UK: Trans-Identified Man Pleads Guilty To Possessing Pornographic Images Of Children

A trans-identified male who appears to have once worked for the UK prison service has entered a guilty plea on charges of possessing horrific child abuse material, some of which was in the most severe category.

Tanya Howes, 66, appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court on Wednesday, May 3 on three counts of “possessing indecent photographs of a child” and a separate charge for possessing 100 “extreme” and “grossly offensive” pornographic images and videos.

The Eastern Daily Press, which referred to Howes by “she/her” pronouns, reported that court documents had categorized the 66-year-old as female.

Of the images in Howes’ possession, 29 were classified as Category C, 17 as Category B, and 39 as the most serious Category A, which is the most serious type of child sexual abuse media. Images and video in this category can depict penetrative sexual activity, bestiality, and/or sexual sadism.

Howes was meant to be sentenced on Wednesday, but the Norfolk Probation Service applied for an extension in part so that the case could be referred to the Transgender Case Boards. According to a probation officer, a Case Board needs to be consulted before Howes can be sentenced in order to make sure that “the appropriate factors are identified given the nature of the case.”

Transgender Case Boards were created by the Ministry of Justice in 2017 to help decide how to manage prisoners who claim a transgender identity, including which prison to house them in. 

Earlier this year, England and Wales instituted new rules against housing trans-identified male offenders with intact male genitalia in female prisons if they had been convicted of violent or sexual offenses. Only “exceptional cases” approved by ministers are exempt.

The rules were introduced in response to an outcry against the placement of doubly convicted Scottish male rapist Adam Graham in a female prison. Trans-identified male prisoners in the UK who cannot be housed in male or female prisons are now housed in specialist units.

The controversy surrounding Graham forced Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to reverse the decision and call for a review of prison policy regarding the housing of transgender inmates despite her strong support for self-identification policies.

Reduxx was able to locate several of Howes’ social media profiles under the name “Tanya J. Howes” where he was found to have been frequently uploading sexually suggestive photos of himself and discussing his gender transition. Disturbingly, his social media profiles suggest he was once employed by the UK government in a sensitive position.

On his Twitter account, where he goes by the handle @call_me_psychic, Howes posted that he was “Giving a talk to the transgender prisoners. My first as a civilian and not an officer.” Howes accompanied his tweet with a link to a Foursquare Swarm which showed he had checked in at HMP Bure, a prison in Norfolk.

That same year, Howes also posted that he was representing Gays and Lesbians in the Prison Service (GALIPS) at Norwich Pride. GLIPS was a support group for homosexual prison staffers. Howes appears to have semi-regularly attended GALIPS meetings.

Howes frequently references dominant/submissive sexual relationships and activities, along with other sexual fantasies he has, a theme that is carried across his other social media profiles. On his Flickr account, Howes posted a catalogue of highly sexual photos of himself.

In one series of photos, he is wearing a shirt modeling himself as a prostitute. The shirt reads “Tanya’s price list,” and includes prices for sex with or without a condom, oral sex, and hand jobs.

It also reads: “Nothing considered too kinky or extreme. I am yours to be abused. Discount given for groups” in addition to providing an “all-night” rate.

In another series of photos, he is wearing a shirt that says “I am a prostitute. This slut works for money,” in all capital letters.

In the About section of his Flickr profile, Howes writes, “I have been blessed with being able to live two different lives the second one started on 1st October 2008 and I am loving the new improved me!”

He also says that he loves “doing spiritual things like Reiki healing, Tarot and Mediumship work.” His Flickr profile also confirms that he was employed as a uniformed civil servant when the account was made in 2011.

Howes tried to offer his psychic, astrology, tarot, and Reiki services on his “Spiritual Readings” Facebook page, which has been largely inactive since 2018.

In 2016, he created a Facebook event called “Mini Trade Fair for the Alternative Lifestyle” at the New Inn Roughton. The event was described as strictly for adults and as “selling items for the fetish/alternative communities.

Reduxx has also discovered that Howes has a TikTok profile under the name Norfolk Gal where he describes himself as “happily in a relationship.” His posts include videos from events around Norwich, including two from a Norwich Burlesque show in 2022. His liked videos are private.

Howes is out on unconditional bail until the sentencing hearing scheduled for July 4.

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Eva Kurilova
Eva Kurilova
Eva is a guest contributor for Reduxx. A regular contributor at Gender Dissent, Eva is passionate about promoting lesbian activism and protecting women's sex-based rights. You can find her traversing the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her partner and their husky, Freya.