A TRANSGENDER woman from Chudleigh Knighton has been jailed for setting light to her sister’s two cars at the end of a five month campaign of harassment.

Davina Moore accused her sister Sarah Smith and her husband Gary of spreading rumours that she was a paedophile around the village where they both lived and took revenge. 

Moore had already thrown a brick through the window of one of their cars and thrown lit firelighters into their garden as well as pestering them. 

Her campaign of hate reached a peak on April 18 when her sister heard a noise outside and they saw Moore pouring petrol onto their Mazda and Hyundai cars before torching them.

They went out to try to douse the flames with a hosepipe but the fire brigade had to finish the job and both cars were write-offs. 

Plant operator Moore, 54, of Teign View, admitted two arsons, criminal damage and harassment and was jailed for a year and eight months by Judge Stephen Climie at Exeter Crown Court.

The sentence is likely to mean Moore will not receive gender reassignment surgery which had been scheduled for this autumn. She has been on remand at HMP Exeter, which is a male prison.

The judge told the defendant: ‘These arson charges are extraordinarily serious because they were perceived as revenge attacks for matters which your sister and her partner had denied, although I accept you do not perceive that necessarily.

‘This is the problem when people gossip and chatter inappropriately and word gets back.’

The judge imposed a restraining order which bans any further contact with the victims.

Mr Lewis Aldous, prosecuting, said the source of the dispute was Moore’s mistaken belief that Mr and Mrs Smith had spread rumours she was a paedophile. It led to a her harassing her sister and brother-in-law over five months.

It started with unwanted visits to their home in Chudleigh Knighton in December 2023 and continued with Moore trying to get her sister fired from her job at Trago Mills.

Moore left a petrol can next to the couple’s cars on January 20 and used a brick to smash the window of one of them nine days later. 

She threw a lit firelighter over their garden wall on February 2 but it went out because it was raining.

She admitted the arson and the harassment when interviewed by police and told them she was taking revenge for false rumours she believed the couple had been spreading.

Miss Zoe Kuyken, defending, said Moore has five adult children and caring responsibilities for his 82-year-old mother. He will lose his job as a heavy plant operator if he is given an immediate sentence.

She said Moore is not receiving oestrogen treatment she needs for her reassignment while in prison and her intention is to have an operation in the autumn if she is at liberty. 

She said Moore says the problems with her sister and brother-in-law are a chapter in her life which is now closed.