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A convicted rapist has been moved to a women-only prison after having gender reassignment surgery to become female.

Jessica Winfield, formerly known as Martin Ponting, was jailed for life in 1995 for the rape of two young girls.

She has been moved from HMP Whitemoor, in Cambridgeshire, to HMP Bronzefield in Surrey, and is hoping to be released this year, The Sun reports.

One of Winfield’s victims said it was ‘diabolical’ she had been allowed gender reassignment surgery.

She told the newspaper: “There are not enough words to describe him and the evil he has done.

‘It is diabolical they have allowed him to have a sex change and diabolical that he could be freed this year.

‘He may have changed physically but his brain is still the same.”

Ten years ago, Winfield had complained of being victimised, writing in prisoners’ newspaper Inside Time: “Unfortunately there is a minority of staff and inmates that give me a hard time because of my sexuality, possibly through lack of understanding and empathy.

“So not only do I have the problem of dealing with serious emotional issues surrounding my gender reassignment sex change but also added pressures and issues due to comments and abuse from certain individuals.”

Campaign group Voice4Victims posted on Twitter: “Rapist has sex change op funded by NHS whilst victims struggle to access treatment support and recovery.”

This is not the first time a transgender inmate has moved from a male to a female prison. Prisoners are placed according to their gender as recognised by UK law.

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