UK: Sex-change graduate working as a prostitute strangled before killer set fire to her flat

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:23 PM on 18th October 2009

A murdered student who had been working as a prostitute had once been a man, her family has revealed.

Andrea Waddell’s body was discovered by firefighters called to tackle a blaze at the address.

The 29-year-old had been strangled.

As detectives hunted her killer, her grieving relatives disclosed the troubled life the murder victim had suffered before her untimely death.

Her parents, Sonia and Robin, and her brother Nick, said: ‘Our beloved Andrea has been through so much.

‘Born Alexander John, he was diagnosed with scoliosis – a severe spinal curvature – at the age of 14, and after surgery he developed fibromyalgia, a permanent condition of chronic pain.

‘At the same time, Alex bravely took his future into his own hands and saw a psychiatrist about his ambivalent gender feelings.

‘Whilst studying philosophy at Durham University he began his hormone treatment, ending his three year course as Andrea Joanna.

‘Moving on to study a Masters in Brighton she developed acute ulcerative colitis which nearly killed her, but she was saved by having her colon removed, resulting in an ileostomy, which was reversed a year later.’

They added: ‘During the same year, she could finally have the gender surgery she longed for. Andrea continued to live in Brighton, often incapacitated by pain but fiercely independent.

‘We know she is now finally free of this pain and at peace.’

Fire crews were called to her flat at 11.40pm. They made their way into the first-floor apartment at the back of the building, where they discovered the dead woman’s body.

A post mortem examination revealed she had been strangled.

Describing Andrea, who grew up in Reading, Detective Chief Inspector Adam Hibbert, who is leading the investigation, said: ‘Andrea was a sociable girl who was well known in Brighton but she led a relatively private life. She was not known to drink, smoke, or do drugs.

‘She was very close to her family, who she saw about once a month, and she spoke to her mother almost daily.

Police outside the building in Brighton where Andrea Waddell’s body was discovered in her burned out flat

‘There was another side to Andrea?s life, however, which wasn’t well known, and that was in relation to her profession.

‘Through our enquiries, we believe that she was a sex worker and much of her business was in the Brighton and Hove areas.

‘Andrea was discreet about her work, although we also believe that she occasionally took clients back to her home address.’

He appealed to people from the sex worker community who knew Andrea to come forward and talk to police.

‘We appreciate that this is a very sensitive area and there may be people that hold vital information about Andrea’s death who are reluctant to come forward to speak to police.

‘We can only assure them that they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and we will do all that we can to make them feel comfortable about speaking to us.

‘Our priority is to find the person who murdered Andrea – that is the aim of this enquiry and we will do everything we can to achieve that,’ he added.

The murdered woman moved to Brighton about five years ago to do a Masters Degree in Social and Political Thought at Sussex University.

Immediately following news of her death, her family had issued a statement hinting at her troubled past.

They said: ”We want the world to know how much we love her and how proud of her we are and always will be.

‘She endured so much pain and suffering in her life – she still had constant pain – and was brave, resilient and loving.

‘Our lives will never be the same again but we will never stop loving her, being proud of her and being grateful for having her with us for 29 years.’

A 42-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said today: ‘Police officers last night arrested a man in connection with the murder of 29-year-old Andrea Waddell.

‘The 42-year-old from Brighton is currently in police custody and will be interviewed by detectives today.’

See original at the Daily Mail


1 Comment

  1. […] SWOPLV: UK: Sex-change graduate working as a prostitute strangled before killer set fire to her flat “A murdered student who had been working as a prostitute had once been a man, her family has […]

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