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Crazed woman brandishes knife after her partner was killed

Canterbury Crown Court
Canterbury Crown Court

by Annette Wilson

A crazed woman brandished a knife at police because she wanted them to kill her, a court heard.

Jane Lee had gone to hunt down the man who shot and killed her partner but was headed off by police who had been alerted and already moved her intended victim and his wife to a place of safety.

Police waited for her on the A28 near Chilham but she drove off at speed in a stolen car which she crashed soon after. As officers got to her, she was holding a large military type knife in one hand which she raised threateningly and officers used three blasts from Tazers to subdue and disarm her.

Lee, 44, of Nelson Road, Rainham, Essex appeared for sentence at Canterbury Crown Court having admitted aggravated vehicle taking, affray and two charges of having offensive weapons - knives.

Lee's offending history included convictions for violence and a two-year sentence for attempted robbery in which she was shot four times by police. She had also been done for dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

The court was told of Lee's feelings of betrayal having been let down in the past by the various men in her life including her late partner, she was using drugs and just wanted to die.

Judge Nigel Van der Bijl commented that whatever the background or however distressing, in the end there was no real excuse for doing what she did. She was jailed for 18 months and banned for three years.

Background to the incident was the death of her partner Matt Clements, who was shot by Kenneth Batchelor. Mr Batchelor was subsequently tried and cleared of murder at Maidstone Crown Court in 2009.

Lee had spoken to Mr Batchelor, unhappy about the court verdict and was also upset with a number of other people, who she said she wanted to kill.

She stole a car and drove to Chilham, where the police were lying in wait.

Refusing to stop, she drove off at high speed and crashed. "When officers arrived she was holding a large knife in one hand. She was told to drop it, but instead raised it in a threatening manner and took a step towards the officers. She appeared enraged, her eyes were wide open and she was clenching her teeth in a very aggressive and violent manner," said prosecutor James Bilsland.

"If the officers had not had Tasers they would have had to use lethal force to stop Miss Lee because there would be no other way of stopping her in the circumstances. In 2000 that is exactly what happened and they did use firearms in that incident, an attempted robbery and driving matter and she was shot," said Mr Bilsland.

Catherine Sparks, for Lee, said she felt betrayed by the verdict. Lee had also had to deal with discovering Mr Clements had two other families she was unaware of and felt betrayed by him.

"She decided not to grieve and entered into a new relationship. Her new partner had drug issues and she tried to help him emotionally and financially and put a lot of effort into a house he had to make it a home for the two of them, but he then started a relationship with her friend while still with Lee. This triggered in her mind not only what happened with Mr Clements but with her husband 15 years ago", said Miss Sparks.

"It was a huge blow to her at a time when she was vulnerable and she was also still grieving for her late mother. Events were triggered off when she was told to leave the house she had made her own. She resorted to drug misuse and described a very dark period in her life, but she is realistic about what to expect," said Miss Sparks.

When she came to Kent she intended to carry out serious offences, but in fact turned round on a garage forecourt and drove into Chilham station having decided she had gone as far as she should have and wasn't going to go through with her plans.

"She wished for the officers to shoot her, to kill her. She did drive away and act as she did to provoke that on the basis that is what has happened in the past.

!She wished to die but due to her beliefs did not wish to take her own life and wished for others to do so. Her intention was not to harm the officers but to provoke them into harming her."

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