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‘Menacing’ trans prisoner found dead in cell after move to women’s jail blocked

Tiffany Scott, also known as Andrew Burns, leaves Falkirk Sheriff Court after being sentenced for assaulting prison staff
Tiffany Scott, also known as Andrew Burns, leaves Falkirk Sheriff Court after being sentenced for assaulting prison staff - TIM BUGLER/CENTRAL SCOTLAND NEWS AGENCY

A notorious transgender prisoner was found dead in their cell a year after a proposed move to a women’s prison was blocked.

Tiffany Scott, also known as Andrew Burns, had a reputation as one of the UK’s most violent inmates and died on Thursday aged 32, the Scottish Prison Service confirmed.

Police Scotland said that it had responded to reports of a “32-year-old woman taking unwell” at HMP Grampian in Peterhead on Wednesday morning, who later died in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The cause of death is unclear.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said Scott “was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where she died. The death is being treated as unexplained and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal”.

The death of the violent trans inmate who was being held in a male jail comes a year after a planned move to a women’s facility was blocked in the wake of the Isla Bryson scandal.

Scott had attacked a nurse in Cheshire in 2010 and committed a series of other offences while in custody
Scott had attacked a nurse in Cheshire in 2010 and committed a series of other offences while in custody - TIM BUGLER/CENTRAL SCOTLAND NEWS AGENCY

Scott was serving an indefinite sentence under an order for lifelong restriction, and had been described as one of the most “menacing people” in the Scottish prison system.

Scott had been deemed an “unmanageable risk to public safety” and could only have ever been released if it was decided this was no longer the case.

Despite a long history of violence, a move to a women’s facility was said to have been approved last year.

However, gender self-ID rules in Scottish jails were then torn up after Bryson, also known as Adam Graham, was initially sent to HMP Cornton Vale, Scotland’s only female jail, following a conviction for two counts of rape.

Stalking a 13-year-old girl

Scott had been convicted of a string of offences, including stalking a 13-year-old girl from behind bars by sending letters.

The convict had attacked a nurse in Cheshire in 2010 and committed a series of other offences while in custody.

These included attacking a prison nurse with a chair, punching and attempting to bite prison officers, smearing excrement in a cell and ripping up “tear-proof” clothing in a suicide attempt.

During a court appearance last year, Scott had to be accompanied by seven guards when appearing to face assault charges.

The planned move to a women’s facility was reversed after a temporary ban on biologically male inmates being sent to female jails was brought in amid a public backlash after the Bryson case.

Revised rules have since come into force in Scotland in which it is stated trans inmates with a history of violence against women should not be placed in female jails unless there is “compelling evidence” they do not pose “an unacceptable risk of harm”.

However, those seen as too dangerous to be placed in female jails permanently can still be offered chances to mingle with female inmates temporarily in a bid to “support their gender identity”.

Scott began claiming to identify as transgender in 2016. Scottish prison bosses took the claim seriously, and respected previous demands from the prisoner to be referred to as Mr Mighty Almighty.

Tear-proof clothing

In 2015, prison staff in riot gear had to save Scott’s life after the inmate used excrement to stop obscure staff’s view into the cell, and tore supposedly tear-proof clothing to fashion a noose, which was suspended from a sprinkler valve.

A prison officer giving evidence in a court case said of the clothing: “It’s supposed to be untearable, but Tiffany could rip it up no problem.”

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman 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.”