Transgender stalker who attacked nurse and prison staff dies in custody

A transgender prisoner who was denied a transfer to a women’s jail has passed away in HMP Grampian. Tiffany Scott, formerly known as Andrew Burns, was serving a life sentence for stalking a teenage girl and assaulting a nurse and prison officers.

A history of violence and harassment

Scott, 32, had a long record of violent and predatory behaviour, dating back to 2010, when she attacked a nurse in Cheshire with a pair of scissors. She was then jailed for four years and eight months for wounding with intent.

While in prison, Scott began to identify as a woman and changed her name to Tiffany. However, this did not stop her from harassing a 13-year-old girl by sending her letters and photos of herself. She was given an order for lifelong restriction (OLR) in 2013, which meant she could only be released when she was no longer considered a threat to the public.

Scott continued to cause trouble in prison, where she was involved in several incidents of violence and vandalism. In 2017, she threw a chair at a prison nurse, punched a prison officer in the face, spat at another officer and tried to bite him, and smeared excrement over a cell. She also ripped up “tear-proof” clothing and wore a shredded shirt to a court hearing in Falkirk.

A controversial request for transfer

Scott had requested to be moved to a women’s prison, claiming that she felt unsafe and isolated in a male jail. However, her request was blocked by prison authorities, who cited her risk to female inmates and staff.

Transgender stalker

Scott’s case sparked a debate over the rights and safety of transgender prisoners, especially after another trans inmate, Karen White, was convicted of sexually assaulting four women in a female prison in England. White had previously raped two other women and a child when she was known as Stephen Wood.

In January 2023, Scotland announced a pause on the movement of all transgender prisoners while it reviewed the rules. The review was expected to consider the views of trans groups, women’s organisations, prison staff, and human rights experts.

A sudden death in custody

On Thursday, February 29, 2024, Scott was found dead in her cell at HMP Grampian, a mixed-sex prison in Peterhead. The cause of death is not yet known, but it is not being treated as suspicious.

A Scottish Prison Service spokesperson said: “Tiffany Scott, 32, of HMP Grampian has died on 29 February 2024. With each death in custody, Police Scotland are advised and the matter reported to the Procurator Fiscal. Fatal Accident Inquiries are held in due course.”

Scott’s death has raised questions about the treatment and welfare of transgender prisoners, as well as the potential impact of their placement on other inmates and staff. The issue remains a complex and sensitive one, with no easy solutions in sight.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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