Advertisement

Accused rapist was 'struggling with sexuality' at time she allegedly assaulted woman

A transgender woman accused of raping two women has said she was "struggling with my sexuality and having issues emotionally" at the time of the first alleged assault.

Isla Bryson, 31, said that both alleged victims consented to sex in the separate incidents and told the High Court in Glasgow: "I would never hurt another human being."

Bryson is accused of raping two women, one in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, in 2016, and one in Drumchapel, Glasgow, in 2019.

The court previously heard in agreed evidence that Bryson now identifies as a transgender woman and was previously known as Adam Graham.

Bryson, from Clydebank, said she knew she was transgender at the age of four but did not make the decision to transition until she was 29, and is taking hormones and seeking surgery to complete gender reassignment.

Giving evidence on Friday, she told the court that she was struggling with her sexuality when she met the first alleged victim in 2016.

She went to stay with the victim, whom she met online, after leaving a brief, unhappy marriage.

Edward Targowski KC, defending, asked whether she forced herself upon the woman on the evening of the alleged rape.

Bryson told the court: "No, I did not, there was barely any sexual activity between us."

Asked whether she raped the alleged victim, she said: "No, I did not do that and I would never hurt another human being."

Describing how she was feeling in 2016, Bryson told the court: "At that time, I was struggling with my sexuality and having issues emotionally.

"I knew that I was gay, I'd slept with men under the radar but nobody knew."

Commenting on where she is now with her transition, she said: "I've got my top half", referring to her breasts which she said were due to the hormones, and added: "I want all the surgeries the NHS can give me, I want facial surgery, laser, gender."

Bryson said she met the second alleged victim in 2019 via an app and went to meet her at the woman's house.

She told the court that they did have sex but said "she consented to everything".

Earlier, the court heard from the mother of the alleged 2016 victim, who said that she heard her daughter saying, "no, don't do that, stop" from behind her bedroom door on the night she was allegedly raped by Bryson.

She told the court that the accused was in a relationship with her daughter, who lived with her, and regularly stayed over.

She said: "When I was going to the toilet I heard her saying, 'no, don't, don't do that', but I just put it down to being embarrassed. I went away to the living room."

Asked by the prosecutor to clarify what she heard her daughter say, she said: "No, don't do that, stop."

Mr Keenan asked: "Is that something you heard her say once or did you hear it more?"

She replied: "She said it a couple of times."

The mother said that in 2016 Bryson was bald with a tattoo on the face, below 5ft 5in in height and of quite stocky build.

Cross-examining Bryson, Mr Keenan asked whether she knew the mother was in the house at the time of the incident.

She replied: "No, I didn't and if a mother heard her daughter saying 'no no no', she would've rushed in and not gone in the living room."

Lord Scott adjourned the trial until Monday.