July 2023

Anger after Tanya Howes is spared jail over indecent images

The suspended prison sentence handed to a transwoman who admitted having indecent images of children including some showing rape and torture has been criticised as “unduly lenient”.

Tanya Howes, 66, was told by magistrates that the offences “would normally attract immediate custody”.

But they said they had decided to suspend a 12-month jail term, something they conceded was “unusual”.

Howes, who was identified on court documents as female and referred to in court by female pronouns, had previously admitted three charges of possessing indecent images of children, including 39 category A images – the most serious showing children being raped or tortured – on February 19, 2020.

She also admitted a separate charge of possessing 100 “grossly offensive” extreme pornographic images and videos of humans engaged in sex acts with animals on the same date.

According to the sentencing guidelines, the range of punishment for possession of category A images is between six months and three years in prison.

Howes, who is understood to have once worked for the prison service, was sentenced at Norwich Magistrates Court on Tuesday (July 4).

Howes, of Netherwood Green, Norwich, was sentenced to a total of 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Howes was also ordered to carry out up to 30 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR), pay £145 costs and a £149 victim surcharge.

She was also made the subject of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and put on the sex offenders register for 10 years.