A transgender Doncaster woman who fired a gun after becoming frustrated at the wait for a sex change operation has escaped jail.
Instead Susan Bond, who had been warned she could face an immediate jail term, was handed a 20 week sentence suspended for 12 months.
District Judge Jonathan Bennett said the fact Bond would have been sent to a male prison where she would have encountered difficulties along with her ‘significant’ mental health issues played a part in the sentence.
He said: “I take account of the guilty plea and the fact you are in treatment for significant mental health issues.
“If you went to prison the current situation is that you would go to a male prison as you are waiting for an operation and this would have caused additional difficulties for you that other people wouldn’t face.”
Doncaster Magistrates’ Court heard 56-year-old Bond carried the BB gun for protection after being subjected to years of taunts about her appearance.
The incident happened on the evening of Sunday, May 17, when Bond fired the gun near the town’s Waterdale Car Park, shattering the window of a Vauxhall van parked near the Staff of Life pub.
David Sheppard, prosecuting, said Bond had been drinking prior to the incident and £200 of damage had been caused.
He said: “In interview, she accepted it was a reckless thing to do in such a built-up area and admits she didn’t stop to see what damage had been caused.”
Bond, of Stewart Street, Doncaster town centre, admitted possessing an imitation firearm in a public place and criminal damage
Samina Rashid, mitigating, said: “Bond has been waiting for a transgender operation and for the last two-and-a-half years has been dressing as a woman.
“She experiences a lot of difficulties when she goes out on a night from people. She carries the gun for her own protection and felt safer with it in her bag.”
Miss Rashid said on the night in question she was not being troubled by anyone, but her frustration about the length of time it was taking for the sex change operation was on her mind.
Along with the suspended sentence Bond was ordered to abide by a 12-week curfew, take part in 15 days rehabilitation activity and pay £200 in compensation
District Judge Jonathan Bennett added: “It is a serious offence.
“You discharged the BB gun in the town centre, in a public place, in the evening when there would have been people around. Fortunately I have not heard of any one who was particular frightened or endangered by the this incident.”