Although they were married for twenty years, Richard Spencer was never happy with his prison reform boss wife, Sheree Spencer. During the course of their decades-long marriage, Sheree would regularly beat Richard during her violent outbursts. Now, Richard has taken the mother of his three little girls to court, where she was facing what the judge called “the worst case of controlling and coercive behavior” ever seen in the legal system.
During their time in court, Richard was terrified of Sheree and could only get through the ordeal because he would “focus on a spot on a piece of furniture and stare at it to get through it.”
Throughout the course of their twenty-year marriage, Richard would sometimes wear makeup to hide the bruises that Sheree would inflict upon him during her routine beatings. He was embarrassed that he was getting hit by his aggressive wife, and the British man did not want other people to know that he was a victim of domestic violence.
“I felt absolutely nothing the few times I glanced across at Sheree,” said Richard. “I didn’t feel anger. I didn’t feel scared. I didn’t have any emotion. But I was hyper-conscious of how my family was reacting when the judge described the horrific things she’d done.”
Richard continues to carry shame from his years of domestic abuse at the hands of his aggressive wife. However, he is freed from her tyranny now that a judge has stepped in and seen his side of things.
“To hear the judge use the same language Sheree used — the f-word and the c-word — the things she called me like ‘bitch’ and knowing my family was hearing those things was . . .” he said, struggling to find the right words to describe the hell his wife put him through.
He added, “When I think about those memories, I don’t feel associated to them. It’s like they happened to someone else. I know it was me, but in my mind, I can’t understand how I could have allowed that to happen.”
Because of her violence, Sheree was sentenced to four years in prison at the Hull Crown Court. She pleaded guilty to coercive and controlling behavior and three counts of assault occasionally causing actual bodily harm.
Sheree would abuse Richard constantly. She would spit at him and hit him with anything she was holding, including her mobile phone, the remote, or a bottle, as well as frequent abuse from her fists and hands.
Fortunately for Richard, his wife’s violence was recorded on a security camera in the children’s playroom. She brandishes a knife and dragged him across the floor, kicking him and punching him while shouting, “Get the f***ing chicken on! Get to the f***ing shop. You will learn!”
Richard said, “When the things that have happened to me upset someone else, I feel guilty. I just feel that no normal person would have let that happen.”