September 2022

Judge sends serial sex abuser born a man to a women’s prison despite him not being legally recognised as a female

A serial child sex offender has been jailed today for a minimum of 12 years and is being sent to a women’s prison – despite not being legally recognised as female.

Sally Dixon, 58, began transitioning 18 years ago and carried out the offences against seven children from 1989 to 1996 while she was a man. 

She was found guilty on 30 offences of indecent assault or indecency with a child against seven victims in July, the youngest of whom was seven years old at the time. 

A jury took 17.5 hours to find her guilty on the charges, and not guilty on three more.

Ryan Richter, prosecuting, described a campaign of offending against two boys and five girls lasting eight years.

He told the court: ‘The defendant, living as a man in the late 80s and 90s, was a brazen and callous sexual predator.

‘He exploited young males and cultivated a toxic relationship with female children who he systematically abused throughout their childhoods.’

Sally Anne Dixon, who was born John Stephen Dixon in 1963, married twice and began transitioning to live as a female in 2004.

Despite being jailed for six months in 1997 for the sexual abuse of a teenage boy, it was not until a victim came forward in 2019 that Dixon’s years of offending came to light.

Judge Van Der Zwart said opportunities to jail her earlier had been missed.

Lewes Crown Court in East Sussex heard Dixon will be sent to HMP Bronzefield where she will serve her sentence, despite not being legally recognised as a woman.

Wearing a pink jumper and dyed pink hair, Dixon scowled, frowned and shook her head during a sentencing hearing.

The victims were now vindicated, the judge said.

Sussex Police reopened their investigation into his earlier offending in 2019 following a new complaint from another victim.

Harrowing victim statements were read to the court by victims, now adult men and women, who described horrific abuse by Dixon.

One woman said her childhood abuse left her feeling constant anxiety.

‘I was hoping he would do the right thing for once and not put me through the trial but he didn’t.

‘He is a coward who did not give evidence.

‘He was happy to put us through it but not himself.’

Dixon lived in Crawley and Bexhill where he worked repairing TVs and as a DJ around local bars, clubs and a caravan park.

The court heard he abused the children at a lock-up garage and in a caravan on the south coast.

Dixon was given consecutive nine year custodial sentences with two one year extended licences and will serve at least 12 years in custody before becoming eligible for parole.

Dixon came to know these vulnerable young children successively through family connections, and used that trusted access to systematically abuse each of them for sexual gratification, in some cases for several months at a time.

Only when one of the victims eventually went to police in 2019 was the terrible and distressing nature of Dixon’s offending over many years finally uncovered.

As one victim escaped this predatory interest, another would take their place, but sometimes some victims would be offended against simultaneously.

His Honour Judge Mark Van Der Zwart heard in July that Dixon did not have a Gender Recognition Certificate.

She will serve time at the women’s prison despite not having a gender recognition certificate – the document which allows transgender people to legally be recognised as an alternate gender.

It is understood she will have all the normal opportunities other prisoners at the jail have.