September 2015

BRITAIN’S most sadistic mum enjoys a trip to the shops after being freed halfway through a 14-year jail term for torturing her foster children.

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For more photos of Eunice Spry please follow this link

Eunice Spry’s three victims hit out yesterday after recognising her from the first pictures since her release.

Jehovah’s Witness Spry, 71, in a blue overcoat, thick glasses and dyed hair, was spotted leaving a supermarket near her bail hostel.

Foster kids Victoria, Alloma and Christopher were taken in by her in 1991 and suffered years of physical and mental abuse.

Spry was convicted of 26 charges of child abuse and jailed for 14 years at Bristol crown court. She was released last year.

Alloma, now 30, was tortured at homes in Tewkesbury, Gloucs, and Eckington, Derbys, before escaping in 2005. Recoiling at Spry’s photo, she said: “She’s aged, but it’s her.

“She’s got the same gawky dress style. She doesn’t seem to be looking after herself.

“I’ve got nothing to say to her and I never want to see her again.

“The abuse was so painful you learnt to shut down. You didn’t really fight back.”

Sources say Spry has since moved from the Birmingham hostel and been rehoused in the Midlands.

She has been travelling on buses and worshipping with Jehovah’s Witnesses unaware of her crimes.

Evil Spry routinely beat, abused and starved the terrified youngsters. She forced them to drink bleach and urine, eat their own vomit and stand naked and cold for hours on end

Reports say she recently returned to Tewkesbury, ten miles from the home Alloma shares with her two young kids. She said: “It’s scary. I’m worried she might be stalking me.

“I don’t know why she would go back. So many people there hate her and would recognise her.

“I returned to the house in Tewkesbury and it had been smashed up and daubed with graffiti.”

Victoria, 28, said: “It doesn’t matter how much weight she puts on or if she colours her hair, those eyes will never change. They are evil and sadistic and take you to a place you never want to go — back to years of abuse.”

Spry made Victoria eat cat food as punishment for peeling labels off tins, sandpapered her face and kicked her so hard she needed ear surgery. She also stopped her speaking to school pals.

Victoria added: “How can the system let her out when she doesn’t think what she did was wrong? She never showed remorse.”

Christopher, now a 26-year-old youth worker, has damaged knees — a legacy from being beaten with a chair leg and tied to a van, then dragged around a field.

He also needs back surgery, suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and often sleeps for just three hours a night.

He said: “Spry is a torturous, twisted person, a psycho who we’re very lucky hasn’t killed someone.

“It’s scary she’s out in the public again and could do this to another child. She’s good at gathering trust.

“Seeing the picture makes me angry. She looks like she’s leading a normal life. I can’t do that because she has made me ill.

“I’m proud I survived the abuse she gave me. She’s done a lot of damage, but she hasn’t won.

“We must respect the justice system, but I don’t think justice has been served.”

July 24, 2014: Eunice Spry has now been released from prison – Current location unknown

June 2014

Britain’s most sadistic mother will be let out of jail next month (July) – and re-homed just miles from the adopted daughter she brutally tortured for nearly 20 years

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Eunice Spry, now 70, was originally jailed for 14 years but In September 2008 her sentence was reduced to 12 years after she was convicted of 26 charges of disgusting child abuse against her two foster children and an adopted daughter.

Evil Spry routinely beat, abused and starved the terrified youngsters – identified in court as Child A, B and C.

She forced them to drink bleach and urine, eat their own vomit, stand naked and cold for hours on end and even sandpapered the skin from the face of one terrified child.

Adopted daughter Victoria Evans, now 28, Child A, is speaking for the first time about the daily horrors she endured for 19 years before she bravely escaped and told police.

Spry would regularly take her to a remote farm house and whip the soles of her feet with sticks which were then forced down her throat when she screamed.

Tragic Victoria was once tied up naked and left blindfolded – for THREE months.

Victoria was given a wheelchair after she miraculously survived a car crash that claimed the lives of two of her step-sisters to help her in the months after she left hospital.

But despite a rapid recovery, evil Spry banned her from walking until her leg muscles wasted away so she could continue her reign of terror, sandpapering the skin from her FACE.

In spite of the horrors she suffered, brave Victoria has miraculously flourished, teaching herself to read and write, going to college and is now engaged to the love of her life.

She has agreed to reveal her identity for the first time in a bid to show her mother she has not been broken – and beg authorities to reconsider housing the monster just 25 miles away.

Unrepentant Spry has shown no remorse for her crimes and refuses to admit she carried out the heinous acts.

She is thought to have paid released prisoners to track down addresses on the outside – and while Victoria is no longer scared of her evil ‘mother’ she fears she will track her down.

Victoria was handed over to Eunice when she was just 18 months old after her birth parents could no longer look after her.

