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Transgender inmate found dead in cell at men's max security prison

Hm Prison Woodhill
Hm Prison Woodhill

A transgender prisoner has been found dead in her cell at a maximum security men's jail.

Joanne Latham, who was serving life sentences for a string of attempted murders including an attack on a fellow prisoner, was pronounced dead at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes on Friday.

Latham, formerly known as Edward, is understood to have identified herself as female since August and is the second transgender inmate to have died in an all-male prison in recent weeks.

The BBC reported that staff at Woodhill found the 38-year-old hanging in the early hours after the door of her cell had been barricaded.

The inmate is known to have been jailed for attempted murder in 2001 and to have received further life sentences in 2007 and 2011 after incidents at HMP Frankland in County Durham and at Rampton hospital, a high-security mental health facility in Nottinghamshire.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "HMP Woodhill prisoner Joanne Latham was found unresponsive on the morning of Friday November 27.

"Staff and paramedics attempted resuscitation but she was pronounced dead at 6.20am.

"As with all deaths in custody there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman."

Another transgender prisoner, Vicky Thompson from Keighley in West Yorkshire, was found dead at HMP Leeds on November 13 after telling her partner she wanted to be transferred to a women's prison.

Condolences were later extended to Vicky's family by members of the House of Lords.

Liberal Democrat Baroness Barker told the Lords last week that the death of the 21-year-old showed that placing transgender women in male prisoners was dangerous.

"Prisoners should be housed in the estate of their acquired gender in the first instance, and only moved to the other estate following a thorough investigation that has ruled out all other safe alternatives," Baroness Barker said.