Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Amanda Spencer child sex ring jury discharged

Amanda Spencer outside Sheffield Crown Court
Image caption Amanda Spencer will be sentenced on Tuesday for a string of child prostitution offences

The jury in the trial of child sex ring leader Amanda Spencer has been discharged after failing to reach verdicts on 14 remaining charges.

The 23-year-old was found guilty of 16 child prostitution offences at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday and cleared of eight similar offences.

The jury heard she was 16 when she began luring "weak and vulnerable" girls into prostitution.

Spencer was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on Tuesday.

During the trial the court heard she forced her victims - some as young as 13 - to have sex for cash, using the money to fund her drug and alcohol addictions.

'Harrowing evidence'

Judge Michael Murphy QC thanked the jury of 11 women and one man for their efforts during the two-month trial and granted them exemption from jury service for 10 years.

Addressing the jury he said: "I've never seen a case like this in terms of the vulnerable witnesses we had and I know you have been faced with some pretty challenging and pretty harrowing evidence and you have done it with considerable restraint."

Prosecutor Peter Hampton said a decision on whether to seek a retrial on the remaining counts would be made in the coming days.

Det Ch Insp Bob Chapman, from South Yorkshire Police, said: "I'm very pleased that the evidence given by the victims in this trial has, in the main, has been vindicated by the verdicts.

Image caption Ian Foster, who was on trial alongside Amanda Spencer, was found guilty of sexual assault

"The victims have had to attend court and relive the terrible events they suffered all over again.

"They have been extremely brave and the investigation team and I am very proud of them all."

Ian Foster, 68, from High Green, will also be sentenced on Tuesday after he was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault.

Foster had previously been found guilty of 12 child sex offences at a separate trial in February, it can now be revealed.

Details of the case can only now be reported after a judge at Sheffield Crown Court lifted a reporting restriction.

Jurors in that trial heard Foster bought his victims - some as young as 12 - alcohol and cigarettes and took them to nightclubs before abusing them at his home.

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