A transgender activist jailed for manslaughter and attempted rape was invited to give a speech in the House of Lords, MailOnline can reveal.
Karen Jones was asked by Lord Patel to talk about how the criminal justice system can better help transgender offenders.
Ms Jones, 34, who was born Mark Jones, is a convicted sex offender described by a judge as posing an ‘extremely serious risk’ to the public.
She was jailed for five years in 2001 after admitting suffocating and strangling 43-year-old partner Michael Cutler and leaving his decomposing body wrapped in a sheet in their Manchester home.
Five days after being released early on licence in 2002, Jones brutally assaulted a female shop assistant after gagging her mouth with a lemon and trying to rape her. She was sentenced to life in prison.
She said the attack was as a cry for help so that she could go back to prison and have the sex change operation she had needed all her life.
But since being freed has become a motivational speaker, having also given a speech on transgender issues to Yorkshire Ambulance.
Lord Patel of Bradford, who is chairman of the Community Innovations Enterprise, which aims to change government policy on a wide range of diversity issues, was fully aware of Ms Jones’ criminal past.
A spokesman said: ‘As far as we are concerned she has done her time and paid her debt to society.
‘The event she gave a speech at was aimed at raising awareness of transgender issues in the criminal justice system so why shouldn’t she take part?’
However Harry Fletcher, founder of Victim’s Rights Campaign, said: ‘For the sake of the victims, it is essential that those invited to speak at Parliament who have been convicted of crimes as serious as this should undergo a risk assessment to ensure they no longer pose a danger to the public.
‘That risk assessment should be transparent available to public scrutiny.’
Ms Jones, who lives in Leeds, West Yorkshire, was invited to a reception at the House of Lords on January 23.
The event was to launch a review called ‘Inside Gender Identity: a report on meeting health and social care needs of transgender people in the criminal justice system.’
Ms Jones later shared a photograph of her later meeting Lord Patel on Facebook and said it was a ‘complete privilege’ to be able to give a speech on a ‘very special day’.
Yet it is a subject she should know inside out given her dark past.
In 2003, aged 21, she was sentenced to life imprisonment after admitting to the attempted rape of a female shop assistant in the north of Manchester.
She forced a forced a lemon into the woman’s mouth, punched her in the face and held her by the hair in a back room of Transformations, a shop in Prestwich for men who wish to buy and wear female clothing and accessories.
The attempted rape was so terrifying the woman told the police she thought she was going to die and the attack only ended when Jones failed to become aroused.
At the time, she was living in a female bail hostel, having presented as a transwoman, called Karen Louise Lawson, though was sentenced under her birth name of Mark John Jones.
She was reported as having ‘carried out the attack as a cry for help so that she could go back to prison and have the sex change operation she had needed all her life.’
However, sentencing her to life, Judge Derwent Hope said: ‘Until you have full and proper treatment, I consider you to be potentially an extremely serious risk to any member of the public you associate with, a risk that could easily lead to that person’s death.’
Jones’ name was added to the sex offenders’ register for life.
The attempted rape had come just as she had been released on licence from prison in 2002, having served less than half of a five year sentence for manslaughter.
She had killed Mr Cutler while living as an 18 year old man claiming she had been provoked during a heated row.
A psychiatrist’s report later diagnosing Gender Identity Disorder as a significant factor in Jones’ claimed loss of control before the killing.
Jones had wrapped Mr Cutler’s body in a sheet and duvet, leaving it in a utility room at their flat in March 2000.
It was found three weeks later, but was so badly decomposed that a pathologist could not ascertain the cause of death.
An associate of Ms Jones contacted MailOnline to express concerns that she is being held up as ‘some sort of fountain of knowledge on transgender issues’ when she has a history of severe violence.
The source said that Jones had changed her name twice to keep people from finding about her past, adding: ‘It’s all very uncomfortable.
‘She may be well placed to talk about what it’s like to be a transgender offender, but going into the House of Lords seems like a tacit signal that what she did to her victims doesn’t matter.’