Sussex Police apologise after saying they 'do not tolerate' gender comments about trans paedophile who sexually abused children

Sussex Police apologised for defending the gender of a paedophile online after the Home Secretary said they should focus on "catching criminals"

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The force caused a storm when posting that they "would not tolerate" hateful comments towards the gender identity of convicted paedophile Sally Ann Dixon.

Dixon was born John Stephen Dixon, and was this month convicted of 30 counts of indecent assault which took place in the late 1980s and 1990s.

The 58-year-old was given an 18-year custodial sentence, with an additional two years to be served on extended licence.

The youngest of Dixon's victims was just seven years old at the time of the offence.

Sally Ann Dixon
Sally Ann Dixon
Home Secretary Suella Braverman
Home Secretary Suella Braverman

Dixon's name was thrust under additional scrutiny when Sussex Police posted about the conviction on Twitter.

A follow-up tweet read that they "do not tolerate any hateful comments towards their gender identity regardless of crimes committed".

The post added: "This is irrelevant to the crime that has been committed and investigated."

Home Secretary Suella Braverman was clearly unhappy, though.

She wrote: "Sussex Police have done well to put a dangerous criminal behind bars.

"But they've got it wrong by playing identity politics and denying biology.

"Focus on catching criminals not policing pronouns."

The force later apologised, saying the tweet was "inconsistent" with their usual style.

The statement read: "On Monday, 26 September 2022 we reported on the conviction of a sexual predator for historic sex offences in Sussex.

"The court sentenced Sally Anne Dixon as a woman to 20 years in prison for offences committed against seven children, now adults.

"We reported factually on the findings of the court which heard that, at the time of the offences, Dixon was living as a man, John Stephen Dixon. The relevant offences were recorded as being committed by a male.

"An earlier reply to a comment on Twitter was inconsistent with our usual style of engagement; we apologise for this and have removed the comment. We recognise the rights of the public to express themselves freely within the boundaries of the law."

Dixon, who will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order indefinitely, was sentenced on 8 September.