'I'll slit your throat': Hull stalker's deadly obsession with woman taxi driver
A WOMAN taxi driver has told how her life was wrecked by a stalker who developed a deadly obsession after she drove him home.
Lee Anthony Tanti, 47, sent chilling letters to the 24-year-old woman, threatening to slash her throat, after she drove him home one night while working for an east Hull taxi firm.
In one note, addressed to the woman and passed on to the taxi firm, Tanti wrote: "I have been a passenger in your taxi and sat right behind you in the back of your car.
"How easy it would have been for me to run my blade across your throat. Your time on this planet will end before you know it.
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"Remember you will never know who you are picking up late one night."
Tanti pleaded guilty at Hull Crown Court to making threats to kill the taxi driver. He has been remanded in custody for psychiatric reports before returning to court for sentencing.
The woman, who is not being identified by the Mail, said Tanti's letters and the "vile and sickening threats" had a devastating impact on her life.
Her victim impact statement read: "Lee Tanti is a man I did not know until this investigation. His name petrifies me and makes my stomach turn.
"If I knew why or how he picked me, I might find it easier but it feels like this man has gone out of his way to gather information about me, stalked me and intimidated me.
"I am an emotional wreck. I wake up screaming thinking he has found me and is going to kill me."
Tanti had delivered the first letter to a colleague of the woman taxi driver on July 25 after mistaking their similar cars.
However, the letter was addressed to the woman and she received a call from the taxi office, warning her that her life was in danger.
Another letter read: "Taxi driver, you won't get warned again, three times in five weeks I could have slid the cold metal across your throat. Next time I will."
Tanti was arrested the next day but was bailed and was not charged for six months.
His barrister Paul Genney said: "This man has a psychiatric background and was undergoing treatment for paranoid schizophrenia. He seems to have slipped through the net.
"He is anxious to avail himself of any treatment if any treatment is available. He wants to get better."
Tanti denied a further charge of threatening to kill his former partner and breaching a non-molestation order on July 25 last year.
Recorder Mark McKone deferred sentence for psychiatric reports.
He told Tanti: "You have pleaded guilty to threats to kill and that has been accepted by the prosecution and you will receive credit in due course for your guilty plea.
"You will be seen by the probation service and a psychiatrist to prepare a medical report on you. It is important you co-operate so they can put forward proposals that will assist the court.
"I make no promises as to what the sentence will be, it's clearly a case where the court need a lot more information before a decision can be made."
In her statement, the woman said she believed her job was dangerous enough without falling prey to stalkers.
She said: "I work alone as a taxi driver, I'm not protected by a screen.
"I think my job is dangerous as it is and I recognise the fear of such. However, I am now hounded by the fact this man may have sat behind me with a knife.
"I have no idea whether he has really been in my taxi but he could have been and I would never have known."
Tanti, of Clarence Court, Hull city centre, will be sentenced in April.
Detective Constable Samantha Crompton said: "The effects of Tanti's actions upon those involved in this case have been catastrophic.
"Despite their fear and the emotional trauma they have suffered, I have to acknowledge the bravery of the witnesses.
"It is through the actions of upstanding members of the public, witnesses and the professional work of Humberside Police that justice has been brought.
"I hope those directly affected by this man's actions can now start to move forward in their lives."