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Trans activist Sarah Jane Baker ‘begins hunger strike’ while being held in male prison

"Sarah Jane is incredibly vulnerable right now"

By Charlotte Manning

Sarah Jane Baker
Sarah Jane Baker is currently on hunger strike (Image: Free Sarah Jane Baker)

Transgender activist Sarah Jane Baker is reportedly on hunger strike as she’s held in a male prison in London while awaiting trial.

She was arrested a few days after a speech made at a Trans+ Pride rally in the capital on 8 July

Baker, from Richmond, southwest London, was charged under section 4a of the Public Order Act, for using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.”

She was recalled to prison on 12 July.

During a speech to the Trans+ Pride rally, she said: “I was gonna come here and be really fluffy and be really nice and say yeah be really lovely and queer and gay… 

“Sarah Jane is incredibly vulnerable right now”

“Nah, if you see a TERF, punch them in the f***ing face.”

TERF is an acronym which stands for ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’. 

Baker is now said to be on a hunger strike as she continues to be held in a male facility. She was recalled to prison for allegedly violating the terms of her probation. 

The activist was given a lift sentence for attempted murder over 30 years ago. She was released on parole in 2019. 

Baker reportedly began refusing food at 5pm on 18 August. This has extended to liquid since 11am on 19 August.

A spokesperson for the campaign said: “Sarah Jane is incredibly vulnerable right now, having suffered numerous violent and sexual attacks during the 30 years she has already served in a male prison for crimes committed more than three decades ago.  

“We are concerned that if she is not moved to an appropriate prison soon, her health is at serious risk.”

The statement went on to explain her comments were said “in anger” and to “give the crowd confidence.” It added: “She did not believe the crowd would act upon them.”

“We are concerned that if she is not moved to an appropriate prison soon, her health is at serious risk”

“Initially the police and probation services had decided the comments she made during Pride would not result in her being recalled. 

“It is a further injustice and risk to her safety to house her at a male prison,” the statement concluded. 

The Free Sarah Jane Baker Campaign Team has reiterated their concern for the immediate health of Baker. The activist has been living as a woman for 12 years.

A Crowdfunder to support her legal costs, as well as her partner, has raised over £3,000. 

Last month, Home Secretary Suella Braverman asked for police to “consider evidence carefully” after Baker’s speech.

She wrote on Twitter. “I’m glad the police have decided to investigate this incident at a Trans Pride Event, having initially closed it with no further action. I’m sure the police will consider the evidence carefully.”

Her case has currently been adjourned until 22 August.

A trial is due to be held at City of London magistrates court on August 31 in front of Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram.

Attitude has contacted the Ministry of Justice for further comment.