In one horrifying early assault Spry left defenceless Victoria bleeding from the mouth, her lips and gums cut to ribbons, after she prised the youngster’s jaws open with a spoon to feed her.

She said: “I don’t remember it, but the abuse started pretty much straight away – I know that from her children who were there. “She was obsessed with being perfect.

She had to look like the Von Trapp family. “The other children had to look perfect – they went to private school, ballet lessons, horse riding, and had to be seen to have the best.

“But when I came to her I wasn’t perfect. I was a traumatised little girl. I hadn’t been socialised like children should be. I was wetting the bed, I wasn’t eating. I had been taken away from my real parents.

“I don’t remember this, but the first abuse I know of was when I was around age two. “Mum’s natural daughter said the first memory she had was she saw me being held down. “I didn’t want to come off milk, but my mum said ‘she should be on solids’.

“She held me down and prised my teeth open with a metal spoon. There was blood pouring down my face. “I would wet the bed and she would rub the sheets in my face, then she would tie my to the potty. I wasn’t fitting into her ideal.”

Little Victoria got respite from her mother’s torment during a very brief stint at school – before Spry pulled her out of classes under the guise of ‘home schooling’. But even at school four-year-old Victoria was not free from her abuser’s tricks.

“She would drive every lunchtime to watch me,” recalled Victoria. “I wasn’t allowed to talk to other children or play with them, and I would get an absolute bollocking from her.

“She would say ‘I saw you talking to someone else’. I had no idea how she knew, and she told me ‘I have a magic eye, I can see what’s going on’.

“There were grave concerns that I wasn’t being fed lunch like the rest of the children so she told me to come home for my lunch. “I went home once and she wasn’t there so I came back to school and said I hadn’t had lunch.

“I got beaten to a pulp because I told them, the teachers. “She pushed my lips to cut into my teeth, she would throw me down the stairs.”

Evil Spry split the family’s time between a home near Gloucester and a farm house in Eckington, Worcestershire, left to her in a will by a man she apparently cared for.

The ramshackle farm house – surrounded by trees and away from prying eyes – became what Victoria called the “torture house”.

“She would drive us to the farm house and lie us down, have Judith, her eldest natural daughter, stand on our windpipes to stop us screaming, and whip the soles of our feet with sticks.

“That happened too many times to count. “She would force the sticks down our throats. I will never forget the taste of wood, and blood and saliva as she pulled them out.”

One of the most harrowing stretches of abuse inflicted on Victoria came when she was aged eight or nine.

A single chicken nugget went missing from the fridge, and when nobody owned up, Victoria was tied up naked in an upstairs bedroom – surviving on crusts and water – for three months.

The horrendous episode came to an abrupt end when one of Spry’s daughters found her and threatened to go to social services.

Recalling the horror, Victoria said: “Nobody owned up. Me and my brother were tied up naked up in the bedroom. I’m not sure how long he was there, but I was left there for three months.

“I was tied up with rope and blindfolded, and fed on crusts and water. It was a horrendous time. I was completely naked. It was so cold. “I would wet the floor and she would make me drink it up, lap it up from the floor.

“When I would retch, she would say to me ‘you are weak minded’ and would say ‘it’s mind over matter’.”

A favourite punishment of Spry’s would involve the children leaning with their backs against the wall in an excruciating half-seated position.

Watching television – a treat Victoria was never allowed – she would swing a ruler with a leather fringe round her finger.

As their feet slipped forward with sweat she would whip them on the toes until they bled.

In September 2000, when Victoria was just 14, she was given a rare treat when the family went on a family holiday to Pontins in Weston-super-Mare.

While her and the other foster kids were kept indoors, it was a break from the beatings and Victoria was allowed to keep a doll – one of the only toys she ever had – given to her by her grandmother while on the holiday.

But on the drive back home the car being driven by Judith was involved in a horrific accident on the M5. A lorry driver – who was later convicted in court – smashed into the back to the car while fiddling with his radio, forcing the vehicle under another lorry ahead.

The crash instantly claimed the lives of Judith, 37, and Victoria’s beloved step-sister Charlotte, 16, who was adopted one year before her.

Victoria broke her neck in the crash and was left hanging and pinned, watching her step-brother, seven, – who also survived the smash – scream in agony.

She was put in an induced coma for months, but as soon as she woke up, Spry blamed her for the crash, cruelly claiming she only survived because “the devil looks after his own”.

“They were just dying in front of me,” recalled Victoria. “My adopted sister was decapitated and mum’s natural daughter was absolutely mangled. “I had a broken neck, leg fractures, a broken pelvis, hips, small of my back, both arms, legs, elbows, wrists, and had internal injuries too.”

