Published: 10:18, 14 November 2011
by Rebecca Hughes
"He shouldn't even be alive – he should have been hanged."
This was the reaction of the brother of a man beaten to death on hearing the killer was seeking a sex change and wanted the taxpayer to fund it.
Now Medway man Jim White has launched a campaign to bring in a law banning prisoners from having the operation and associated treatments on the NHS.
Disabled Clive White, 56, suffered 150 injuries after being attacked with an axe, hammer, and stamped on in 2000 by Robert Page, who now uses the name Emma.
Page was convicted of the murder of disabled Mr White, who lived four doors away but later had his conviction quashed and his guilty plea to manslaughter was accepted. He is now in HMP Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
Mr White's brother and sister-in-law Judy, both 64, from Luton, have started a petition across Medway and Sittingbourne to try to stop prisoners receiving NHS-funded sex changes.
Mr White said: "When I found out the news this room was more than blue – it was black and purple. I am absolutely disgusted and we finally thought it was all over, but now everything is being dragged up again.
"When I visited my brother after the attack he was like a bunch of rags at the bottom of his bed. This man shouldn't even be alive; he should have been hanged, but instead he's getting this paid by the taxpayer."
Clive's family said they were told years ago that Page requested a sex swap, but were led to believe he would never get his way, leaving them shocked when they were told that Mr Page was now called Emma.
The couple have been told that Mr Page, from Sittingbourne, has since developed breasts after £200-a-month hormone treatment, wears a blonde wig and is allowed to dress in skirts and blouses in jail.
He is due to have gender reassignment surgery in about 18 months, which would see him transferred to a female prison.
A statement from the department said: "All decisions made about gender reassignment are rightly based on an individual clinical assessment."
It added: "Transsexual prisoners have the right to receive the same range and quality of NHS treatments and services as anyone else, including treatment for gender reassignment."
The couple, who have been handing out petitions for a week across Medway, are hoping to collect 10,000 signatures so they can present the petition to Prime Minister David Cameron and hope it will stop all prisoners receiving NHS-funded sex changes.
His wife, Judy, who has been collecting signatures, added: "The support from local people has been great.
"Strangers are coming up to us in the street and saying they are supporting us. Our petitions forms are filling up fast. We have been told the surgery is happening in 18 months so we're going to do all we can to stop it in that time."
Jim, who has suffered from three strokes and a heart attack, added: "If I didn't have a grandchild on the way then I don't think I would have been able to cope with all this again and I don't think I'd still be standing here today."