A transitioning transsexual who says taking a bus is embarrassing because people laugh at his attempts to dress as a woman has failed in a bid to get a court to lift a temporary driving bar.

Timothy Shovlin, who has been living as Tara since the beginning of the year and has to make do with home-made false breasts because he cannot afford proper prosthetics, is subject to a bail condition which prevents him from driving.

He was hit with the order last month after appearing in court accused of dangerous driving and other motoring offences stemming from an alleged police pursuit on the M9 between Falkirk and Stirling on April 29, when officers stopped his Volvo S60.

Today, in what was described as a "high unusual application", Shovlin, 35, went back to court wearing a short black party dress with lacey sleeves, platform shoes, black tights and a pink floral garter, to try to get the bail order varied.

At a private bail review hearing, his solicitor, Murray Aitken, told Sheriff Derek Livingston that Shovlin was "subject to ridicule" when travelling public transport because he was in transition.

The Herald:

He asked Sheriff Livingston to vary Shovlin's bail conditions to allow him to get back behind the wheel so that he can get about in privacy. Sheriff Livingston rejected the application, saying there had been "no material change in circumstance" since the conditions were imposed.

Outside court, Shovlin, who is living on sickness benefit, said he was often laughed at on busses.

He said: "People take the mickey. I have been living as a woman since the start of the year, and I am waiting for gender re-assignment at the Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow, but who knows how long it will be before I get it, because it's the NHS."

Shovlin, who said he had "toned down" his usual dress style to take account of the fact that he was appearing in court, added: "People say I have beautiful long legs, but sometimes laugh at my breasts.

"I made them myself by stuffing a bra with old dresses and leggings."

He added: "This is my second pair -- the police threw the first ones away after they arrested me in April."

Shovlin, of Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, said he was "disappointed" by the outcome of his bail appeal.

He said: "Surely it's my human right to be able to travel about without being ridiculed."

At his initial court appearance, also in private, at Falkirk Sheriff Court on May 3, Shovlin was accused on petition of a string of motoring offences, including dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen of breath, failing to stop, and having two defective tyres and an insufficiently effective handbrake.

He made no plea, and the case was continued.

After today's hearing, a court insider said: "Shovlin argued that he was subject to ridicule because he has to get around on public transport while dressed as a woman, but the sheriff could only really look at the initial allegations and whether anything had changed since the bail condition was imposed. He decided it hadn't, after all the accused was already dressing as a woman when he was arrested."