views

When the Twitter user @Weatherwax6655 said she was “exercising my gender critical views, which are protected in law. Can you advise whether making such statements is a crime?”, the force added: “If you have gender critical views you wish to express this can be done on other platforms or your own page, not targeted at an individual.”

It suggested the user to “familiarise yourself with what is regarded as hate on our website” and included a link.

Julie Bindel, a feminist journalist, wrote: “This is a MALE sex offender. Liberals, and the ‘be kind’ brigade – do you see any problem in describing him as a woman?”

Telegraph columnist Nick Timothy added: “This thread is incredible. Sussex Police first threatening a member of the public for misgendering a serial paedophile, now doubling down and insisting that airing gender critical beliefs must not be expressed on this platform.”

The forces’ website defines a hate crime as: “Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.”

Dixon was found guilty on 30 offences of indecent assault or indecency with a child against seven victims in July, the youngest of whom was seven years old at the time.

She was jailed earlier this month after the jury at Lewes Crown Court took 17.5 hours to find her guilty on all counts.

Offences before 2000

Dixon will serve 20 years in prison for crimes, which all took place before the year 2000.

Sally Anne Dixon was born John Stephen Dixon in 1963. Dixon was jailed for six months in 1997 for the sexual abuse of a teenage boy, and transitioned in 2004.

Sussex Police reopened their investigation into her earlier offending in 2019 following a new complaint from another victim.

Dixon lived in Crawley and Bexhill where she worked repairing televisions and as a DJ at bars, clubs and a caravan park.

She abused the children at a lock-up garage and in a caravan on the south coast.

Dixon was given consecutive nine-year custodial sentences with two one-year extended licences, and will serve at least 12 years in custody before becoming eligible for parole.

Dixon, who did not have a gender recognition certificate, will serve 20 years in a women’s prison for crimes between 1989 and 1996. The certificate is required for trans people to change their birth certificate.

She was sent to HMP Bronzefield to serve the sentence.

Sussex Police has been contacted for comment.

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