A children’s campaigner who suffered 17 years of abuse at the hands of her ‘sadistic’ foster mother had only just been released from a mental health clinic following a ‘breakdown’ in January when she was found dead at age 35.
The body of foster daughter Victoria Spry who was horrifically abused by ‘Britain’s most sadistic mother’ was found at a property in Cheltenham, with police confirming the death was not suspicious.
Victoria was subjected to sickening physical and mental torture for nearly 20 years at the hands of Eunice Spry.
The Jehovah’s Witness, now 76 , forced young Victoria and two other children in her care to eat their own excrement and vomit.
She would also ram sticks down the children’s throats, rub their faces with sandpaper and lock them naked in rooms for weeks at a time.
Victoria Spry has died aged 35. She was subjected to sickening physical and mental torture for nearly 20 years by evil Eunice Spry
The author and children’s campaigner never recovered from the years of abuse at the hands of her ‘sadistic’ foster mother, her sister told MailOnline today.
The 35-year-old’s body was found in her ground floor flat in Cheltenham last Tuesday by her long-term boyfriend Anthony Smart.
Neighbours revealed that she had only been discharged from a mental health facility 14 days earlier after suffering a breakdown in January.
Alloma Gilbert, who was also tortured by their foster mother Eunice Spry, said she spoke to Victoria three weeks ago while she was undergoing treatment.
‘She tried very hard to do what she could for the sake of other children but I honestly don’t think she knew what a normal life was. She tried so hard to fight her way out of it but she succumbed. It is very sad.’
Neighbours said Victoria, who worked with social workers to spot children at risk of abuse, had been living happily with her boyfriend and her Labrador dog until January of this year when she suffered a breakdown.
In March, Miss Spry revealed in an open Facebook post that she was ‘struggling’ and was being cared for at the Honeybourne Recovery Unit in Cheltenham, which specialises in mental health.
In one of her last posts she wrote: ‘Struggling like mad but just about coping. I’m so sorry I’ve let you down and not always replied back to posts. I think the world of so many of you. Xxx’
Alloma told MailOnline: ‘I am still in a state of shock. We had actually fallen out for a number of years but she contacted me about three weeks ago via Facebook and we spoke.
‘At that time she was in a mental health facility and we spoke for a few nights. She said the facility was not bad, that the people were really nice. ‘
Today, a woman, who lived opposite her, said: ‘It was terribly sad. Her boyfriend was a lovely man, very supportive, and we would often see her out walking her dog.
‘When she had the breakdown, her flat was cleared and her boyfriend went back to living with his parents.
‘But she then moved back in to the same flat a few weeks ago and then this happened.’
Eunice Spry (pictured) was dubbed ‘Britain’s most sadistic mother’ after subjecting foster children in her care to horrific abuse
A young man, who lived in the same block, said: ‘I didn’t know her well. I moved in last November and she moved away in January. She moved back in a few weeks ago and I saw her cleaning her windows at the front and also walking her dog.’
There were flowers in the window of her ground floor flat and a card from a friend on her window sill that read, ‘RIP Vicky’.
Another neighbour told how she had found the father of Victoria’s boyfriend outside her house after his son made the tragic discovery.
‘He was very distressed and I invited him in,’ she said.
‘He said that it was only 14 days since Victoria was discharged from a mental health facility in the town after spending several months in hospital in Gloucester.
‘He had been with her the day before and was worried that her mental health was deteriorating again.
‘The next day he missed a call from her and he had immediately rung her back only for her not to answer. That was when he and his son had driven round to the flat.
‘It was very sad. He was blaming himself for what had happened.’
Victoria and her foster siblings were attacked with hot pokers, machetes and cricket bats, and had their heads held under water.
She eventually managed to escape and raise the alarm, leading to Spry being jailed for 14 years, reduced to 12 on appeal – and released in 2014.
Despite her horrendous ordeal, Victoria later worked with social workers to help them spot the signs of abuse.
These are some of the conditions Victoria was kept in at Eustice Spry’s home, where she endured 17 years of torture before she escaped and went to police
In spite of the horrific upbringing at Eustice Spry’s Tewkesbury home in Gloucestershire (pictured), brave Victoria went on to work with social services to protect vulnerable children
Victoria – who wrote a book about her experiences called ‘Tortured’ – has now passed away aged 35.
