The article contains graphic description of crime that may be traumatic to some readers. Discretion is advised.

HULL, ENGLAND: A prison reform boss, Sheree Spencer, 45, is jailed for continuously attacking and abusing her husband, Richard Spencer. She had physically attacked and verbally humiliated Spencer throughout their marriage for the past 15 years. Hence, Sheree was sent to prison for a period of four years.

Sheree had even defecated on the floor once and asked Spencer to clean it up. On one occasion, the 45-year-old attacked him with a wine bottle that disfigured his ear. She even name-called him when she beat him up with a wine bottle. Sheree called him words such as “fat boy,” “a pussy” and “dumb dumb.” In front of the court, she admitted coercive and controlling behavior and three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Richard Spencer recorded attacks from Sheree Spencer

Spencer had secretly documented his long years of abuse in both audio and video formats. He handed over 43 images of his bruised face, taken on different dates following the assaults. Her husband claims to have put on makeup to cover the bruises after various attacks, as per Daily Mail. He used to email the pictures and videos to himself and later delete them from his phone to keep them away from his wife. Spencer worked as a project manager in the department’s directorate of strategy and performance. Meanwhile, one of Sheree’s former friends said, “She would brag about being only two down from the Prime Minister in her field and had meetings with Boris Johnson, who she spoke of as though he were a friend. She was bragging about her high flying career while subjecting her poor husband, a lovely man, to daily abuse, degradation and humiliation.”

What are the claims of Richard Spencer against his wife?

Spencer claims to have endured the attacks since 2000. Sheree was arrested in June 2021 when the police were called to their family home by a welfare worker. Spencer said during one of the hearings, “From September 2000 to June 2021 Sheree subjected me to hundreds of physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive episodes perpetrated in a pattern of behaviour going back over 20 years, almost half my life.

He then added, “I have become resigned to the fact that I will never fully recover from her abuse and that it will have a permanent damaging impact on mine and my family’s life. Sheree’s abuse towards me evolved and escalated over time, she used repeated acts of physical assault, threats, verbal abuse, and humiliation to punish and exercise control over me.”

Later, he said, “The abuse was hidden from the outside world, including friends and family. Sheree manipulated me into believing that I was a responsible and willing participant in the abuse. She remorselessly proclaimed that I deserved to be punished, and that it was a justifiable consequence of me disappointing her in some way. Little by little, I lost my independence and willpower and just accepted that was how my life was going to be. I complied with Sheree’s demands, and she controlled most aspects of my everyday life, including things like what activities I could participate in and when, which room I could sleep in, and even which toilet I could use. Gradually I became isolated from family and friends and was left deep in debt causing me to feel trapped.”

Spencer also explained, “I became increasingly hardened to the physical attacks that were usually inflicted when Sheree had been drinking alcohol, such as the kicking and the punching, although some things were particularly painful such as biting and nipping. I’m physically bigger and stronger than Sheree so I could restrain her if the pain became unbearable; however, I could only hold her for so long, and when the time came to let go, she would be even angrier and the injuries she would inflict afterwards were always worse. After a while, I learnt to cover my face with my hands and curl up into a foetal position to try and avoid sustaining any visible facial injuries, so that I could still take the children to school and nursery.”

Sheree Spencer beat Richard Spencer with wine bottle

In April 2021, Sheree attacked him with an empty wine bottle. She beat him all over the body, causing immense damage to the ear. Spencer also stated that she checked on YouTube to see how to drain blood from the ear by puncturing it with a knife. When Spencer refused the same, she warned him not to use her name in the hospital. If he did so, she claimed that she would stop him from coming back into the family home and also ordered him to use her brother’s name. Richard Pratt, KC, claimed that it was “almost impossible to recognise” her as professional person and Sheree as an individual in real life. He said, “It is perhaps particularly ironic that one of the projects she had been working on has been dealing with the effects of custodial sentences on the family. That is an irony, but what is important and significant is that she continued to work and has an excellent work reputation and record.”

Worst case of coercive behaviour

Judge Kate Rayfield said, “This is the worst case of controlling and coercive behaviour I have seen. In one of these recordings it is clear you had defecated on the floor. Your husband can be heard scrubbing while you are heard to say to him: ‘I made you do that; all I asked you to do was go to the shop. I watched as you spat in his face time and time again and called him ‘bitch, tiny c*** and skank and insulted members of his family. You whispered in his face in the most sinister way, shouted demands and instructions at him – ‘Get the f***ing chicken on, get to the f***ing shop’ and warning him ‘you will learn. By your actions you intended to humiliate or degrade Richard and you have caused him significant psychological harm. Richard Spencer was a vulnerable victim, isolated from his family and trapped financially.”

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