Woman wearing fake penis charged with false declaration

BY CANDIESE LEVERIDGE Observer online reporter

Saturday, June 23, 2012    

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CRAIG Matthews had 'his' bail revoked yesterday by Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey after police revealed that the 'he' was, in fact, a woman wearing a false penis.

The accused was ordered back into custody when RM Pusey heard that the woman, actually named Tiffany James, had provided the police with false information about her identity following her arrest earlier this month.

James — who on Thursday appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's court under the name Craig Matthews, bald-headed and dressed as a man — was granted bail in the sum of $50,000.

According to the police, the shocking discovery was made when James' female friend on Thursday evening tried to bail her from the all-male holding cell at the Half-Way-Tree Police Station. The woman, they said, provided the police with identification for a Tiffany James, which prompted an investigation by officers on duty.

After checking inside the lock-up, police said, James was discovered wearing an artificial penis.

"When you were before me I was wondering why your voice sounded like that for a man with a babymother, you need to declare yourself, because if you don't, I'll have a real problem granting you bail," RM Pusey told the defendant yesterday.

"This is some kind of identity crisis," remarked the magistrate, sending the courtroom in muffled laughter. "It is not something to be amused about," she said, before admitting that she was tricked by James' disguise the day before.

Pusey subsequently charged her with false declaration.

James was initially charged for burglary and larceny after being accused of stealing US$5,000 worth of jewellery from her neighbour's house. The complainant alleged that James removed a window from his bathroom and gained entry to his bedroom by pushing a little boy through. He alleged that the accused gave the child a cellphone fitted with a light and told him to search for jewellery.

The court further heard that the complainant questioned the child after the robbery and recorded his answers on his cellphone before reporting the matter to the police.

Yesterday, James begged for leniency after she told the court that the entire identity issue was a misunderstanding. She claimed that she lives as Craig Matthews and identifies herself as a male.

"I apologise for the misinformation, the girl who came to bail me didn't know I am a woman, she only found my ID yesterday, she knows me as Craig," she said.



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