Review: Child C by Christopher Spry
You can check British Google News for more background information but some of the better articles and ones where comments are referred to in the book, are listed at the Daily Mail website below.
Essentially, those will tell you the story in a nutshell and at least one of the photos described in the book is on one of the reports. Child C expands upon the male victimâ€™s story, which is a companion volume following the same history told from one of Christopher Spryâ€™s foster sisterâ€™s perspectives.
Essentially this private fostering arrangement was made permanent by the foster motherâ€™s manipulation of both parents and social services and Christopher Spry and his real sister were renamed and fostered alongside her existing children, one naturally hers and another of whom was facilitator/cheerleader for the abuse. Spry makes top 5 lists which pop up throughout the book between chapters, and these are at times banal, at other times as horrifying as the abuse suffered. Whilst there is the high point of a holiday in Florida, it is only a brief break in the abuse which continues into Spryâ€™s mid-teens.
Whilst the abuse is horrific, in some places it simply defies belief in its scope, forcing children under ten into various house construction projects is something completely alien to most normal people, but Spry did it, including nearly 20 attempts to install a shower when renovating properties.
Itâ€™s quite realistic that once Spry stood up to his abuser, just the once, there was no celebration and his problems werenâ€™t over â€“ just like Charlie Mitchell in The Nipper â€“ and nor was it the last time he would see her before court, but the sentence and writing of the book marks a new start for him.
For all of the foster motherâ€™s incessant chanting about God and punishments, there was no such observation or connection made with her systematic abuse with the aid of one daughter, and the massive tragedy which strikes the family on their second holiday within the UK, where her abusive behaviour also comes under scrutiny. You wouldnâ€™t have to be an expert on religious matters to see what went around for Eunice Spry, coming round. In fact that major tragedy starts to create the beginning of the end for the abusive regime.
Usefully there is description of the step-by-step police investigation and therapeutic steps taken to reconstruct Mr Spryâ€™s life, are of benefit to other British survivors. The sentence is also certainly one of the longest handed down for child abuse in recent English history and especially for a female abuser, so this was a book worth reading, despite occasional repetition in some places. I suspect that Mr Spryâ€™s wish to take on a child protection role wonâ€™t be available to him until he discloses and processes his CSA, which he alludes to several times and doesnâ€™t elaborate on, but given the crimes that his foster mother was convicted for, itâ€™s certainly easy to believe him.
Again, the American publishing schedule for this book is unknown, but definitely get this from the library if you want the background behind the linked headlines.