Convicted pimp Amanda Ann Spencer had a happy and stable upbringing at home with her parents and siblings in Stockport – until a move to Yorkshire changed everything.
As a child she attended special school because, in her own words, she was a ‘backwards child’ – and if given something to read, she would start at the bottom of the page and read it backwards, she claimed.
But her mother brought up the children while her father worked, and the family enjoyed regular holidays abroad to destinations such as Portugal and Spain.
But when she was 14 Spencer’s family moved to York, because one of her brothers was ‘hanging around with drug dealers’.
Spencer told the jury at Sheffield Crown Court she didn’t go to school in York ‘because I didn’t intend to stay there’.
On her 15th birthday she ran away from home.
“I packed my bags and left,” she said.
Spencer went to stay with her sister in Leeds, then moved to Manchester for two to three months, before being taken back to York by the police and put in emergency foster care for two months.
“I loved it,” she said. “They were nice people and they treated me like an adult.”
But once placed in permanent foster care Spencer said she ran away the first night, and every night for two weeks, until she was transferred to another placement.
She spent time at foster homes in Sheffield and Chesterfield – but by 2008 she was living in hostels with ‘crackheads’.
Spencer told the jury she lived on benefits of £58.90 a week and shoplifted for food and clothes. She said: “People would give me a list of the stuff that they wanted, and I would get it.”
Spencer said she drank and took drugs but stopped when she fell pregnant aged 18 with her son in 2009. Her baby boy was born in April 2010, and he now lives with her mother.
Spencer told the jury she had not been able to see or speak to her son since her arrest.
‘Vulnerable’ victims bullied into a grim world of seedy sex with strangers for money
Amanda Spencer’s victims were all described as being ‘vulnerable’ young girls. Some had run away from home, others were in hostels or estranged from family.
Victim 1 was just 10 or 11 when she was befriended by Spencer at Castle Markets.
She was indecently assaulted by a 68-year-old man after Spencer took her to his Sheffield home.
Victim 2 was in care and only 13 when she too met Spencer in Castle Markets.
She and Spencer became friends at first, and went shoplifting together.
But she was still a virgin when, after being given drink and cannabis, she was told she’d be paid £80 to have sex with a man called Jaz at a party. She complied, but was given just £20 in return – Spencer pocketed £60 of the earnings for herself.
Victim 3 was homeless and only 15 years old, but already in the grips of a cocaine addiction.
She was sold to men by Spencer over two years, and beaten by her if she refused.
One night she was forced into sex in Sheffield with six or seven ‘smiling’ asylum seekers, none of whom could speak English. In all, she believes she was forced into sex for money 40 or 50 times.
Victim 4 was 14 and in care when she met Spencer. She was taken to parks to have sex with men who arrived while Spencer waited in a car.
Victim 5 was 13 and ‘cut adrift’ from family. Once, she was sold for sex to a drug dealer in exchange for drugs.