Drifting in and out of sleep, suffering horrific nightmares while she recovered, Spry would tell her to “shut the fuck up” as soon as the nurse’s backs were turned.

She added: “As soon as I was able she held me by the throat telling me to tell me what happened. “I told her about how we had stopped to go to the seaside on the way home and her daughter has asked if we needed the toilet and I had said I didn’t need to go.

“She said I had killed them because I didn’t go to the toilet. “She said ‘why is it that my two precious daughters have died and scum like you still grace this earth’.

“She said, ‘the devil looks after his own his own, that’s why you are still here’. I believed her. “It got to the point that I wished I had gone, I wished that somebody would put me out of my misery.”

After the accident, doctors told Spry that Victoria would need to be in a wheelchair for a few months, while she built up her strength.

But the sadistic monster forced her to stay in a wheelchair for FOUR years in a cynical bid to maximise the disability living payments she received.

Initially Victoria would use her feet to shuffle along the hallways, but after being punished she stopped, eventually suffering such terrible muscle wastage she was unable to walk.

But the punishment continued, with Spry forcing her to crawl from her chair onto the filthy hallway floor to sleep at every night.

“She would pull me out of the chair by my hair, I remember being kicked around the kitchen.

I was kicked and kicked and kicked,” she said. She would drag her around the house by her neck, slamming her into walls, digging her nails into her skin and even sandpapered the skin from her face.

When Victoria was 17, her younger brother – a step child favoured by Spry – asked if he could go to Jehovah’s Witness meetings in Tewkesbury.

The apparently devout worshipper allowed the 12-year-old lad to go – but only if Victoria went with him to watch over him.

For the first time in her life, the teenager met people who not only cared for her, but noticed the horrific bruises and strangulation marks she was unable to hide under thick clothes.

Spry came under question from the group, but blamed the injuries on an older step child, telling Victoria to do the same.

But eventually the lies became too much, and the teenager broke down, telling everything to a young couple in the group who smuggled her out the house just before Christmas 2004.

It took three weeks to build up the courage to tell the police, but brave Victoria eventually outlined the darkest details of the years of abuse.

“I was there the longest, I was there from when I was a little baby,” she said. “She was all I knew, and like the others, despite it all, I still felt loyal to her.” Spry – who to his day still denies any abuse – was arrested. Investigating officers scoured her two properties and recovered the bloody and splintered sticks she had shoved down her children’s throats, as well as teeth knocked out in the process.

Amongst the squaller in the homes they found unposted letters Victoria had written – but forgotten about – begging neighbours to ‘please be my new mummy’.

She was found guilty of 26 charges, including unlawful wounding, cruelty to a person under 16, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, perverting the course of justice and witness intimidation.

Judge Simon Darwall-Smith, at Bristol Crown Court, told Spry that this was the worst case he had come across in 40 years in law.

But despite the horrors, and free from the clutches of Spry, Victoria set about starting her life again.

Victoria went to college to learn to read and write, and enrolled on maths and english classes, before taking up a course in hairdressing.

She completed a course in childcare and dedicated four years to working in schools, before ongoing health problems – stemming from her abuse – forced her to give up work.

But the keen photographer, who is devoted to the care of her two dogs, is engaged to her boyfriend of five years, living happily in Gloucestershire.

She said: “The dogs have really helped me through it all. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.

The fact they’ve always accepted me, has helped me through. Victoria said it was also her friends who have stuck by her throughout her ordeal that have helped her through the toughest moments.

She said: “They helped me at through the hardest times and they still support me today. “I’m so grateful to those people. They have supported me when I have not been at my best and I wouldn’t be here without them.”

She hopes one day to set up a charity to help other abused adults – and is currently looking for help to achieve her dream – and wants to write a book about her life.

She said: “My younger siblings were helped because they were children, and older ones helped through the fact they had children, but I always seemed to fall between two places. Nobody was there. Nobody picked me up.

“There is nothing out there, and I want to change that, and I am appealing to anyone who can help me to please get in touch.

“I feel I have so much to give, but need help to do it.” A few weeks ago she was contacted by the probation service warning her that Spry was due to be released in July.

After promising her year after year that Spry would be housed in the north of England, they revealed she had applied to be housed in Worcestershire – the very next county to Victoria.

“The probation officer told me that she has not been interested in anything in prison – she hasn’t taken part in any rehabilitation,” said Victoria. “She is coming out with the very same mindset she went in with.

“The officer told me she wasn’t supposed to tell me, but my mother has been paying people to do jobs for her, like tracking people down. They won’t say who, but I think it is me.

“She has got hold of phones in there, and got on social networking sites. She’s going to come out and play every game in the book. “And now they want to house her just down the road from me.

