A transgender double rapist whose case sparked a public outcry has been jailed for eight years.

Isla Bryson, 31, who was last month found guilty of raping two women while a man – will also serve three years on licence.

During sentencing, Lord Scott noted that Bryson continues to “vehemently deny” that she committed either of the offences and claims the victims “colluded” against her.

Lord Scott stated: “You see yourself as the victim in this case. You are not.”

A trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard Bryson attacked one victim in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, in 2016, and another in Drumchapel, Glasgow, in 2019.

She met both her victims online, with prosecutors saying she “preyed” on vulnerable women.

Bryson, of Clydebank, denied the charges, telling the court she “would never hurt another human being” and claimed both victims consented to having sex.

The judge accepted that Bryson is considered “vulnerable in some ways” due to adverse childhood experiences, but added: “You vulnerability is no excuse at all to what you did to those two women in 2016 and 2019.”

Bryson is currently deemed to be at “high risk” of reoffending.

As well as the jail term – backdated to 24 January – and extended supervision, Bryson has also been placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Bryson’s bail was revoked following conviction and she was remanded in custody pending sentencing to allow Lord Scott to gather “as much information as possible”.

The Scottish Prison Service’s (SPS) decision to initially house Bryson in segregation at Cornton Vale, Scotland’s only all-female jail, led to backlash from the public and politicians.

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Bryson was moved to the male estate within days and an urgent case review was ordered by Justice Secretary Keith Brown.

The review – which has not been fully shared by the SPS due to data protection reasons – concluded that women were not at risk from harm as a consequence of the management of Bryson.

It was also stated that Bryson did not come into contact with any other inmates during her time at Cornton Vale near Stirling.

Bryson arriving at the High Court in Glasgow last month

At the Criminal Justice Committee meeting last week, SPS chief executive Teresa Medhurst was questioned over the controversial case.

Scottish Labour’s Katy Clark said “we do need answers” over how Bryson ended up at Cornton Vale.

Ms Medhurst explained that at the time of admission to the prison estate “extremely limited information” is available on the inmate as there is no time for a multi-disciplinary case conference so a “best case decision” is taken.

In regards to Bryson’s placement, Ms Medhurst said the decision was taken in conjunction with SPS headquarters.

When pressed further on who made the decision, she added: “I’m not at liberty to say.”

Until the wider SPS Gender Identity and Gender Reassignment (GIGR) Policy Review is complete, any transgender person in custody who has a history of violence against women – including sexual offences – will not be relocated from the male to female estate.

Additionally, newly convicted or remanded transgender prisoners will be placed in an establishment that aligns with their gender at birth.

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Nicola Sturgeon was questioned by Sky News over the row surrounding transgender prisoners

Following Bryson’s conviction, one victim said she was sure the accused was “faking it” and had chosen to change gender as “an easy way out” after the rapes.

Bryson’s estranged wife also reportedly stated it was a “sham for attention”.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been pressed on the case in light of the Scottish government’s Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, which was subsequently blocked by the UK government.

Despite agreeing that Bryson’s transgender claim is “almost certainly” a sham, Ms Sturgeon said she didn’t have enough information to say whether Bryson was a man or a woman.

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SNP leadership hopeful Kate Forbes believes Isla Bryson is a man

However, in an interview with Sky News, SNP leadership hopeful Kate Forbes stated: “A rapist cannot be a woman and therefore my straight answer would be that Isla Bryson is a man.”

During the trial, Bryson spoke of identifying as transgender at the age of four but did not make the decision to transition until age 29.

Defending, Edward Targowski KC stated that Bryson still intends to proceed with gender realignment surgery and the health service will accommodate her situation. However, Bryson faces years on a waiting list for the surgery.

Mr Targowski highlighted the public interest in the case. He stated it was agreed during the trial that Adam Graham was Bryson’s ‘dead name’ and at no time during proceedings did the prosecution claim Bryson changed gender after being charged as a “calculated afterthought”.

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