A woman was starved, burned with a blowtorch and had boiling water thrown over her before being locked in a cupboard to die, a murder trial has heard.
The crime scene
Shakira Spencer was found dead in her flat in Hanwell, west London, after a neighbour raised the alarm when they saw maggots crawling from under her front door on September 25, 2022.
The Old Bailey previously heard that 35-year-old was burned with a makeshift blowtorch, had boiling water poured over her, was fed only sachets of ketchup and was forced to sleep on newspapers in the hallway of one of the defendant’s homes in Harrow.
The court heard that the three alleged killers, Shaun Pendlebury, 26, Ashana Studholme, 38, and Lisa Richardson, 44, put Ms Spencer in the boot of a car and drove her back to her flat on Holbeck Road where they locked her in a cupboard.
Pendlebury, of Tewkesbury Road, Ealing, Richardson, of Broomcroft Avenue, Ealing, and Studholme, of Greenhill Road, Harrow, all deny murder and preventing a lawful burial.
How they carried out the crime
Prosecutor Allison Hunter, KC, told the jury: ‘They cleaned up the scene as best they could, they arranged Shakira Spencer as if she had been reading.
‘The windows around the flat were left open, the door barricaded, and then he (Pendlebury) went to the car from the other side of the building.
‘They concealed the death of Shakira Spencer, they isolated her from everyone she knew, even her own family.
‘Even her phone wasn’t allowed to make outgoing calls, which proves another lie told by Lisa Richardson that she called the Samaritans.
‘It is not just that it is a lie, that was a single thing that Lisa Richardson identified, when asked: ‘What did you do to help? ‘I called the Samaritans.’
‘She did nothing, absolutely nothing, why? Because she enjoyed it.’
Jurors were also told how Ms Spencer was denied food and water.
She was made to suffer before her death
‘Upon their arrests, Ashana Studholme and Lisa Richardson demonstrably lied during their interviews, Lisa Richardson has admitted that she told lies’, Ms Hunter said.
‘You will be directed that people might tell lies, we submit that the reason Lisa Richardson lies in hers is to conceal her guilt.’
‘She used fear as an excuse for lying in her interview, she could have replied no comment, of course she could have done, there is no reason whatsoever to tell lies, unless of course, she is involved in it and wants to save her own skin.
‘As for Ashana Studholme’s silence at trial, she could not think of a single coherent defence, that is the reason she did not step into the witness box.’