Evidence from alleged victims in Sheffield child prostitution trial called into question
The accounts of two young girls who were allegedly pimped out by a child prostitution gang leader are 'a million miles from the truth', Sheffield Crown Court was told this morning.
Amanda Spencer, previously of Canklow Road, Canklow, Rotherham is alleged to have pimped out two young girls, neither of whom can be named for legal reasons, in Sheffield between 2009 and 2012.
Spencer pimped Girl A, who was aged between 15 and 16-years-old at the time of the offending, to more than 50 men, it is alleged.
The 25-year-old also faces charges relating to Girl D, who she allegedly sold to another defendant in this trial, Christopher Whiteley, on at least four occasions and pocketed the money in each instance.
The jury was told how Spencer was previously convicted of 16 offences relating to child prostitution in Sheffield in 2014.
In his closing defence speech to the jury, Amanda Spencer's barrister said: "You know she's been in the dock before. I ask you not to be blinded by that. She is on trial for these offences, not what's happened in the past.
"As for the case of Girl D. She [Amanda] says she doesn't really know her but says 'I didn't force her to do anything with Christopher Whiteley or any unknown man.
"With Girl A things are slightly different and she says 'if things have happened to Girl A, they are nothing to do with me'."
"As much as anything you should consider not just what was said, but how it was said.
"Were they reliable? Was what they said consistent? Was what they were saying incredible? Were they [the prosecution] working to make conclusions?
"The prosecution don't concede that anything any of these complainants are saying could be wrong. It's black and white.
Mr Hughes went on to say that the Crown's case mainly rested on the evidence from Girl A and Girl D.
He told the court: "There's very little the prosecution have to support the allegations that have been made by Girl A and Girl D.
"What Amanda Spencer has said, both in police interview and when she gave evidence to you directly, is the truth.
"What Girl A and Girl D have to say is a million miles away from the truth."
During the opening of the trial last month, prosecutor Peter Hampton told the court he regarded Spencer to be one of two defendants who played a 'key role' in the abuse of the alleged victims in this trial, the other being Whiteley.
He told the court that Spencer led a troubled existence within the care system and had begun prostituting herself, before 'turning her dreadful situation on its head'.
Mr Hampton said: "She became a facilitator of sexual abuse herself.
"As a victim of sexual exploitation herself, she would have known how degrading and abusive that life was
"She would have spotted the inevitable vulnerabilities of her young victims.
"Far better to earn money prostituting others than having to do it yourself."
Spencer is one of six defendants on trial for 42 offences relating to the child prostitution of nine alleged victims.
The defendants deny all charges, which are alleged to have taken place between 2005 and 2012 in Sheffield.
The trial continues.