Beaten cos I was a boy
I thought he was my friend, but then he savagely attacked me
My friend David Sharples, then 28, topped up my glass as I chattered on.
‘I’m probably boring you stiff,’ I laughed.
It was 2015, David and I had been friends for a few months.
He used to work as a personal trainer at my gym, and we kept bumping into each other walking our dogs. Turned out he lived nearby – and, as we became mates, he’d invite me over to his flat for a glass of wine. We’d stay up all night chatting. David was such a good listener. And recently I’d started confiding in him about my troubles. I’m a transgender woman. ‘I was born male, but in the wrong body,’ I told David. He already knew I was transgender and was supportive of me. I told him all about being on the NHS waiting list for genderreassignment surgery. And about how difficult it’d been coming out to friends and family when I was 23. Soon, David became my closest friend. We spent many evenings at his place, chatting, drinking, laughing... And he’d let me stay over if it got late. Then, one night in October 2015, I was at David’s having a few drinks when he got a call. I could see his temper rising. ‘What’s wrong?’ I asked when he’d hung up.
David had listened to enough of my troubles, I was ready to return the favour.
He explained he owed someone money and they were asking for it back.
It seemed to have riled him – he was furious.
‘Look,’ I said, trying to calm him down. ‘Pay them back and then you can forget all about it.’
He turned to me, his eyes black with anger. ‘Get out!’ he shouted. ‘I’m just trying to help,’ I said. But, sensing his temper was reaching boiling point, I started gathering my things.
For some reason, this just angered him even more. ‘You’re not a real woman!’ he sneered viciously at me. ‘You’re a freak!’ His words stung. And the insults just kept on coming. ‘You’re nothing but a f*cking tranny,’ he screamed. Trembling, I did my best to keep my cool. When he spat in my face, though, I snapped and lashed out, slapping his cheek. ‘Don’t disrespect me,’ I told him. ‘I’m your friend!’ At that, David completely lost it. He punched me in the face, knocking me flying. He must’ve knocked me unconscious because I came round to him grabbing my hair and throwing me onto the floor. I cried out in pain, but he was relentless. Blow after painful blow… At one point, he set the timer on the microwave to 10 minutes. ‘I want you out before this goes off,’ he shouted. I desperately tried to grab my stuff, but I was throbbing from his attack, and dazed. So, when the alarm went off, he laid into me again. ‘Let’s see how many sleeper holds I can put you in,’ he laughed, grabbing me around the neck and choking me again. When he eventually let go, he pushed me out the door of his apartment. ‘You just can’t deal with
He lost it – punched me in the face, knocking me flying
being attracted to a transgender woman!’ I yelled.
Fuming, he got my handbag and tipped the contents over my head.
Scurrying around the floor, I picked it all up and ran to the lift. ‘Freak!’ he shouted. He just had to hurt me one more time before letting me go.
Downstairs in the foyer, the concierge raced to my aid.
‘Are you OK?’ he asked as I clambered from the lift.
My hair had been pulled out, my face was bruised and bleeding…
The concierge phoned the police and an ambulance.
At the hospital, my wounds were cleaned up. David had fractured my jaw and nose. My face was a swollen mess.
He’d even torn both my ears and they had to be glued.
I was so dazed and battered from the attack, two nurses had to hold my head steady while I had an X-ray.
I was a mess. David was supposed to be my friend. But he’d verbally abused me, then knocked away every last bit of my confidence with his fists.
I gave my statement to police but David had gone on the run.
Two weeks later, he handed himself in and he was charged with assault. He was bailed, though, and I didn’t feel safe leaving the house. I developed anxiety, and my GP diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder. I missed appointments at the transgender clinic, so I was taken off the waiting list for surgery. I was so shaken by the whole attack, I just didn’t know how to go on. And the one person I’d usually confide in was the one who’d caused it all.
Finally, in June this year, David Sharples, 30, appeared at Manchester Crown Court.
Initially, he pleaded not guilty, but at the last minute, he changed his plea.
He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
In August, he was handed a 16-month suspended sentence, ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work and 20 hours rehabilitation.
Shoplifters get tougher punishments, I thought.
I’d hoped he’d go to prison for what he’d done. Instead, he walked free, leaving me a quivering wreck.
It took me years to build up the courage to come out as transgender. He almost destroyed it all. I’m now back on the waiting list for surgery.
I refuse to let Sharples ruin my future.
But I don’t want another transgender person to go through what I have.
That’s why I’m sharing my story, to encourage others to report their attackers.
It’s time to be brave and speak up.
He told me I was a freak
Me as a boy
I won’t let him destroy me
Before I started living as a female