A Birmingham transsexual who staged more than 70 burglaries across the Midlands to finance his sex change has been jailed for four years.
Clive Watson raided hotels across the region in order to buy hormone replacement drugs to kick-start his conversion to become a woman.
He was only caught after being spotted burgling a hotel in Daventry, Northants, but made his getaway by dragging a police officer more than 75ft along the ground as he clung to Watson's car trying to arrest him.
Balding Watson (37), from Aston, Birmingham, pleaded guilty at Northampton Crown Court to six burglaries, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.
He also admitted another 71 hotel burglaries in the West Midlands, Warwickshire and the West Mercia police area.
Jason Aris, defending, told the court Watson had faced "oppression and hostility" because of his problem for about a decade.
He resorted to the "desperate measures" to pay for the #400 a time hormone drugs so, when in prison, the authorities would be forced to allow him to continue the gender realignment process.
"It is not that he is confused about his sexual orientation towards men or women, he feels that he is in the wrong body," said Mr Aris.
"He feels he should have been born a woman."
He added: "Mr Watson is the first to admit that his actions have been reprehensible.
"He has encountered such a wall of oppression and hostility towards him he has had to resort to what can only be described as desperate measures."
The judge Recorder Mr Sam Mainds jailed Watson for a total of four years and four months yesterday, saying he "totally rejected" his request for leniency because of his gender problems.
Imposing a three-year sentence for the burglaries, he said: "It has been put to me that I should take into account that you steal in order to pay for the drugs to start the process of changing your sex and you had to steal because you were in desperate circumstances.
"I totally reject that. It is no excuse to commit offences of dishonesty because you needed the money to change your sex."
Watson, the court heard, had a lengthy prison record for theft, dishonesty and a catalogue of driving offences including persistent driving while disqualified.
The judge added: "Whilst the court is sympathetic with your situation, it is clear that you were before the courts on many occasions when you were also suffering from this unfortunate problem."
Watson was spotted on CCTV cameras at the Hanover International Hotel in Daventry on January 13 this year after kicking in the doors to five rooms and stealing cash, credit cards and other valuables.
Pc Pat Murray, of Northamptonshire Police, was called to the hotel in Sedgemoor Way and saw Watson in a red Peugeot 205 with the stolen property on the back seat of the car.
As Watson drove off, Pc Murray, aged 40, grabbed hold of the car door to stop him fleeing but was dragged for 75ft, suffering extensive cuts and bruises before he fell away.
Watson managed to flee the scene but was arrested less than two weeks later in Birmingham.
Pc Murray said at the time: "I was only thinking about catching the bad guy, I certainly did not expect it to end up as it did."
Jailing Watson for a further 16 months to run consecutively for the dangerous driving, Recorder Mr Mainds added: "Those 75ft must have felt like forever for the officer whilst he was trapped, his arm inside the car.
"Anything could have happened to that poor policeman - he could have had part of his own anatomy changed."