Woman, 35, 'fed just sachets of ketchup before she was tortured and beaten to death by killers who kept her as slave' | The Sun
A WOMAN was fed just sachets of ketchup before she was starved, tortured and beaten to death by her three killers, a court heard.
Shakira Spencer, 35, was allegedly "enslaved" by Ashana Studholme, 38, her lover Shaun Pendlebury, 26, and Lisa Richardson, 44 after falling under their "complete control".
The "beautiful" woman was starved from a healthy size 16 to "skin and bone" by the trio in a campaign of torture, it is said.
The Old Bailey heard Shakira had the skin burned from her feet and was repeatedly battered before she was killed in September last year.
She was then bundled into the boot of a red Honda Civic Pendlebury borrowed from his aunt and taken to her flat in Hanwell, Greater London.
Jurors heard her body was dumped in a hallway cupboard and was only discovered when a neighbour saw maggots crawling out from under her front door.
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Opening the case today, Allison Hunter, KC, prosecuting, said: "For whatever was their unfathomable, cruel, sadistic motive, these three defendants tormented, tortured, starved, burned and eventually battered Shakira Spencer to death."
In the months leading up to her death, Shakira had fallen under the trio's "complete control", the prosecutor said.
She was isolated from friends and family as her freewill was "seemingly sapped and stolen from her".
The defendants allegedly stole her "self-respect and her finances" as they took over her flat and treated Shakira "like a slave".
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She was woken in the early hours to clean the trio's houses and sent on errands to the shop.
Jurors heard she was fed just sachets of ketchup as her weight plummeted with images showing her looking "gaunt and skeletal" before her death.
The pictures – taken in act of "unbelievable depravity" – also showed Shakira "bruised from head to foot with hollowed black eyes", Ms Hunter said.
Jurors heard how Shakira was likely murdered between September 11 and 12.
On the evening of the 12th, Pendlebury and Studholme drove her battered body back to her flat and placed ice around her head in a "primitive" bid to slow decomposition, it was said.
At one stage, her body was moved to the bottom of a children's bunk bed where she was left to rot, jurors heard.
Newspapers were also placed on the floor next to the bed to make it look like Shakira had been reading and died in her sleep, Ms Hunter claimed.
The pair then re-joined Richardson and allegedly "mounted the clean-up operation".
CCTV captured them buying cleaning products and returning to the flat four days later where the decomposition would have been so bad, the defendants "left her there to be found", the court heard.
Ms Hunter said: "Studholme and Richardson would use Shakira's bank and cash point cards at will, for their food, sundries and cab journeys etc.
"But in acts of particular callous inhumane savage and ironic brutality, they also used them to buy the materials they used to try to remove traces of Shakira's bodily fluids and DNA that would reveal the extent and the locations of their final beatings and stowage of her barely conscious body in the lead up to her death."
A cause of death could not be determined but a post mortem found horror injuries Shakira had suffered before her death.
She had "crushing" injuries where her left ear would have been, lacerations on her scalp and wounds to her left eye socket.
The court heard there was "epidermal degloving of the feet, consistent with scalding", where the top layer of her skin had been burned away.
Pendlebury admitted to his mum Michelle Pendlebury and uncle that he had joined in on this particular attack, it was said.
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He, Richardson and Studholme all deny murder and preventing an unlawful burial.
The trial continues.
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