A woman who was reduced from a “voluptuous size 16” to “skin and bones” by a torture gang was scalded with boiling water and burned with a lit aerosol can, a court has heard.
Shakira Spencer, 35, was found dead by police at her home in Hanwell, west London, after a neighbor spotted maggots crawling under her front door on September 25, 2022.
Ashana Studholme, 38, her lover Shaun Pendlebury, 26, and Lisa Richardson, 44, all deny murder and preventing a lawful burial.
Ms Spencer was only given ketchup packets while she was enslaved and tortured, the Old Bailey heard.
But Richardson, who told police she had known co-accused Studholme for 20 years, now says she was “scared” of her and felt “controlled”.
She claims she “came out of the kitchen” while Ms Spencer was being tortured and burned.
Shakira Spencer, 35 (pictured) was scalded with boiling water and burned with a lit aerosol can, a court heard.
Ms Spencer (pictured) was fed nothing but ketchup packets while she was enslaved, tortured and reduced to “skin and bones”, the Old Bailey heard.
Ashana Studholme, 38, her lover Shaun Pendlebury, 26, and Lisa Richardson, 44, all deny murder and are preventing a legal burial (picture: Hanwell)
The three killers controlled and tortured Ms Spencer, described as a “beautiful, happy, healthy woman”, before fatally beating her and locking her in a cupboard, it is said.
They took over her apartment, her finances and treated her like a slave while filming their abuse of her, the court heard.
Richardson, who once said her friend Studholme was “like family” and “didn’t give off bad vibes,” now claims Studholme was controlling and afraid of her.
Richardson told the court: “She knew I was afraid of her, just her charisma and that, I’m quite a fearful person.”
She said she wanted to move from her small flat in Northolt to Studholme’s house in Harrow as she had a garden and fields nearby.
Studholme’s lawyer, Joseph Stone, KC, said: “Burning someone with hot water and aerosol would amount to some pretty nasty acts, wouldn’t it?” »
“Yes,” Richardson agreed.
“Would you accept that they border on torture?
“Yes,” Richardson replied.
When asked if there was no good reason for the attacks, she replied: “I don’t know why it happened.”
“Do you accept that these actions would have been unforgivable and that you would clearly have been appalled? » asked Mr. Stone.
“Yes, it was upsetting and that’s why I came out of the kitchen,” Richardson responded.
“And if Shante did this, you must have been surprised that your friend who you had known for 15 years was capable of such wickedness. And it must have shaken you to your core?
“Yes,” Richardson replied.
Richardson said during questioning that she did not see Studholme do anything to harm Ms Spencer the weekend before her death, although she claimed to have done so in her defense statement.
The three killers controlled and tortured Ms Spencer (pictured), described as a “beautiful, happy, healthy woman”, before fatally beating her and locking her in a cupboard, it is said.
Police were called to Ms Spencer’s home in Hanwell, west London, after a neighbor spotted maggots crawling under her front door on September 25, 2022.
She said she only saw her throw water on him but she didn’t know if the water was boiled.
She said Pendlebury threw boiling water on Ms Spencer and attacked her using a spray can and a lighter as a blowtorch.
She denied being high at the time, saying she was not on drugs.
Mr Stone said Richardson sent a text message saying she wanted to get closer to Studholme after the attacks on Ms Spencer.
“I suggest you seek to blame her in your defense statement in order to avoid being convicted of murder,” Mr Stone said.
“That’s not true,” Richardson replied.
Pendlebury, of Tewkesbury Road; Richardson, of Broomcroft Avenue, both in Ealing, west London; and Studholme, of Greenhill Road, Harrow, all deny murder and preventing unlawful burial.
The trial continues.