The offences were prolonged over a long period of time. It was an irony that Spencer had, during her job with the Ministry of Justice, been working on a project connected with the impact of custodial sentences on families. She had an “excellent work record” but had a previous conviction for affray.
Judge Kate Rayfield said that Spencer had a “short temper” and was controlling and coercive to her “vulnerable” husband, who was the victim of her outbursts for many years. Two hours of recorded incidents had been compiled and it could not be “overstated how shocking” it was.
The filmed or recorded incidents revealed “persistent, nasty physical and emotional abuse” on a frequent basis, sometimes several times in a day. Spencer threatened and assaulted her husband and he “cowered sometimes on his hands and knees on the floor”. Undeterred, Spencer continued to assault him by spitting, punching him, grabbing his hair, slapping him, kicking and biting him as well as threatening to take his head off, rip his heart out and break his teeth.
Spencer showed “utter contempt for him” and sometimes “whispered in his face in the most sinister way” as well as shouting orders at him. She had been drinking up to three bottles of wine a day.
“You have caused him significant psychological harm,” said Judge Rayfield. “There is a history of violence and abuse against the same victim.” Spencer was given an indefinite restraining order. As she left the dock to be taken down to the cells, she grinned.