A TRANSITIONING sex offender who was caught with child abuse images and extreme pornography – including a realistic video of a rape – blamed her male “alter ego.”

Jasmine Challands, 46, formerly identified as Peter Challands, Carlisle Crown Court heard, but her defence lawyer said she held her former self responsible for the offending that had landed her before the court.

She pleaded guilty to two allegations: possessing four extreme pornographic images which portrayed in an extreme and realistic way a rape; and possessing 85 prohibited images of children.

The images were found on USB storage devices which police found hidden in a box of Lego at her Carlisle home.

Appearing before the court via a video link from Durham Prison, Challands at first appeared confused when she was asked to enter her pleas.

“What am I supposed to say?” she said when asked to enter her pleas.

But following the intervention of her defence lawyer Jeff Smith, Challands, of Warwick Road, Carlisle, agreed she was guilty of both the allegation she faced.

Mr Smith said: “Although Peter Challands is the defendant, Jasmine has communicated that he was responsible for the offences.” The lawyer added that he did not have sufficient psychological information to fully explain the offences Challands admitted.

Judge David Swinnerton said he had previously encountered similar cases, involving an apparent “split” between  two personalities in one defendant. He commented: “I am sure there is some complex psychological background.”

The judge agreed that a background psychological or psychiatric report would assist the court. He ordered both that and a pre-sentence report.

He remanded Challands in custody and set the sentencing date as July 14.

The judge told the defendant: “Miss Challands, I am not going to sentence you today because the court needs more information; and more detail about what you had on those USB sticks.”

Judge Swinnerton added that the sentence for the two offences was likely to be custody.

In March, Challands appeared before magistrates in Carlisle and admitted breaching a sexual harm prevention order by secretly possessing the two USB sticks. The court was told she was a “tortured” individual, facing a decade long personal journey as she goes through transition to become a woman.

When questioned about the memory devices, she said that t they belonged to Peter Challands, not her; and that he had done “bad things.”

Mr Smith told magistrates: "She’s tortured, regarded by no-one, and respected by no-one. She's said to me in the cells that she doesn’t know who she is, what she is, where she’s going, or where she belongs.”

The crown court judge said that Challands should be addressed in court in accordance with her wishes as Jasmine, not Peter, though that is the name which appears on background court documents.

Challands has been a registered sex offender since 2019, when she was prosecuted for possessing indecent child images.