An ‘enslaved’ mother was ‘starved, tortured and beaten’ by three ‘sadistic’ killers and left to die in a locked cupboard at her home, a court has heard.
Old Bailey murder trial told
Shakira Spencer’s lifeless body was found in her west London flat in Hanwell after a neighbour spotted maggots crawling from under her front door.
The 35-year-old was once a ‘voluptuous size 16’ but she was reduced to ‘skin and bone’ by July last year and fed just sachets of ketchup as she was enslaved and tortured, the Old Bailey heard.
Ashana Studholme, 38, her lover Shaun Pendlebury, 26, both of Ealing, and Lisa Richardson, 44, of Harrow, all deny murder and preventing a lawful burial.
Shakira Spencer in a photo dated 2012 – years before she was allegedly preyed upon by a trio who are charged with her murder
The three accused murderers controlled and tortured Ms Spencer, described as a ‘beautiful happy, healthy’ woman, prosecutor Allison Hunter KC said.
Shakira Spencer tortured and starved
They took over her flat, finances and treated her like a slave while filming their abuse of her, the court heard.
On the second day of her opening, Ms Hunter said the alleged killers had treated Ms Spencer with ‘complete contempt as a specimen of humanity’.
She said: ‘By 9 and 10 September the defendants had clearly decided to take things to another level.
They had ganged up on her and whatever they were going to do to her they were going to do it together.
Ms Spencer, pictured in 2022, was described as ‘skin and bone’ shortly before her death in September that year
‘On the morning of September 10, Ms Spencer attempted to be let into Ms Studholme’s home by the front door but was ‘as usual’ sent round to the side entrance.
Half an hour later Ms Studholme texted Ms Richardson and said ‘I’ve buss her head in. I need you here, I will go to jail.’
Ms Richardson came to the home with refuse sacks and Mr Pendlebury could be heard inside the home saying ‘Yo yo yo, what happened.’
Ms Spencer was seen on doorbell footage being brought back in the early hours being told by Mr Pendlebury to ‘shut the f*** up and come in.’
She had her hood up and two black eyes. It was that night when the fatal beatings took place, Ms Hunter said.
Ms Hunter said this was likely the answer to the question ‘Is she dead yet?’.
‘It is likely that by this time Shakira has died from their beating, Ashana Studholme and Shaun Pendlebury have likely transferred her to the bed and left to go to Lisa Richardson’s flat to discuss what they should do next,’ Ms Hunter told the court.
‘Shaun Pendlebury then calls his aunt and asks to borrow her caravan- you may think the idea of disposing of Shakria’s body inside of the caravan clearly having been discussed and taken root.’
He arrived outside Richardson’s address with the caravan on September 15 before it was later driven to near Ms Spencer’s address in Ealing.
Mr Pendlebury, of Tewkesbury Road; Ms Richardson, of Broomcroft Avenue, both Ealing, west London; and Ms Studholme, of Greenhill Road, Harrow, all deny murder and preventing and unlawful burial.
The trial continues.
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