Knife threat led to violent rampage

A TRANSEXUAL had to be shot with a taser gun by police after threatening to kill a taxi driver with a hunting knife, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Joanne Spencer, 47, shouted “I will kill you” and racist insults to the driver of a cab she had called to a flat on Thornbury Road, Thornes.

The terrified driver also saw Spencer carrying what he said was a large hunting knife during the incident on July 4.

Prosecuting, Carmel Pearson said: “Spencer was in such a state police were unable to arrest her without the use of taser gun.”

Spencer had returned to the flat on Thornbury Road to collect her belongings after torching it on June 13.

The court heard she started the fire after allegedy beating her 78-year-old neighbour Margaret Ward – and refused to leave the flat despite smoke billowing from vents and blackening the windows.

When police arrived they found Spencer wearing a gas mask and camouflage clothing.

She told officers she wanted to burn to death rather than die from the fumes and closed the doors, refusing them entry.

Police managed to get her out and she was sent to hospital where she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

The court heard she had a history of violent offences, including arson and using a 12-inch metal tube to beat someone around the head.

Defending, Rebecca Young said: “She has extremely deep-rooted difficulties relating to her gender and to failed surgery.

“She has medical difficulties of depression and of severe paranoia which remain unresloved and at least explain why she has feelings of such low self worth.”

Spencer pleaded guilty to reckless arson, making a threat to kill and possesing an offensive weapon but denied assault.

The hearing was adjourned and Spencer is expected to be sentenced today.