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Transgender woman who attacked partners deemed too ‘vulnerable’ for prison

April Welsh looking in mirror
April Welsh, a transgender woman, had appeared in a programme about transitioning in 2019 prior to attacking two women - Wales news service/WALES NEWS SERVICE

A transgender woman who attacked two partners within weeks of each other would be too “vulnerable” to go to prison, a court heard.

April Welsh, 37, who has lived as a transgender woman for 20 years, drunkenly throttled one partner, pushing her to the floor before punching and kicking her, the court was told.

Welsh, from Blackwood, Caerphilly, then attacked a second girlfriend just weeks later – kicking her in the face after again knocking her to the floor.

The attacks happened just months after Welsh appeared in a TV programme about transitioning in 2019.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths said the first attack happened after Welsh and her victim had gone out together in Cardiff. The defendant later became “rowdy” and “drunk”, she said.

After the pair travelled 20 miles back to Blackwood, Welsh wanted to continue drinking in a pub – but Welsh’s girlfriend of two years had work the next day.

Mr Griffiths said Welsh’s victim went home but found herself locked out. She then located Welsh drinking red wine in the town.

When Welsh returned home at 2.15am, she banged on the doors before “running towards” the victim in a rage.

He said: “She rang the doorbell and the victim went to answer.

“When she opened the door, the defendant ran at her, put her hands around her neck, putting her on the floor.

“She was then punched and kicked and was called a dirty s---.

“The victim was sat on the bed, too scared to move.

“It was only when she heard the defendant snoring that she left and went to a friend’s address for help.”

Welsh pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm for the attack in January 2020.

Previous conviction

The court heard Welsh had a previous domestic violence conviction against a new partner, for an attack that occurred two months after the first.

Harry Baker, defending, said: “The injuries were not that bad, although the incident must have been very unpleasant.”

He added that Welsh “expressed remorse having got involved in yet another incident” and said she would be “vulnerable” if sent to prison.

Judge Hywel James told Welsh: “You had been drinking heavily, and in fairness to your victim, she had sought to assist you during that day.

“I’ve seen photographs of the injuries sustained and they show cuts, bruises and a swollen ear.

“I have taken into account that two months after this, you were involved in a similar incident with a new partner.

“That is a matter which has been dealt with, but it shows a pattern of offending.”

Welsh was jailed for 21 weeks but that sentence was suspended for 12 months.

‘I thought I would go to prison’

Having been raised a boy, Welsh previously said that being born a female was a fact they had hidden for over 20 years.

Welsh, who has two children, told the story of this transition to S4C programme Merch Fel Fi in 2019.

Welsh said: “From the age of four or five I would lock myself in the bathroom and dress female, I just had this constant urge to be myself.

“As cliché as it sounds I thought it was just me, I didn’t know who to talk to or who to explain it to. I had never heard anything about being transgender.

“I didn’t want it to be revealed. I thought I would go to prison, I thought I could be rejected by my family.

“I played football and rugby at a young age but it didn’t last very long. As soon as I started getting involved in something, I would retreat as I thought they would know. To go in a locker room – it was horrendous.”

Welsh came out as transgender in 2014 but suffered adverse side effects when female hormones were pumped into her body, ending up in hospital for more than two weeks in 2016 after suffering seizures.

Welsh said: “I thought I was going to die. It was meant to be the key moment of my life but it almost killed me.”