It’s dreadful, it’s heartbreaking. “I’m not asking for anything, but I deserve to just feel secure, to just carry on trying to keep going the best I can.

“Why do they have to just slap her in the next county to me? I asked why, and they said she requested it, and it has been granted. “If she comes anywhere near me I have friends now who will protect me – I’m not scared of her physically anymore.

“But I have got on with my life, and knowing she is so close will be awful.

“Even now, I see the swish of a ponytail out the corner of my eye when I’m out shopping and it gets my heart racing, thinking it is her.

“I thought prison would break her, but I feel gravely concerned that it seems she is still playing the system, still controlling people, still getting her way.

“One day I want to settle down and have children. As long as they are honest kids who wake up in the morning happy, I’ll be happy.

“I’d try to be the best mum in the world. You can’t mould kids, you just have to let them be who they are.

“I wish her no harm, but I don’t want here anywhere near us and I never want to see her again. “She is a psychopath and my concern is that being so close, she’ll manage to find out where we are.”

Victoria looks forward to writing a book based on her life experience, and the charity she hopes to set up for child abuse victims who want to gain education.

And she added: “Despite it all I’m a happy giggly girl.  I love to laugh, I love to sit in the fields and watch my dogs play, whilst I take pictures of the sunset. Everyday I wake up, I continue to love my friends, see the best in people. I defend those who are seen as different. I’m normally a happy happy girl!”

Victoria now 28 with her dogs

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Her hand was rubbed raw with sandpaper

 Face injuries 

The bedrooms in which Eunice Spry’s foster children slept were strewn with rubbish

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Escape from a living hell: The horrifying moment my Jehovah’s Witness foster mother handed me over to a sex predator – Alloma’s story

The beatings and other bizarre punishments inflicted on Alloma and other children are described in detail but in a matter-of-fact style that makes them even more chilling.

She reveals how she and the others had their “mouths washed out” as Spry squirted washing-up liquid or shampoo down their throats. On occasion, this led to vomiting, which the unfortunate child was then forced to eat.

Beatings were usually to the soles of the feet where any bruising was likely to be hidden from view.

My foster mother was incandescent with rage. “What’s this?” she barked, holding up a bag of porridge oats. I knew better than to say “a bag of porridge oats” – that would certainly have earned me a beating, or worse. There was obviously something seriously wrong.

“You left it out,” continued Eunice accusingly, tipping the bag’s contents on to the kitchen table. I could see that mixed in with the oats were little brown lumps – mouse or even rat droppings.

There had, I knew, been some rats recently around the dilapidated old farm where we lived, and I dare say she was right that I had forgotten to put the bag away the day before.

Eunice said nothing more, but scraped up the oats and put them into a saucepan, droppings and all. She then poured in some water, and stirred.

“I’ll make your breakfast for you,” she said.

When the concoction was cooked, she spooned a large, steaming helping into a bowl. It was a far bigger portion than she would usually allow me for breakfast – Eunice was unbelievably mean with food.

She handed me a spoon. “Eat it,” she commanded.

When I didn’t move, Eunice pushed the spoon into the bowl and brought it up against my closed lips. “Open wide.”It was pointless to resist. Obediently, I opened my mouth and swallowed the vile mixture. It tasted like the soles of my Wellingtons after I’d cleaned out the chicken shed.

My gorge rose and I could see a glint in Eunice’s eyes – her satisfaction would be complete if I threw up there and then.

But I didn’t. Instead, I fought to turn myself off at the emotional mains and ate the whole lot.

I could tell Eunice was waiting for me to give up so that she could give me a beating, but I was determined to show her what I was made of.

She was obviously disappointed. “Well, you do that again and you’ll get it again,” she said.

By now my stomach was churning. I have to hold it down now, I told myself. Just blank yourself out.

Eunice started tidying up and I feigned as much nonchalance as I could muster. I could feel my gorge rising again, but I swallowed hard as saliva filled my mouth and kept my face as blank as I could. Slowly, I moved towards the kitchen door.

The second I was out of Eunice’s sight, I ran like the clappers down the field, where I threw up the entire contents of my poisoned stomach.

But I hadn’t given her the satisfaction of seeing it. And most important of all, I had chalked one up to me in our battle of wills.

Alloma Gilbert

If my childhood with my foster mother Eunice Spry had been traumatic, then my young womanhood, before I finally escaped from her evil clutches at 17, was quite appalling in its physical and psychological brutality.

At least when I was young I had been to school for part of the time, having contact with other adults and children.

I had even very occasionally seen my natural parents. Now I was being taught at home and living as a virtual prisoner, half-starved, on a rundown farm in the middle of nowhere.

I also hadn’t had any contact with my family for years.

I still wonder whether Eunice used to lie in bed at night thinking of the next horrible thing she would do to us all. Certainly, some of her punishments involved a good deal of ingenuity on her part.

