Thug is jailed for 40 months

Michael Spencer.(S)
Michael Spencer.(S)

A “dangerous” thug who attacked and terrorised his then-partner, swung an axe at police and then got a chainsaw and threatened to torch his house with petrol, is behind bars for 40 months.

Burnley Crown Court heard that during the prolonged violence, drunken ex-showjumper Michael Spencer (31), had hurled vulnerable Katie Spencer down the stairs.

He repeatedly headbutted her, sunk his teeth into her toes and an ear drawing blood, and had held a 15cm knife to her neck, convincing her he was going to slit her throat.

When officers arrived, he initially refused to open the door, and then when a constable and a sergeant were inside, swung an axe at an officer, only missing him because he stepped back.

The court heard that Spencer then blocked the officer in a room with the axe and was parva sprayed twice.

He was finally arrested when officers forced their way inside and tasered him after Spencer had threatened to set fire to the house with petrol from the chainsaw tank, claiming to want to “end everything”.

Spencer, of Unity Street, Barnoldswick, had admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, assault with intent to resist arrest and threatening to cause damage.

Stephen Parker (prosecuting) told the court Miss Spencer was at home when the defendant arrived at 1-45am.

They had a conversation about where he had been and he became offensive and called her a “dirty whore.”

She suggested they go to bed. He went upstairs and she followed, but when she was near the top, he turned off the lights, called her a lying bitch and pushed her down the stairs.

Miss Spencer phoned the police before the defendant approached her, headbutted her a number of times in the face, grabbed her leg and bit her left ear and toes on her left foot.

She explained she loved him and wasn’t a cheat, the pair went upstairs and Spencer pushed her onto the bed before, in her words, “things got nasty”.

He began accusing the terrified victim of having an affair, dived at her an d punched her in the back 10 times.

Spencer then ran downstairs and came back up with the blade, pushed his partner onto the bedroom floor, headbutted her in the nose and held the knife to her throat.

Police arrived, the court heard, and two officers went to the back of the house, where the defendant had gone and he was asked to open the door.

The officers went into the living room and Spencer pretended to poke coals on the fire. He turned round and had an axe in his hand.

The defendant was told to put it down as the sergeant used a parva spray on Spencer.

The spray didn’t have the desired effect and the sergeant went to radio for support.

The court heard the officer was blocked in as more patrols arrived, including taser-trained officers, but managed to escape when he used his parva spray too.

The court heard the defendant appeared with a chainsaw and tried to start it as he turned the lights off saying he was going to set the house on fire.

Police made repeated requests to Spencer to drop the chainsaw, and when he didn’t, officers forced their way in and tasered him.

Richard Taylor (defending) said Spencer accepted the enormity of what he had done and said: “He has demons that he needs to confront. That has been drugs in the past, but more recently, alcohol. It’s quite clear that he is full of shame and embarrassment for what has happened. To put it in simple language, he cannot believe that he has behaved in that way, but acknowledges that he has.”