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Three people guilty of murder after torturing woman and leaving her to die

|News, Violent crime

Three people have been convicted after dominating, torturing and then brutally beating a woman to death.

Shaun Pendlebury, 25, Ashana Studholme, 37, and Lisa Richardson, 43, were each found guilty of murder and preventing the lawful burial of Shakira Spencer, 35, today (11 December 2023) at the Old Bailey.

Leading up to Ms Spencer’s death, they left her in a locked cupboard in her home whilst alive and eventually left her to die alone in her home in Hanwell, Ealing.

They tormented, tortured, and controlled every aspect of Ms Spencer’s life over a period of time, isolating her from her family and friends.

They stole her self-respect, her dignity and in the lead up to her death, she was only allowed to eat sachets of ketchup. The brutality of their actions included burning Ms Spencer with hot water and with a flame.

Ms. Spencer’s body was left for around 12 days before her body was discovered by police following a neighbour’s report of maggots appearing from underneath her door. During this time, the defendants returned to Ms. Spencer’s flat on multiple occasions to initiate a clean-up. They were captured on CCTV purchasing cleaning equipment and odour neutralisers from nearby shops.

Devi Kharran, Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “Evidence presented during the trial proved that Pendlebury, Studholme and Richardson exercised twisted and sadistic control of Shakira Spencer over an extended period. They spun a web of lies in every effort to hide their actions.

“The CPS built a strong case against them using video footage filmed by the defendants themselves, mobile phone evidence, forensic analysis, and a confession from Shaun Pendlebury himself to prove beyond doubt that they were responsible for her death.

“The level of suffering that Shakira endured is simply unimaginable. Our thoughts remain with all of Shakira’s family and friends.  I hope this conviction brings them some sense of justice.”

Notes to editors

  • Shaun Pendlebury [DOB: 09.08.1997] is from Ealing
  • Ashana Studholme [DOB: 15.12.1984] is from Harrow
  • Lisa Richardson [DOB: 17.01.1979) is from Ealing
  • Devi Kharran is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the CPS London Homicide Team.

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