One of her favourites was a torture she’d devised, known as the “invisible chair”.

We had to crouch down on our haunches in a sitting position, with our backs or shoulders leaning against the wall, sort of squatting, and we’d have to stay there for ten minutes to an hour, maybe even two.

I found it incredibly difficult to stay upright, and my legs ached terribly, so I’d often fall over.

But Eunice would watch and hit me with a stick, or shout that I had to get back into the upright, crouching position in the invisible chair and stay there until she was satisfied.

Later, when I got a bit older, the punishments changed slightly to cause me the maximum psychological and physical discomfort.

Eunice would sometimes, for example, make me stand naked at the end of her bed – something I found hideously embarrassing, as I was extremely self-conscious about my developing body.

If she fell asleep I’d quickly cover myself up, or lie down on the floor. But then she’d wake up again and shake me or shout at me, and I had to spring back to my standing position. Naked again, all night long.

Eunice’s attitude to nakedness and sex was somewhat ambivalent, and made life very confusing for us as growing teenagers.

On the one hand she would say it was natural and fine for us children to be naked, but at the same time she was also very prudish about anything to do with sex or sexuality, perhaps because of her strict interpretation of her Jehovah’s Witness faith.

During those years of puberty she certainly gave us no sex education or guidance to prepare us for the adult world, and because we never mixed with other young people, we were completely ignorant of the most basic facts of life.

As a result, I was completely unprepared for a catalogue of sexual abuse I suffered over a period of many years at the hands of one of Eunice’s old friends, a man I shall call Kevin.

I don’t know where Eunice knew him from but he was quite a rough type who seemed very interested in my developing body.

Whenever he came to visit, he would make me sit on his lap while he put his arms round me. Then he would put his hands on my legs and move them up my thighs.

One day, he put his hands on my crotch. “You know, you’re a very attractive girl,” he said in a leering voice, which completely freaked me out. I had no idea what was going on.

Another time, Kevin sat me on his lap and told me to touch his trousers in the crotch area. “Go on,” he said. “I’ll give you a quid if you touch it.”

By “it” I sort of guessed he meant his penis, as I knew men were different.

I was utterly confused and didn’t feel right about what was going on between us but I suppose, on some strange level, Kevin provided me with human contact, some kind of touch and warped affection – so starved was I of love and attention after years and years with Eunice.

Later, when I was around 16, Eunice even seemed to want to encourage Kevin’s behaviour towards me, telling me how much he liked me, as if she were matchmaking.

On one occasion, when we went on a holiday with him, she even made us share a room together, albeit with one of the other children.

I protested, but even then Kevin continued to molest me and indulge in gross indecency in my presence.

I spent literally years trying to convince him that I wasn’t interested. When I finally succeeded, he became extremely aggressive and unpleasant.

Compared with all this, something else that Eunice made us do was probably quite benign, although it still makes my stomach churn when I think about it.

She used to make us give her a massage, as though we were her young slaves.

She would lie on the floor or on a sofa and read a women’s magazine and we would have to massage her feet and her back.

It was revolting to have to touch and give pleasure to this woman who hurt us so much.

Also, I found her physically disgusting, and as I was being told to pick the dead skin off her flat feet, or massage her bony shoulders, I would look with fascination at her saggy boobs hanging around her armpits, or her dry wrinkly skin.

Afterwards, we would laugh about it together and mimic her, although very quietly. It was one of the few times we were united against her.

I’ve never really been sure why Eunice took on children after her own two daughters had grown up, but I’m convinced that part of the reason was that she saw us as a financial meal ticket.

The allowances she was paid for looking after us gave her a good source of income – although she was always after more.

For example, she worked out that if she had us registered as disabled for some reason, she would get more money.

So at different times during our childhoods Eunice campaigned to get me diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum.

She would be eligible for disability carer’s allowance for each child, if she succeeded.

So it was only a matter of time before Eunice decided, when I was about 12, that I was a suitable candidate for some “treatment” and I was taken to see a psychologist.

Before I went into the room to meet the doctor, Eunice primed me on how I was to behave, on pain of punishment if I didn’t.

I had to pose as if I had Asperger syndrome. She had done her research carefully and explained I had to be very inarticulate and shut down.

I had to say absolutely nothing if I was spoken to, and not reply if I was asked a question directly. I had to keep my head down, look at the floor and she would do all the talking.

On this occasion, however, the psychologist smelled a rat. For some reason, and I don’t know why, the psychologist did not buy into the Asperger’s stunt and sent us home without a prescription.

As I left her office, she said: “I think you’re playing games with me.” I wanted to burst out laughing.

Eunice was, of course, utterly furious and told me I would be dealt with the minute we got back to the farm.

