Mother of 3 Jailed After Allegedly Beating Her Husband for 15 Years
Husband secretly recorded the assaults.
A British mother of three has been sentenced to prison after allegedly beating her husband for 15 years, local news outlets reported this week. Sheree Spencer, 45, had been arrested in 2021 for attacks that ranged from verbal abuse to an assault with a wine bottle that allegedly caused her husband to be permanently disfigured. Her husband, Richard, secretly recorded the assaults, which left him with "mental scars that will last a lifetime," he said.
The judge overseeing the case called it the "worst case of controlling and coercive behavior" I have ever seen." Read on to find out more about the case, including what Richard said about the attacks and the judge's scathing summation before handing down her sentence.
Secret Recordings of Abuse
In court, prosecutors said Sheree would call her husband "fat boy," and "dumb dumb." She would allegedly assault him, leaving bruises and scratches he'd have to conceal with makeup before going out in public. For years, Richard secretly recorded his wife's attacks on his phone; he would transfer the audio and video elsewhere and delete the phone copies, so his wife wouldn't find out.
When a concerned welfare worker directed police to the home, Richard handed over 43 images of his bruised face taken on different dates.
The Husband's Testimony
Richard Spencer told the court that although he was bigger and stronger than his wife, he didn't fight back against her attacks. "From September 2000 to June 2021, Sheree subjected me to hundreds of physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive episodes perpetrated in a pattern of behavior going back over 20 years, almost half my life," he told the court. "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," he added.
"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," he said.
One Attack Required ER Visit
"After a while, I learned to cover my face with my hands and curl up into a fetal position to try and avoid sustaining any visible facial injuries, so that I could still take the children to school and nursery," Richard said. At one point, Sheree beat him about the head and body with a wine bottle, he said. It caused him to need medical attention, for which Sheree called him a bad word, he said. An attorney later noted that Sheree told Richard to use her brother's name at the emergency room, so she wouldn't face any repercussions.
Wife Worked in Prison System
Ironically, Sheree Spencer was a high-placed official in the UK's prison and probation system. She served as a project manager in the department's directorate of strategy and performance, the Daily Mail reported. "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," a source told the Daily Mail. "She was bragging about her high-flying career while subjecting her poor husband, a lovely man, to daily abuse, degradation, and humiliation."
Judge's Harsh Summation: "The Worst…I Have Ever Seen"
The judge had harsh words for Sheree Spencer. "This is the worst case of controlling and coercive behavior I have seen," she told the defendant. The judge then described the two hours of video and audio recordings of abuse she had examined. "In one of these recordings it is clear you had [made a fecal mess] on the floor," said the judge. "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 [names] and skank and insulted members of his family," the judge added. "By your actions, you intended to humiliate or degrade Richard and you have caused him significant psychological harm." Sheree Spencer had pleaded guilty to coercive and controlling behavior and three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Ultimately, the judge sentenced her to four years in prison.