Three appear in London court over fatal torture of vulnerable woman | UK news
Three people have appeared in court accused of torturing and killing a vulnerable woman and leaving her body in a child’s bunk bed in Ealing.
Shakira Spencer, 35, was allegedly fatally assaulted in the days before her badly decomposed body was found at her home in west London. Ashana Studholme, 37, Lisa Richardson, 43, and Shaun Pendlebury, 25, were charged with her murder.
The Old Bailey heard on Tuesday how a neighbour had become concerned about Spencer’s whereabouts and noticed a smell coming from her flat in Holbeck Road. The neighbour alerted police, who forced their way into the home and found Spencer’s body on the bottom bunk bed of a child’s bedroom.
A post-mortem examination was carried out but due to the body’s decomposed state the findings of the pathologist were said to be inconclusive.
On 26 September, the three defendants were arrested on suspicion of her murder and interviewed by police. Three days later they were charged with murder.
On Tuesday, they appeared in court one of the Old Bailey before Judge John Hillen for a preliminary hearing; the female defendants in the dock and Pendlebury via video link from Wandsworth prison.
The judge set a trial of up to six weeks at the Old Bailey from 4 September next year, with a plea hearing on 20 December. The three defendants were remanded in custody.