Once home, and after a thorough beating, Eunice decided to see for herself if I had Asperger or not, and gave me some of the other children’s prescriptions of Ritalin for a week.

From an adult perspective, and as a mother myself now, I believe it was not only incredibly dangerous to give me drugs prescribed for somebody else but also evil and utterly irresponsible because, in doing so, Eunice set me off in a direction which, until then, I didn’t know existed.

I got hooked on the drugs – they brought me complete psychological relief from all the isolation, fear and pain that I was experiencing.

Every day I helped myself to her supply, taking around ten or 12 tablets. Later, I’d be taking 14 or 16.

Eunice had hoarded so many pills – I guess she kept getting repeat prescriptions – that she didn’t notice her stash was going down. So I continued to take Ritalin for a long time, probably three years or more.

I have mentioned that we were badly and erratically fed, and as a result were all extremely thin.

Eunice noticed, however, that by the time I was in my teens I enjoyed the fact that I had a slim figure – it made me feel as though I might be attractive.

Since happiness was not allowed, now that I wanted to be thin, she decided maliciously that she had to do something about it.

Eunice had a new eating plan: I was to eat lard. A whole pound before every meal. “You need fattening up,” she’d say.

I had really never eaten anything so revolting in all my life. Even the rat-poo porridge was not as bad as having to fill my mouth and my system with this stinking, oily, piggy-smelling gunge.

To this day, the smell of sausages cooking still turns my stomach.

By the time I was nearly 17, I had been enduring Eunice’s hideous regime for a decade and, very gradually, it was beginning to dawn on me that I might be able to make my own way in the world.

I used to take our dog for long walks, which gave me a real taste of freedom. These stolen moments without being watched helped a new idea crystallise in my mind – scary, but also exciting.

I had reached an emotional and psychological crossroads.

I started to drop enormous hints to Eunice, and she must have got sick of my nagging, because one day she suddenly said: “You’ll be leaving tomorrow, so you’d better get yourself sorted. Be ready by nine in the morning – I’ll drive you.”

Without even saying goodbye to the others the next morning, I clambered into the car, wondering where my destiny lay.

“I’m taking you to Bristol,” Eunice piped up suddenly.

Bristol? I knew nothing about Bristol. Why there?

“You’ll be in a youth hostel. I’ll pay your rent for a month.”

Perhaps she hoped that by taking me to a huge city she could ensure I didn’t meet anybody I knew and spill the beans, or maybe she thought I’d be unable to survive and come crawling home again.

Either way, what she did that day when she walked away from the youth hostel was effectively to abandon me.

I had no knowledge of how to survive on my own, no funds, no phone, no list of people to turn to if I needed help. I had nothing.

The months that followed my release from Eunice could be described as the very steepest of learning curves.

With the help of a charity for homeless people, I found accommodation in various hostels around the city and learned how to apply for both benefits and employment.

Off the leash at last, I caught up on my lost youth in what I now call my “wild time”.

I tried drink and drugs of various kinds and discovered for the first time in my life my ability to attract men of my own sort of age.

This was not a positive experience. I was, I believe, the victim of an attempted date rape, and I had several other fleeting and unsatisfactory sexual encounters.

By the time I was 18, I was pregnant by a man I’d met while working in McDonald’s.

The relationship was never going to last more than a few months, and so I became a single mother, living alone with my baby girl in council accommodation at the age of just 19.

It was very difficult at first. I had no idea what to do, and although I was still with my baby’s father, he was unsupportive.

Perhaps because I was having such a tough time, one day in August 2004, when my daughter, Ivy, was three months old, I finally decided it was time to track down my parents, which I did by writing to every address in the road where they used to live to see if anybody knew where they’d gone.

Our first meeting was very emotional and a bit awkward at the same time. There was so much to catch up on, and I didn’t quite know how much to tell them about what had happened.

They seemed genuinely delighted with their granddaughter, though – my mum kept crying and hugging her and my dad looked pleased as punch.

He told me on later visits that my mother couldn’t sleep at night for feeling so bad about what had happened to me during all the years we were estranged.

Soon after I re-established contact with my parents I received a huge package from them. In it were masses of cards: they had gone out and bought a card for every birthday and Christmas that they had missed with me (to replace all those that they knew Eunice was binning), as a way of saying sorry.

Both of my parents had written little notes in the birthday cards, saying things like, ‘Happy Birthday, Bright Eyes’, marking special events like my eighteenth birthday.

They still feel sad that they have missed so much of my life.

After my disastrous relationships, I was in no hurry to start another one. But I had begun chatting to somebody on the internet who had become a virtual “friend”.

He was very helpful and supportive through difficulties, and eventually we decided to meet.

