Perth: Transgender sex worker who passed on HIV argues sentence “manifestly excessive” has prison term slashed

Clayton James Palmer working under the pseudonym Sienna Fox.
Clayton James Palmer working under the pseudonym Sienna Fox.

A transgender sex worker from Perth who passed on HIV when she had unprotected sex with a man has had her sentence of six years in a male prison slashed to four years.

Clayton James Palmer, who identifies as a woman and is known as CJ, was sentenced in the West Australian District Court earlier this year for causing grievous bodily harm.

She took her case to the WA Court of Appeal, arguing the term was manifestly excessive, and on Thursday the judges unanimously agreed it was severe.

She will now be eligible for parole in April.

The judges noted Palmer had been moved from the prison’s crisis care unit to the special protection unit.

“The conditions of prisoners housed in the SPU are less restrictive than those in the CCU,” the judges said.

“The appellant can now access gender neutral toiletry products and has been provided with female underwear.”

The court previously heard Palmer had visited the WA Substance Users Association in August 2014 to get tested for sexually transmitted infections and was later told there was a positive indication of HIV.

She never returned follow-up phone calls or messages and continued to advertise sexual services online.

Palmer met the victim soon after and continued to see him until August 2015, telling him she was regularly tested for diseases.

A doctor told the victim he had HIV the following month.

Police found Palmer, who had moved to NSW, through online advertisements for her services under the name Sienna Fox.