Transgender killer ‘bit prison officer’
Melissa Young, who committed her original crime while believing she was possessed by an archangel, sank her teeth into wardress Louise Henson’s stomach during a row about cigarettes.
Stirling Sheriff Court heard the incident occurred in the city’s Cornton Vale Prison, Scotland’s only all-female jail, at a time when the prison shop was open, and lags were out of their cells buying tobacco.
Young lunged towards prison officer Henson, seizing and pulling her by the hair, causing her to fall to the floor.
She then lay on top of the wardress and kicked and struggled with her before administering the bite.
Lindsey Brooks, prosecuting, said the incident happened about 4.15pm on a Tuesday afternoon, June 3.
The depute fiscal said: “The shop was open and the prisoners were buying tobacco.
“The accused was approaching the cells of other prisoners.
“She was told to go back to her own cell, and she was not happy.
“On her way back to her own cell she continued to abuse the witness.”
Mrs Brooks said that the accused then “jumped” on Ms Henson and “grabbed her ear”.
Mrs Brooks added: “When the witness managed to get accused’s hand away from her hair, she was bit in the stomach and it started to bleed.”
Ms Henson was then taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital, in Larbert, Stirlingshire, where she received treatment for bleeding and bruising.
Henson, 37, whose address was given as Cornton Vale Prison, pleaded guilty to assault.
An allegation that the assaulted a second woman warder, Dorothy Lindie, and bit her on the body, also causing injury, was dropped by the prosecution.
Defence agent Eddie Wilson told the court: “There is a substantial medical health background as she is transgender.
“At the time this happened, it was leading up to her trial, it was a time of stress for her.
“But in no way does that excuse her conduct.
“She is remorseful for her actions.”
Young was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years in August after being found guilty after a five-day trial of murdering her friend Alan Williamson, 47, at her flat in Edinburgh after he rejected her Christmas present.
She stabbed him 29 times, in a frenzied attack.
Sheriff Kenneth McGowan sentenced Young to a further six months imprisonment.
At the High Court in Glasgow, Young was found guilty of murder.
The High Court heard that when police arrived at Young’s flat in Edinburgh’s Clermiston area they found her with her hands covered in blood and she told them, “the power it gave me was amazing”.
Judge Lord Boyd told Ms Young she had been convicted of a “cruel and wicked attack”.
He said her “severe personality disorder” played no part in the murder.
Young, who is transgender, told a doctor she was possessed at the time of the attack and claimed to have heard voices and seen a very bright light.
She told Dr Michael Kane: “I have severe mental health issues.
“I need to go to Carstairs.
“We’ve been friends for ages, but this has been coming for ages.”
Young was on 14 prescription drugs, inhaled solvents daily, and had smoked heroin the morning before the stabbing.
Young said the archangel Saint Michael had taken over her body and used her as an instrument of God to punish the “unclean demon”.
She attacked Mr Williamson after he rejected her Christmas present of a pair of unisex trainers and a copy of the Sun newspaper’s 2014 calendar.
Young said if he had accepted the gifts from her she would not have stabbed him.