A prison reform boss jailed for humiliatingly abusing and assaulting her husband for 20 years proceeded to steal her best friend’s partner who allowed her to live in their home.
Businesswoman Caroline Grant recounted how Sheree Spencer drank mugs of wine at seven in the morning and spent her evenings drunkenly flirting with her husband, Adrian Taylor.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Caroline said: “When Sheree’s marriage fell apart, I was the only one standing by her, and she thanked me by stealing my partner.”
Spencer, 45, was imprisoned for four years for making husband Richard’s life hell with daily beatings and verbal assaults that left him slumped on the floor in a fetal position.
A judge called her shocking treatment of him during their marriage: “The worst case of coercive and controlling behavior I’ve seen.”
Businesswoman Caroline Grant (pictured) told how Sheree Spencer drank mugs of wine at 7 a.m. and spent her evenings drunk flirting with her husband
Heavy drinking mother of three Sheree Spencer was locked up for four years after making husband Richard’s life hell with daily beatings and verbal assaults
Caroline, 46, initially turned a blind eye to Spencer’s chemistry with Adrian, 52, a baker and father of Caroline’s seven-year-old daughter.
She said: ‘From the moment she arrived at our house, she and Adrian were drinking together and acting like a couple of giddy teenagers around each other.
“While alarm bells were ringing, I was confident nothing would happen after giving her a home in her time of need.
“But Sheree only cares about Sheree. She seduced Adrian from under my nose.’
Caroline met Spencer, a senior prison and probation officer, when their daughters became friends at school just outside York.
The girls had playdates and their mothers became friends. But Caroline was surprised to discover she was the person Spencer turned to when her marriage to husband Richard, 46, ended.
Adrian Taylor (pictured) had an affair with Sheree Spencer
Caroline was unaware that the police were investigating Spencer due to her horrendous treatment of Richard, which included hitting him with a wine bottle, scratching, hitting and kicking him and forcing him to clean her up when she had defecated on the floor.
Caroline, a relocation specialist for families moving from one area to another, knew only that Spencer and her husband were separating.
She said, “When I finally became aware of what she had done to Richard, I was shocked like everyone else. But by then she was already living in my house and settled.
In July 2021 she told me she was staying with a friend because she and Richard had split up. She said it wasn’t a particularly good situation because she had to share a room with her friend’s son.
“I invited her to spend the night at Adrian’s and me’s house, but it turned out she ended up staying with us for months.
She blamed Richard — the poor man whose life she had basically ruined — for the breakup, saying he falsified evidence that got her arrested.
“I believed everything she told me. It’s hard to describe how incredibly believable she is, she’s an adept liar and I believed what she said.
“That first night she was here, she and Adrian started drinking wine and got beat up. It should have been a warning at the beginning, but I just didn’t see it.’
Spencer made herself comfortable in Caroline’s large detached house on the outskirts of York. She worked from home in her high-flying role as a project manager in the strategic development department at HM Prisons and Probation.
It was a role that brought her into contact with the highest levels and government and she boasted about her meetings with former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Caroline said: ‘She told me she worked two and a half days a week for a salary of £55,000 which was an unbelievable waste of taxpayers’ money as she spent her days getting drunk.
“I saw her one morning at seven in the morning with a mug of wine. This was supposed to be a work day, but she spent her days in bed with a bottle of wine, it’s unbelievable that she kept a government funded job.
“She did that by telling a sob story about her marriage falling apart, but that wasn’t the whole truth.”
Spencer was jailed on 24 February following proceedings at Hull Crown Court
Pictured: Richard Spencer, who was abused by Spencer
Caroline and her father Gerry Grant, 76, who lives with her, grew suspicious that Spencer and Adrian were getting too close.
Caroline said: ‘They spent their time getting drunk every night. They liked to sit in a garden room we call The Cabin and kept cursing and yelling and laughing long after I had gone to bed.
“I knew my dad was getting worried, but I told myself neither of us would do something like that under the roof of our family home. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“It’s such a betrayal — I even gave up the bedroom for her so she would feel comfortable.”
Gerry said, “I was starting to get the feeling that something was up. I saw them sitting together under a blanket and it seemed to me that they fell in love.
“I told Caroline I had my suspicions about them, it just didn’t seem right. She was loud and swearing and drinking all the time and she tried to get me to borrow her £12,000 for legal fees. I was about to, but I’m so glad I didn’t.’
Caroline’s suspicions were further aroused when Spencer began sharing details about her dealings with men.
She said, “Sheree told me she cheated on Richard countless times. She liked going to Leeds to meet younger men, that was her way of getting kicks.
“She also said she had an affair with a married man who helped her with money.”
Spencer stayed with Caroline until October 2021 when she was finally arrested and for the years of abuse towards Richard.
At this point she moved into a house in Market Weighton, East Yorks – and Adrian followed her, under the pretext of making sure she didn’t attempt suicide due to police involvement. He would spend nights at her house before returning to Caroline and their little girl.
Caroline said: ‘I asked Adrian if he and Sheree were having an affair and he denied it despite spending so much time in her new home. “People will think I was naive, but I’m a trusting person and I believed it until finally just before Christmas he told me, ‘Yes, we had an affair and I’m in love with her.’
“He moved out on Boxing Day 2021 and moved in with Sheree. It was like she was some kind of trophy on his arm, soon after he introduced her to his family, he had completely moved away from me and our daughter.
“We had been together since 2014 but he had fallen hook, line and sinker for Sheree and despite living in my house she had reciprocated.
“Sheree has become his first and only priority, he doesn’t see our little girl or contribute to her upbringing.
“It seems paying the bill for Sheree’s wine was more important.”
The only satisfaction Caroline can get from Spencer’s time with her is that a member of her household has acted summarily – her rooster The Godfather.
She said, “The godfather hated Sheree from the start and attacked her whenever she left the house. Once she fell over and he flew at her kissing her head.
‘I get a little satisfaction from that, The Godfather is clearly a better character expert than I am. I am lucky to have lost both of them from my life and my daughter and I and my father are very happy together in our house.’
Adrian accompanied Spencer to hearings at Hull Crown Court, which culminated in her jail sentence on February 24.
The court was told that she subjected Richard to abuse weeks after their relationship began in 2000 and it continued until she was forced to leave the family home when police got involved.
One time they shit on the floor and she forced him to clean it up and the other time she hit him so hard with a wine bottle that his ear became permanently disfigured.
When he went to the hospital for help, she forced him to report to the emergency room using her brother’s name, threatening that he would not be allowed back into the family home if he challenged her.
In furious, wine-fueled diatribes, she called him “fat boy,” “ap***y,” and “silly stupid,” causing bruises and scrapes that he’d have to cover with makeup before going out.
For years he secretly recorded video and audio of his wife’s attacks on him and when the police got involved, he handed over 43 photos of his bruised face, taken on different dates after the vicious attacks he suffered.
Judge Kate Rayfield told Spencer, “In one of these shots, it’s clear you’ve pooped on the floor. You can hear your husband scrubbing as you say to him, “I made you do that, all I asked you was to go to the store.”
“I watched you spit in his face over and over calling him ‘b***h, tiny c*** and skank’ and insulting members of his family.
You whispered to his face in the most sinister way, yelled demands and instructions at him – ‘Get the f***ing chicken on, get to the f***ing shop’ and warned him ‘you’ll learn. ‘
The judge added: “You intended by your actions to humiliate or degrade Richard and you caused him significant psychological harm. Richard Spencer was a vulnerable victim, isolated from his family and trapped financially.”