The attraction was mutual, and we have now been an item for a year. His name is Sy and he works as a drugs counsellor in Bristol.

He is so thoughtful and kind that I finally told him a bit about life with Eunice – as much as I could bear to talk about – and he was horrified. And when the ghosts of my past came back to haunt me, Sy was there to support me.

The fact that Eunice was brought to trial is down to the bravery of Sarah, who after years of torment eventually confided in members of Eunice’s Jehovah’s Witness congregation, who encouraged her to go to the police.

Quite rightly, they didn’t want people to think that their religion would ever condone such behaviour.

When the police contacted me to ask if I was happy to make a statement to support Sarah’s case, I said I was. Of course I was.

However, I don’t think the police, or anyone else for that matter, knew what a can of worms they were opening. Or more like an ocean full of poisonous snakes.

Eunice was arrested in February 2005, although it took two years before she came to trial.

On March 20, 2007, as I was sitting watching Ivy playing with her toys, the phone rang. “We’ve got a conviction.”

The detective constable sounded ecstatic in my ear. “She’s been found guilty of 26 counts including child cruelty, unlawful wounding and assault.”

A month later, Eunice was sentenced to 14 years in prison. She’ll be 72 by the time she gets out and Ivy will be 17 – the same age I was when Eunice abandoned me in Bristol.

Now, when I have nightmares about life at the farm, Sy is by my side. He is a wise, kind man who protects me and makes me feel like I am a good person and worth something.

He is wonderful with Ivy, and we are slowly growing into a family. A loving, caring, normal family, which is all I ever wanted. I don’t know what the future will bring but I am hopeful that we will spend it together.

Timeline of abuse

1986

Victim A is born and moves into the Spry household. She was officially adopted at the age of five.

 

Early 90s

In 1992, Victim B moves into the Spry household in May while Victim C arrives in June. They are both living there under a private fostering arrangement.

Eunice Spry is seen on a number of occasions squeezing four-year-old Victim A and pinning a notice to her back saying: “This child is evil, she wets the bed, do not speak to her, she is an attention seeker.”

 

Mid 1990s

Spry decides to teach all the children at home in 1994. The prosecution said this was so that no-one would see the childrens’ injuries.

The family move into a farmhouse left to Spry by a man who she had been caring for since the late 1980s. The family start renovating it in 1995.

Victim B first tries to run away when she is eight years old. She tries to escape a total of three times, the last time being when she was 13, but is found by police and returned home.

Victim A writes letters saying: “I’m aged nine – can I live with you?”

Victim B throws letters and diaries over the neighbours’ wall saying how bad things are. She also tells her teachers she is having problems at home. Social Services visits the home.

 

September 2000

Victim A is badly hurt in a car accident and spends three months in Frenchay Hospital in Bristol. She has to use a wheelchair but is expected to walk again in six months.

Four years later she is still in the wheelchair. Spry prevented her from walking so that she could claim more money in compensation.

 

2003

Victim B leaves home. Spry drives her to Bristol Youth Hostel and gives her some money.

 

2004

Victim C goes to live with his grandparents while Victim A leaves home when she can walk again.

 

2005

In January, Victim A goes to the police detailing all the attacks she had suffered at the hands of Spry.

In the summer, Spry visits Victim C at work and threatens him. She also calls, texts and writes him letters – some are threatening while others say how much she loves him.

Throughout September and October, the three victims are examined by doctors who find internal scarring which prove she did force sticks down their throats as a form of punishment.

 

2007

The jury at Bristol Crown Court find Spry guilty of 26 charges of child abuse.  Jailed for 14 years

Books written by victims of Spry – Sold in all good books shops and online

In April 2007, 62-year-old Eunice Spry was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the systematic wounding, cruelty and assault of the vulnerable children whose welfare had been entrusted to her. Her Gloucestershire home should have been a refuge. Instead it became a prison where, over the course of 20 years, her charges were routinely abused and tortured. To the outside world, Jehovah’s Witness Spry presented herself as a pillar of the community. Behind closed doors she was a sadistic tyrant who beat the children with metal bars, forced wooden sticks down their throats and made them eat lard, bleach, vomit and faeces. 

book

The details of the trial horrified the nation, and attracted considerable press attention. Now, for the first time, one of the victims – known in the case as ‘Child C’ and now 19 years old – tells the full, shocking story of what went on in Eunice Spry’s house of evil. Child C is a gripping, heartbreaking story of enforced isolation, psychological and physical abuse and a childhood denied. Despite all he has been through, Christopher Spry is a survivor with a zest for life.With his former foster mother in prison, he can finally tell the story of his suffering and what it is like to grow up brutalised and abandoned with no one to hear your plight.

