Court Hears the Horrific Details of Death of Shakira Spencer

Three accused of locking her in a cupboard and leaving her to die

Shakira Spencer before and during her ordeal


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November 30, 2023

The trial at the Old Bailey of three people accused of murdering a woman in Hanwell has continued to hear horrific accounts of the last days of her life.

The emaciated body of 35-year-old Shakira Spencer was found in her flat on Holbeck Road on 25 September last year. She had not been seen since 12 September. It was discovered after a neighbour, who had already been concerned about her welfare, noticed maggots crawling from underneath the front floor.

The prosecution is alleging that 26-year-old Shaun Pendlebury, his 38-year-old girlfriend Ashana Studholme and 44-year-old Lisa Richardson starved and tortured Shakira in Studholme’s flat on Greenhill Road, Harrow and then brought her back to Hanwell in the boot of a car before locking her in a cupboard and leaving her to die later moving her body into a child’s bunk bed in a position that aimed to suggest she had died when she was reading.

Evidence was presented that she had been burnt with an improvised blowtorch and had had boiling water poured over her. While she was staying in the flat in Harrow, she was fed only with ketchup sachets and made to sleep in the hallway on newspaper.

It is alleged that the trio took total control of Shakira’s life including her money and systematically abused her after isolating her from her friends and family. Having been a size sixteen in early 2021 she had fallen to a size six in just over a year.

Shakira Spencer in 2017
Shakira Spencer in 2017

The condition of Shakira’s body was such that it was not possible for the pathologist to fix on a cause of death.

Pendlebury of Tewkesbury Road, Studholme and Lisa Richardson of Broomcroft Avenue in Northolt have all pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder as well as denying Shakira a lawful burial.

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