Inside wife's 20-year reign of terror on husband as she beat, bit and verbally abused him during drunken rampages

19 March 2024, 11:21

Richard Spencer endured a years-long campaign of abuse at the hands of his wife Sheree
Richard Spencer endured a years-long campaign of abuse at the hands of his wife Sheree. Picture: Channel 5

By Kit Heren

A husband has revealed the beatings he received at the hands of his wife over a 20-year campaign of abuse.

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Richard Spencer, 47, suffered the attacks at the hands of his wife Sheree at their affluent home in an east Yorkshire suburb.

Sheree, a former prison reformer, was jailed last year for her abuse, after Richard began secretly recording what she did to him.

The father-of-three spoke out in a Channel 5 documentary about the terror his wife inflicted during her wine-fuelled rampages.

Footage he recorded shows a litany of physical and emotional attacks - including at one stage his wife holding a knife to his throat.

Read more: 'She would still be here': sister's grief as top cop urges manslaughter charges when abuse victims take their own lives

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

Spencer abusing Richard at home
Spencer abusing Richard at home. Picture: Channel 5

She can also be seen punching him and grabbing his hair, as well as calling him a "fat c***" and a "lazy b******".

Spencer also defecated on Richard's head after ordering him off the bed because she had bought it. She then told him to clean up the mess.

A judge said it was "one of the worst cases of coercive control" they had ever come across.

Richard said: "Things that affected me more than the physical attacks would be the more demoralising things she would do to me.

Sheree and Richard
Sheree and Richard. Picture: Channel 5

"In the kitchen we would often have a box of 12 or more eggs which she would take over to me and crack over my head or push into my face.

"She was so angry sometimes that the egg shell would cut into my skin.

"I'd have to go upstairs and shower to get the egg out of my hair and clothes - I would feel hopeless a lot of the time after these things happened."

Audio recordings of the incident show her saying: "Keep cleaning you c***. Keep cleaning you dirty b****. Keep scrubbing man, scrub away you b****."

Sheree
Sheree. Picture: Channel 5

Spencer would also make comments about Richard's mother, who died of cancer when he was nine, and said she hoped his sister would suffer a similar fate.

She also tried to portray him as the abuser in their relationship. At one point she opened a window and shouted: "Stop it, stop it Richard you're hurting me, stop hitting me all the time", so that the neighbours could hear.

Spencer threatened to leave her husband, and get a restraining order against him so that he couldn't see their children.

The campaign of abuse eventually emerged when neighbours caught wind of what Spencer was doing. One local told the documentary-makers that she had seen Spencer slash her husband's car's tyres when he hesitated to obey an order.

Richard revealing the extent of the physical abuse he had suffered
Richard revealing the extent of the physical abuse he had suffered. Picture: Channel 5

Police said that Richard came forward to them to protect his children, having tried to keep them ignorant from the abuse he was suffering. He submitted 43 images of abuse.

PC Adele Jenkinson of Humberside Police said: "I believe he even told me once, had she left the abuse behind closed doors form their children, had she kept it separate he would not have got anyone else involved as he felt like he was handling it and controlling it.

"He could put up with abuse if he got the family life he wanted and he felt like he deserved. So he was happy, to an extent, continue their dysfunctional family, if it meant he had a family to go home to."

After she was arrested, Spencer maintained that Richard was the real abuser, even claiming that she picked up the knife after he threatened to kill her.

Richard has tried to move on from his ordeal
Richard has tried to move on from his ordeal. Picture: Channel 5

She told officers: "I wanted to give him it because he had threatened me, that he wanted to kill me, he'd rather kill me than divorce me. And I did reach for a knife - if he wants to kill me, just do it."

The two met in a nightclub in 2000 and got married in 2009. Spencer was a high-flyer in the prison and probation service, and claimed to know Boris Johnson.

She admitted coercive and controlling behaviour and three offences of assaulting her husband, causing actual bodily harm.

She was jailed for four years in March 2023. The offences that she was found guilty of took place between 2016 and 2021.

Speaking to media after Spencer was jailed, Richard 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.

My Wife, My Abuser: The Secret Footage aired on Channel 5 on Monday.

Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline is 0808 2000 247. Click here for more information.

Men suffering from domestic abuse can call ManKind Initiative's confidential helpline on 01823 334244 open Monday – Friday 10am to 4pm

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