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‘Woman forced youngsters into prostitution’

Amanda Spencer at Sheffield Crown Court accused of a string of child sex offences including facilitating child prostitution. Paul Macnamara/rossparry.co.uk

Amanda Spencer at Sheffield Crown Court accused of a string of child sex offences including facilitating child prostitution. Paul Macnamara/rossparry.co.uk

Vulnerable girls as young as 11 were befriended in Sheffield by a woman who plied them with drugs and drink - and then lured them into prostitution, a court heard this week.

Amanda Spencer, now aged 22, was only 14 herself when she started running a ‘pool of prostitutes’ for drugs money rather than selling her own body, it was alleged at Sheffield Crown Court.

She introduced the girls to men at locations such as the Peace Gardens and Castle Market, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

She and five men are accused of a total of 46 child sexual exploitation offences between 2006 and 2011, against nine victims aged between 11 and 20.

Michelle Colborne QC, prosecuting, said Spencer had grown up in the care system. “Exploiter or exploited?” she asked jurors.

“A likely issue for you to consider is whether Amanda Spencer was a victim herself - whether, having had a troubled start, she turned that on its head and lured others into a similar life for her own ends?

“The prosecution say a victim of exploitation would have known how degrading and abusive that life was.

“She would have spotted the inevitable vulnerabilities of youngsters like herself and known that, by introducing them to drugs and alcohol, to men for sexual favours, she was introducing them to the same degradation and abuse.”

The court was told that one girl was 10 or 11 when Spencer, herself 14, met her at Castle Market and became friends, giving her alcohol and cannabis. Then Spencer changed from being “supportive to threatening”. Within months, she was prostituting the girl out.

Spencer, of Canklow, Rotherham, denies 38 charges. Five men also deny charges in relation to the abuse of girls.

The trial continues.

 

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