Okay, so if using my .htaccess I deny a spammers IP and want to use a nice custom 403 page it creates a situation where they cannot actually get to my custom 403 page since they are denied access to the site - and thus that custom 403 page - so they get the bland generic server 403 error.

How are you suppose to get around this, here is the full .htaccess example

ErrorDocument 403 /403.php

order allow,deny
deny from
deny from
allow from all