Trans woman survived ‘humiliating’ attack by mugger who sexually assaulted her after realising she was trans


A trans student was violently mugged before being subjected to a “humiliating” sexual assault after her attacker realised she was transgender.

Luke Anderson was jailed for more than four years after a court heard how he humiliated and taunted his victim, touching her backside and forcing his hand inside her underwear.

The transgender woman had been walking home from Leeds city centre at 4am on December 9, 2018, when Anderson grabbed her in an alleyway near Brewery Wharf.

Raising a clenched first, Anderson yelled in the victim’s face and demanded money. After she told him that she did not have any he punched her in the face, causing bleeding, and warned her not to contact police.

He searched her bag for a mobile phone but couldn’t find one, so grabbed her by the chest and forced her to the ground, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported.

“The defendant realised that [the victim], who identifies as a woman and was dressed as a woman, had [a penis],” said prosecutor Jonathan Sharp.

“He demanded to know if she was gay and why she was dressed as a woman.”

Trans woman ‘completely powerless’ during attack.

The woman was then forced to endure a horrifying sexual assault, which prosecutors said was based on Anderson’s hostility towards her gender identity.

She fought back and kicked against her attacker, but he continued even as she pushed her thumbs into his eyes. “You’re a feisty one,” he said.

At one point she managed to break free but he caught up with her and stole her wallet.

I genuinely believed I was going to die.

“I genuinely believed that I was going to die,” the woman told the court in a statement. “I was completely powerless and in complete fear.”

Anderson, who has previous convictions for robbing lone women at night in Leeds city centre, was eventually caught when his DNA was recovered from the victim’s clothing.

He pleaded guilty to robbery and sexual assault. Richard Reed, mitigating, said that Anderson was considerably embarrassed by the attack, which occurred as he had been drinking and taking crack cocaine.

The barrister claimed that he was also under a lot of financial pressure as his partner was pregnant.

“It was never intended to be a sexual assault,” Reed said. “It has caused him considerable embarrassment. He has never been involved in a sexual assault on a male or a female.

“Had he not been intoxicated at the time this would not have happened.”

Judge Robin Mairs jailed Anderson for four years and five months, acknowledging that the attack was a direct result of his anger at discovering his victim was transgender.

“You realised it was a [trans woman] and you began to humiliate her,” he said.