Her death is not being treated as suspicious and an inquest is expected to open later this week.
A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Police said: ‘Police were called to Pennine Road in Cheltenham shortly after 11.30am on Tuesday 22 September following reports that the body of a woman had been found inside a property.
‘The death is being treated as non-suspicious and the woman’s next of kin has been informed.
‘A file has been passed to the coroner.’
Victoria’s foster brother, Christopher, said Victoria wanted to be remembered for her mission to help children.
Paying tribute to the BBC he said: ‘The work she was doing with the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Board and social services was because she wanted ours to be the last ‘horror case’ for Gloucestershire.
‘I think her legacy will be the work she was doing to help the next wave of social workers to spot cases like ours earlier on.’
Victoria, Spry’s oldest victim, had sticks forced down her throat and was tied up naked and blindfolded.
She endured 17 years of torture before she escaped and went to police and Spry was brought to justice.
But in spite of her nightmare upbringing brave Victoria went on to work as a consultant with social services in Gloucestershire.
The judge who convicted Eunice Spry said the abuse and the conditios the children had to live in (pictured) made it was the ‘worst case in his 40 years practising law’
Speaking in 2015, she said she wanted to draw on her own experience and to do further child protection studies.
Victoria said: ‘My past helped me enormously.
‘It is really nice to be going to the same office where I was let down as a little one, now as a young woman helping other children.’
She added: ‘I was offered the opportunity to write the book nine years ago when Eunice was found guilty but I turned that away because it was the worst time possible.
‘I wanted to concentrate on surgery and educating myself.
Victoria was subjected to sickening physical and mental torture for nearly 20 years by evil Eunice Spry. She forced Victoria and two other children in her care to eat their own excrement and vomit
‘As I started to get older, my brother and sister had written about it and they got a lot of understanding from people about it.
‘It was really quite a liberating experience, doing the book but there are lots of other reasons.’
She only escaped when she was allowed to accompany her younger brother to Jehovah’s Witness meetings in Tewkesbury, aged 17.
She broke down and told 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.
Jehovah’s Witness Eunice Spry of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, was convicted of 26 charges of child abuse against children in her foster care in April 2007.
She was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment and ordered to pay £80,000 costs.
In sentencing, the judge told Spry that it was the ‘worst case in his 40 years practising law’.
Eunice Spry was arrested when police raided her home in Tewkesbury in February 2005 and found children living in horrific conditions like the ones pictured here
After keeping her children in conditions like this pictured, Jehovah’s Witness Eunice Spry, now 76, of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, was convicted of 26 charges of child abuse in April 2007
She was arrested when police raided her home in Tewkesbury in February 2005.
Following Spry’s conviction, Gloucestershire County Council apologised for the ‘shortcomings’ in its care system.
Vital information which could have alerted social workers to the abuse was not shared by the various bodies involved.
For confidential support or advice call the Samaritans on 116 123 for free or visit www.samaritans.org.
The tragic memoirs of Victoria Spry
Victoria Spry’s book was published in April 2015
Victoria Spry, 35, published her account of her awful upbringing in her memoir Tortured.
The memoirs recounted her life at Eunice Spry’s home in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, where she lived with other foster children in squalor.
The book, released in April 2015, detailed the horrendous torture she endured at the hands of her foster mother.
It revealed how she forced bleach and urine down Victoria’s throat, knocked out her teeth and tied her up naked.
It took years for Victoria to tell her story.
She was initially offered the oppotunity to write a book when Spry was convicted in April 2007.
But Victoria felt ‘it was the worst time possible’ becuse she wanted to focus on getting her life back on track.
When she saw the benefit her older foster siblings had from writing about their own experiences, she decided to go ahead.
Brother Christopher Spry wrote a book titled ‘Child C’, after the name he was given by social services, and Alloma Gilbert also published Deliver Me From Evil.
Victoria’s memoir ‘Tortured: Abused and neglected by Britain’s most sadistic mum. This is my story of survival’ was published in April 2015.