The shocking story of the 13-year-old Chesterfield girl sold for sex by her best friend
“The man pointed at the bare mattress and, reluctantly, I lay down. He pulled his trousers down and I winced as he lay on top of me, his weight crushing my chest, but I didn’t dare tell him. I knew there was no point in fighting it.”
Sam Owen’s story is one of a childhood stolen in the most harrowing way imaginable.
At just 13-years-old, the vulnerable young girl was lured into prostitution by child sex ring leader Amanda Spencer.
While she should have been out playing with friends and focusing on schoolwork, Sam was being passed from man to man in order to fuel the addictions of her ‘best friend’.
Now 24, this brave woman has waived her right to anonymity to speak to the Derbyshire Times about her horrific ordeal.
Like Spencer, Sam had a rough start in life, growing up in foster care.
The pair met while Sam was ‘wagging it’ from school and hanging around Sheffield Castle Market, hoping someone would buy her cigarettes.
“There’d be the same groups of people hanging around, and gradually Amanda came out of the woodwork then very quickly took me under her wing.” said Sam.
“To a lonely 13-year-old like me, Amanda was everything. She stuck up for me like nobody else had and was there for me day and night, no matter what.
“She was loving, caring- my absolute rock. Or so I thought. She originally got me into shoplifting but I couldn’t have imagined what that would progress to.”
Soon the two girls were as thick as thieves. Spencer would treat Sam to trainers, booze and takeaways, style her hair and find her places to stay.
But she expected payment in return. Sam clearly remembers the awful night that Spencer first sold her for sex.
“Amanda told me we were going to a party that night,” Sam said. “A ‘grown up’ party- the kind with alcohol and drugs.I remember thinking, ‘Well, I’m dead cool now’, like any kid would.
“Amanda had already given me a drink before we set off, so when we arrived I was feeling pretty confident.
“She led me into a room and there was a group of four of five men waiting.
“I looked young for my age, even at 13, and looking back it must have been very clear to these men that I was just a child.
“Suddenly, Amanda headed for the door. Cheerfully she said, ‘I’m off to get us some vodka’.
“I begged her not to leave. I didn’t know these men and they were being very blunt with me.
“She said, ‘But I’ll be back in a few minutes and then we can get p*ssed. We are going to have a great time’.
“She didn’t come back in a few minutes. She didn’t come back until the next day. And by that time my virginity had been taken, sold.
“The pain was unbearable but I had no choice but to go along with it. I was worried what would have happened if I didn’t. I was scared for my life.”
Over the next few years, Sam was regularly dropped off at different houses and forced to have sex with dozens of men.
“It sounds ridiculous but it just became the norm,” said Sam. “You wake up every morning and do your teeth. I woke up every morning and did this.
“I got the odd bit of money here and there, but it’s a blur. I still don’t know how much Amanda made off me.”
It wasn’t until Sam met her partner that the extent of what happening to her was thrown into full perspective.
“I learned what a real relationship was,” said Sam. “And I thought, this guy loves me and I want to be with him and only him. I can’t do this anymore.”
Blocking Spencer’s number and changing her own, Sam fled to a children’s home in Chesterfield.
But the worst was far from over for the teenager as she battled trauma and flashbacks brought on from years of rape, abuse and manipulation.
“In 2012, I gave birth to a son and that should have been enough for me to sort myself out, but he was put into foster care,” said Sam.
“It was a vicious cycle as I drank and took drugs to numb it all. Then I ended up in prison for street robbery.
“And you know what, despite the fact that this was all because of Amanda, despite the fact she’d ruined my life, I missed her so much. It was so hard to keep away.”
But as a mum, Sam knew it was her little boy who was the important one now.
Getting clean in prison and vowing to ‘turn it all around’, she regained custody of her son.
And in May 2014, with help from Sam’s evidence, Spencer, then 23, was jailed for 12 years for 16 charges relating to child prostitution.
She received an additional sentence of three years in 2017 for four counts of arranging or facilitating child prostitution between 2005 and 2012.
Speaking at the time, Det Ch Insp Bob Chapman, of South Yorkshire Police, who led the investigation, said: “Amanda Spencer preyed on some of the most vulnerable people in our community, grooming them under the pretence of friendship, using the lure of drink and drugs in order to coerce them into doing what she wanted and when her demands weren’t met she would threaten violence, intimidating them into submission.
“In return for providing young girls to a number of men, Spencer too was given alcohol, drugs and money.
“As the court has heard, she was the facilitator and most definitely the person who was pivotal to sustaining the abuse these girls experienced.”
With Spencer behind bars, Sam is doing everything she can to rebuild her life and is living happily in Chesterfield with her partner and son.
She recently published a successful book, PIMPED, about her ordeal and is undertaking a psychology course with aspirations to become a counsellor.
“In the book, I didn’t hold back,” said Sam. “I reveal a lot more than I did in police interviews. I regret that now, but Amanda still had a powerful hold over me at the time.
“Now I’m glad to expose the parasite for what she really is. And I’ve been overwhelmed by the support I’ve received.
“The best thing is that women who have been sexually abused and recruited into sex rings in the past but have been too frightened to come forward have told me I’ve inspired them to speak out.
“No amount of prison time for Amanda can give me my childhood back. But if my story helps just one person, I’m happy.”
PIMPED by Samantha Owens, published by John Blake, is priced at £8.99 and is available to buy in paperback from Amazon by clicking here