TWO MEN jailed for life for the “barbaric” murder of businesswoman Lynda Spence have lost appeals against their conviction and sentence.
Appeal judges concluded there was “overwhelming evidence” Colin Coats and Philip Wade were guilty of the crime.
Coats, 43, was sentenced to a minimum of 33 years in April last year after a judge concluded he was the “prime mover” in the abduction, torture and killing of the 27-year-old.
Wade, also 43, was ordered to spend at least 30 years behind bars after being convicted of the same charge at the High Court in Glasgow.
Ms Spence was reported missing in April 2011 and her body has never been found.
Both men launched appeals claiming they were the victims of a miscarriage of justice.
Their legal teams said trial judge Lord Pentland was wrong to dismiss an objection to a line of evidence during the trial involving a statement by Wade he had recently killed someone and needed to find a way to dispose of the body.
The appeal judges - Lord Justice General, Lord Gill, sitting with Lord Menzies and Lord Turnbull - agreed Lord Pentland had been entitled to refuse the objection.
Lord Gill said: “I have no reason to thinkhis refusal was unreasonable or perverse.
Lawyers for Wade and Coats also argued the Crown had not properly disclosed the fact Ms Spence had been recruited as a covert intelligence source by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency a month before she disappeared.
This had prejudiced the defence and led to a miscarriage of justice, they told a hearing at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.
But Lord Gill said: “There emerged, in my view, an overwhelming case that the appellants murdered the deceased. In my opinion, there was no miscarriage of justice.”