Wife’s 20-year campaign of abuse captured on 'nanny cam' vids showing husband beaten and threatened with knife

15 March 2024, 11:41 | Updated: 15 March 2024, 12:39

Sheree Spencer, 46, has been jailed over the abuse of her husband Richard
Sheree Spencer, 46, has been jailed over the abuse of her husband Richard. Picture: Channel 5

By Asher McShane

A wife has been jailed for a 20-year campaign of abuse against her husband described by a judge as “the worst case of controlling and coercive behaviour she had ever seen.”

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Sheree Spencer, 46, abused her husband Richard, 47 behind closed doors in their seven-bedroom home in a leafy village near York.

Sheree was eventually jailed after a friend of her husband saw shocking ‘nanny-cam’ footage of her abuse and went to the police.

The shocking video footage was filmed on cameras that were supposed to be monitoring the couple's three children. Clips have been revealed as part of a new documentary on Channel 5.

In the clips, she can be seen at one point holding a knife to her husband’s throat. In further shocking scenes, she is seen punching Richard on the sofa because he had not made her dinner shouting: “Get in there and put the f***ing chicken in, you fat c***. Go on, you f***er. You lazy b*****d.”

Sheree Spencer abused her husband over many years
Sheree Spencer abused her husband over many years. Picture: Channel 5

Sheree repeatedly threatened to go to police with false claims that she was actually the victim, even screaming from windows to try and trick neighbours into believing she was being abused.

In fact it was her husband who was on the receiving end for two decades.

Richard said the attacks began shortly after their relationship started and escalated over the years.

Man set to share abuse hell on Channel 5 show

Richard recalls: “It started with pushing, shoving and slapping, but she would say all couples have arguments.”

She went on to begin stabbing him with forks, spitting on him, and locking him out of the house.

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Richard cowers on the sofa in footage taken on their 'nanny-cam'
Richard cowers on the sofa in footage taken on their 'nanny-cam'. Picture: Channel 5

During one attack she beat him with a wine bottle, leaving his ear disfigured.

She also controlled him financially, making him take out loans to pay for holidays, and refusing to pay her share of bills to ‘punish’ him.

Richard said if he tried to restrain her or stop her from attacking him “what came next would be ten times worse.”

He said they bought the cameras shortly after Sheree gave birth to their eldest daughter in 2015.

He said: “We had two — one in the playroom and one in the bedroom.

“They were there for reassurance, to keep an eye out because it’s a big house.

Sheree was jailed for four years at Hull Crown Court last March
Sheree was jailed for four years at Hull Crown Court last March. Picture: Channel 5

“It was on something like a 28-day roll, where if something new came in it would delete the old footage.”

The truth about her abuse emerged when Sheree contacted one of Richard’s friends claiming he was drunk and she feared he might do something.

Richard came clean when the friend came round and they were alone, telling him how he got a bruise on his face. He showed the friend one of the videos, who went to police on his behalf.

Some of the injuries suffered by Richard during the couple's abusive relationship
Some of the injuries suffered by Richard during the couple's abusive relationship. Picture: Channel 5

The Channel 5 documentary shows body-cam footage shows of Sheree trying to flirt with a custody sergeant at a police station, asking him: “Are you married?”

During questioning, she tried to maintain that Richard was abusing her.

When showed a recording of her holding a knife to him, with the audio removed, she claimed she was so broken by his abuse she was begging him to let her end her life.

The couple met at a nightclub in 2000 before marrying nine years later
The couple met at a nightclub in 2000 before marrying nine years later. Picture: Channel 5

But police then play her the video again with the audio, clearly showing her to be lying.

A police officer tells the documentary: “This has been going on for such a long time, that this is who he is. Withdrawn and broken.”

Sheree was jailed for four years at Hull Crown Court last March.

Judge Kate Rayfield told her that the abuse was: “The worst case of controlling and coercive behaviour I have seen.”

Speaking to media after Sheree was jailed last year, he said: “I have become resigned to the fact that I will never fully recover from her abuse and that it will have a permanent damaging impact on mine and my family's life.

“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.

“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.”

Richard decided to share his story to help raise awareness. He is also working with a charity ManKind Initiative which supports male victims of domestic abuse.

Mark Brooks, chair of the ManKind Initiative charity for male victims, said: "Thank you to Richard for talking about his experience and to encourage more men to come forward. It is vital that as a society we recognise that men can be and are also victims of domestic abuse. 

"There is great  support available for men including through the police, helplines and specialist domestic abuse organisations, funded by local councils. So please do contact them for help."

Channel 5 documentary My Wife, My Abuser: The Secret Footage, airs on Monday

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