COUNTY NEWS: Murderer claims rights are being violated after '˜home-made sex change' in prison
A Sussex murderer claims her rights as a transgender woman are being violated after performing a home-made sex change operation in prison.
Former altar boy Christopher Hunnisett, 33, was caged for life in 2012 for bludgeoning a supermarket worker to death with a hammer.
But Hunnisett now identifies as a woman after cutting off her testicles in what has been described as 'self-harm surgery' .
Her plight was revealed after she took her case to the High Court to complain about her treatment in HMP Frankland, Durham.
Speaking via a video link from prison, she said that although she needs to be protected, keeping her segregated has resulted in a violation of her rights.
Away from other prisoners, she cannot access the same education, work, church and visiting opportunities as the rest, she said.
'Being isolated for a year now is enough to drive any person crazy,' she told Mr Justice Langstaff.
Hunnisett was jailed in 2012 for the brutal murder of Peter Bick, 57, following a liaison in Bexhill.
It occurred only months after she was acquitted at a retrial of drowning and dismembering 81-year-old priest Rev Ronald Glazebrook.
Hunnisett, formerly of Chanctonbury Drive, Hastings, had served nine years for the 2001 killing in St Leonards.
At the retrial, she said she had attacked Rev Glazebrook because he had sexually assaulted her, and then panicked and hid his body.
The severed head and limbs of Mr Glazebrook were discovered in a sports bag on a traffic island in Hastings, and his torso was found near Eastbourne.
By the time of her conviction for Mr Bick's death, she claimed to be on a mission to rid the world of paedophiles. However, there was no evidence to suggest Mr Bick had ever done anything wrong.
The High Court heard that, from around October 2015, she had begun identifying as a woman. Her case went to court after she was refused a transfer to a wing for vulnerable prisoners.
There, she was considered to be a risk to other prisoners, given that many paedophiles are held there and what she has said about them in the past.
However, she cannot be held with the general prison population, due to the risk of harm from disapproving inmates to her, the court heard.
Hunnisett said that what had resulted was a violation of her rights, because, in relative segregation, she cannot access the same privileges as others.
The prison had also shown her a 'lack of respect' by referring to her gruesome operation as 'self-harm surgery', she complained.
'Prison staff continued to refer to me as '˜he' or '˜him', showing their contempt towards transgender prisoners,' she said.
Although she accepted she could not be put on a vulnerable prisoners' wing, she said her treatment is a breach of her human rights because it is inhumane.
But ruling against her, Mr Justice Langstaff said the prison's decision where to hold her was 'lawful' and for her own protection.
'This court is not, as part of its duties, required to manage prisons,' he said.
He continued: 'It is a fact that she is transgender.
'It is a fact that, as a result of that, she may suffer a greater risk from other people than she otherwise would.
'It is an obligation of the prison to protect so far as it can from such risks.'
Her judicial review claim was rejected.
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