Book 2

‘When I was a little girl I believed what I was told over and over again: that I was evil, that I deserved to be tortured because I was the Devil’s child . . .’ Alloma Gilbert was one of Spry’s young victims, sent to live with her at the age of six and left at her mercy for eleven brutal years.

 deliver

Eunice used her own twisted religious beliefs as an excuse for punishing her foster children. When she took them to live on an isolated farmhouse, the abuse escalated to terrifying levels – a stick was thrust down Alloma’s throat so often it was stained red with blood, she was starved for over a year and survived only by secretly eating pigswill, and the vicious beatings were relentless. At the age of seventeen she finally escaped but, alone in the outside world, she fell prey to abusive men. It was the birth of her baby daughter that saved her, that finally taught her what love really is. Written with powerful honesty, Deliver Me From Evil is a moving and inspiring story of survival.

September 2008: Eunice Spry Has Sentence Reduced from 14 years to 12 years

April 2007

Foster mother jailed for ‘horrifying’ cruelty and sadism

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A foster mother who subjected three children in her care to a “horrifying catalogue of cruel and sadistic treatment” has been jailed for 14 years.

Eunice Spry, 62, routinely beat, abused and starved the vulnerable youngsters over a 19-year period.

The devout Jehovah’s Witness forced sticks down their throats and made them eat their own vomit and rat excrement.

As punishment for misbehaving, she would beat them on the soles of their feet and force them to drink washing-up liquid and bleach.

She even confined one girl to a wheelchair for three years after a car crash in a cynical bid to maximise compensation for the accident.

Spry staunchly denied all the claims made against her and insisted the only physical punishment she ever used was “a smack on the bottom”.

But a jury at Bristol Crown Court convicted her of 26 charges, ranging from unlawful wounding, cruelty to a person under 16, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, perverting the course of justice and witness intimidation.

Judge Simon Darwall-Smith told Spry that this was the worst case he had come across in 40 years in law.

He told her: “Frankly, it’s difficult for anyone to understand how any human being could have even contemplated what you did, let alone with the regularity and premeditation you employed.”

During the four-week trial the jury heard harrowing evidence of how Spry subjected the children to a regime of abuse.

The three victims, known as Victim A, B and C, all gave evidence describing how their daily routines were punctuated by random acts of bizarre and sadistic violence at the hands of their foster mother.

Victim A told the court how she was confined to a wheelchair by Spry for over three years, after being injured in a car crash in 2000.

Spry had tried to stop her from trying to walk again, in a cynical bid to maximise the compensation payout she could get from insurers.

The woman, now aged 21, eventually fled from her foster mother and walked on the very same day.

Victim B, also 21, told how her foster mother would pull her hair and shove her face in her pet dog’s faeces as punishment.

Victim C, now 18, described how his foster mother held his hand down on a hot electric hob until it was left looking like a “gooey mess”.

He said he had been force-fed so much washing up liquid by Spry that he could now differentiate between the brands on taste alone.

They were made to eat lard and if they were sick, would be forced to eat what they had thrown up.

Spry would regularly beat the children on the soles of the feet with a “variety of sticks”.

They would be “punched kicked and strangled”, and if they cried the sticks would be forced down their throats.

The offences took place in two of Spry’s homes in Gloucestershire between 1986 and 2005.

The abuse was finally discovered after another Jehovah’s Witness secretly confronted Victim A about marks to her head caused when Spry rubbed sandpaper over her face.

Victim A plucked up the courage to report her foster mother to the police who quickly interviewed Victim B and C.

Spry was able to conceal her alleged reign of abuse as the children were home-taught and not sent to school.

She also covered her tracks by forbidding them to be examined on their own by doctors or dentists.

Spry maintained her innocence throughout police interviews and during the subsequent trial.

Labour MP Dan Norris, a former child protection worker, welcomed today’s sentencing.

The MP for Wansdyke said: “I am very glad that the judge has seen the seriousness of this crime in his sentencing.

“I believe she has been able to fool everyone in our society for more than 20 years so I am glad she has not fooled the jury or the judge in this tragic case of horrendous cruelty.”

Nigel Mitchell, defending, said that despite the brutality and pain Spry had inflicted on the three children, there had been genuine moments of happiness and love shown towards them.

“In amongst the periods of unpleasantness and violence, there were also periods of happiness. Your Honour will recall long canal trips on the barge, trips to Florida, the Florida Keys, Disney, matters of that sort interspersed with these other matters that we are all too familiar with.”

Mr Mitchell also revealed that Spry had needed protection in prison following her convictions and it was a “particularly unpleasant” place for her.

Spry remained impassive as the judge sentenced her to 14 years.

He also ordered her to pay costs of £80,000, which he said would inevitably mean she would have to sell at least one of her two properties in Gloucestershire