A transgender woman who used a hammer to threaten a store manager in the United Kingdom was spared jail time when a judge couldn't decide whether to send the attacker to a male-only or female-only prison, the Daily Mail reported.
What are the details?
Leila Le Fey, 40, pleaded guilty to common assault and possession of an offensive weapon after trying to steal wine from a store in Brighton last November, the outlet said.
Judge Stephen Mooney initially sentenced Le Fey to six months in jail, but defense lawyers argued that LeFey would be forced to go to an all-male prison after their client failed to present a Gender Recognition Certificate, the Daily Mail noted.
Such a document can be issued only if someone has transitioned for two years, and the outlet said it's unknown when Le Fey transitioned or if Le Fey has undergone any sex reassignment surgery.
Hammer-wielding wine thief is spared prison because she is transgender https://t.co/RQLwDJif9o— The Telegraph (@The Telegraph)1582805994.0
Attorney Rebecca Upton also said Le Fey would be vulnerable in a male-only prison and couldn't be kept in solitary confinement, the Daily Mail said, adding that the judge recalled Le Fey to court an hour after his initial sentence.
"We live in a society which acknowledges and embraces diversity and allows and encourages people to live the life they want to," Mooney said, according to the outlet. "Sometimes society does not make the necessary or appropriate adjustments in all ways it can to reflect the adjustments of society as a whole."
With that, the judge gave Le Fey a six-month suspended sentence in the "hope for some form of rehabilitation," the Daily Mail said.
What's the background?
An intoxicated Le Fey threatened store manager Enoch Adetayo with a hammer after entering the store at 4 a.m., the outlet said.
Adetayo told police he managed to grab the hammer Le Fey pulled out, the Daily Mail added.
"You were caught in the act of taking some wine and confronted by Adetayo, who was perfectly within his rights to challenge you," Mooney told Le Fey, according to the outlet. "People who work in convenience stores offer a service to the community. They do so for little pay and deserve to be protected."
The judge also said "there is no excuse whatsoever for what you decided to do," the Daily Mail said.
Le Fey has previous convictions for more than 50 offenses, including brandishing a bladed article in public, shoplifting, and low-level violence, the outlet said.
Upton argued that Le Fey's November offense occurred during a period of addiction to alcohol and drugs, the Daily Mail said.