Two women and a man tortured, starved, burned and eventually battered to death a "beautiful, happy" young mum in "depraved" acts of "indescribable torment".

Vulnerable Shakira Spencer died after being taken advantage of by former neighbour Ashana Studholme, 38, her lover Shaun Pendlebury, 26, and their friend Lisa Richardson, 44.

A senior detective said the twisted trio murdered her "in the most savage and inhumane way" imaginable, before lying to conceal their barbarity.

But Studholme, of Greenhill Road, Harrow; Pendlebury, of Tewkesbury Road, Ealing; and Richardson, of Broomcroft Avenue, Ealing, were convicted of the murder and of preventing the lawful burial of Shakira Spencer at the Old Bailey today (December 11), following a 12-week trial.

Officers were called to Holbeck Road, Ealing, at 4.38pm on September 25, 2022, after concerns were raised for the welfare of the woman inside the property.

Police forced entry into the property, and found the body of a woman who was later identified as Shakira.

Harrow Times: Victim Shakira Spencer, a vulnerable but happy mum murdered by sadistic trioVictim Shakira Spencer, a vulnerable but happy mum murdered by sadistic trio (Image: Met Police)

Later, at 12.10am, one of Pendlebury’s relatives called police to say that he had confessed to being involved in the killing of a woman and that Studholme and Richardson were also involved.

The trio were arrested just hours later and taken into custody. They were charged with murder three days after their arrest.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said that Shakira had been a happy and healthy woman.

She had known the three for some time in a complex web of relationships, but in just under a year she had fallen under their complete control.

The Met said her tormentors stole Shakira's self-respect, her children, and her home, took over her finances and controlled her life.

They had subjected her to a prolonged campaign of beatings, enslavement, coercion and control, humiliation and degradation over a period of months.

This culminated in a frenzied, violent assault reaching a climax between September 9 and 12, 2022, from which Shakira most likely died on September 14.

Instead of taking her to hospital, Pendlebury and Studholme drove Shakira back to her home in the boot of a car, bundled her in a cupboard and left her to die.

Officers recovered CCTV footage and bank transactions, showing the defendants used Shakira’s own bank card to buy a cleaning product and Studholme and Richardson used their own bank cards to buy items including refuse sacks and gloves, in an attempt to clean-up the crime scenes and conceal their involvement in the murder.

Their mobile phones were seized and hundreds of messages were found referencing the abuse they had subjected Shakira to.

Richardson and Studholme exchanged images of a bedraggled Shakira, mocking her.

Videos of Shakira being beaten up while the others laughed and jeered were also discovered.

Senior investigating officer, DCI Brian Howie said: “My thoughts today, and that of my team, are with Shakira Spencer’s family and friends. During the trial they listened to deeply traumatising evidence of the depraved acts of indescribable cruel torment committed by the three defendants. They murdered Shakira in the most savage and inhumane way imaginable.

"Shakira was a beautiful, happy mother who was kind and had a trusting nature. Shakira could be vulnerable and these defendants took advantage of that by controlling and isolating her from everyone she knew in order to control and enslave her in the most dehumanising and degrading way.

“The family’s ordeal has been compounded by the behaviour of the defendants, who have each lied, providing implausible accounts and explanations to try and absolve themselves of any responsibility.

"Whatever their cruel and sadistic motives were, there is no acceptable explanation for what Shakira was put through."

He said it was "a complex and challenging investigation" where different strands of evidence needed to be pulled together in order to prove the defendants’ campaign of controlling behaviour and violence.

Officers retrieved and viewed thousands of hours of CCTV, extensive forensic examinations, pathology, witness accounts, searching houses and vehicles and reviewing the defendants’ phones to put together a "meticulous" timeline.

DCI Howie added: "That examination revealed what Shakira had been subjected to, with footage, messages and voice notes recorded by the defendants themselves that would prove key.”

The three defendants will be sentenced at a later date.