Transgender woman attacked four police officers in Hartlepool and Sunderland after taking 'DIY hormone replacement therapy' pills bought on the internet

A transgender woman attacked four police officers after taking hormone replacement therapy pills from the internet which may have "disinhibited" her.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 12:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 5:19 pm

Samantha Howard launched a brutal kicking attack at three cops who went to her home in Hartlepool in April and caused damage to their patrol car.

A month later, the 23-year-old sunk her teeth into an officer's arm after she was told to drop a knife she was carrying in the street outside her partner's home in Sunderland.

Newcastle Crown Court heard at the time of the attacks, Howard was using "DIY hormone replacement" tablets bought online to help her transition from male to female.

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Samantha Howard

Her legal team have claimed the medication, combined with her emotional distress and alcohol, may have led to her shocking behaviour.

Howard, of Marina View, Church Street, Hartlepool, admitted four charges of assault on emergency workers, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage.

She admitted a further offence of criminal damage after she removed an electronic curfew tag while on bail for the offences so she could be remanded in custody.

Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced Howard, who appeared at the hearing via video to HMP Durham, to 18 months behind bars.

The judge said Howard has a history of mental health problems and added: "At the time of the incidents you were taking drugs perhaps in part to accelerate your transition.

"Those drugs may well have contributed to your bad behaviour and you were also self-harming at the time."

Tony Davis, defending, said at the time of the attacks Howard was taking DIY hormone replacement therapy which is widely available on the internet.

Mr Davis said Howard is 18 months into the four-and-a-half year waiting list to begin the formal transitional process to become female.

Mr Davis added: "Perhaps the court can understand that reaching out to buy drugs over the internet as an alternative method of achieving the goal she desires was probably not a good idea.

"There's an absence of any scientific evidence to assist the court whether or not that had the effect of completely disinhibiting her.

"But, a combination of factors, emotional distress with those drugs, potentially taken with alcohol has brought about the sort of scenes we have seen."

Mr Davis added: "She wishes to apologise, through me, for her behaviour to all the emergency workers who were just doing their job."

Prosecutor Rachael Glover said police had been called to Howard's home on April 6 over concerns she was going to jump out of a window and she was sitting on the ledge when they arrived.

Miss Glover said: "She became agitated and distressed and she grabbed a bread knife and held it to her throat."

The court heard it was when Howard was taken downstairs to be checked by paramedics she lashed out and kicked three officers.

On May 11 police had responded to a disturbance in Sunderland, where Howard was "shouting and being emotional" in her partner's garden, carrying a knife.

The court heard Howard walked towards a police officer and started cutting her own arms.

Miss Glover added: "The PC tried to restrain her. She bit the officer."

The court heard the PC, who was bitten on the arm, needed injections at hospital after the attack.

On May 25 Howard removed her curfew tag, rang the police and told them she "wanted to go to prison".

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