Four in court over Lynda Spence murder
FOUR men appeared in court today and denied abducting, torturing and murdering missing financial adviser Lynda Spence.
David Parker, 37, Paul Smith, 46, Philip Wade, 41, and Colin Coats, 41, are alleged to have severed the tip of one of her fingers, cut off her thumb and cut off and crushed her toes with loppers.
They are also accused of punching her on the head and body, burning her on the hands with cigarettes and repeatedly striking her on the body with a hammer and golf club and failing to get her medical treatment.
They are charged with abducting 28-year-old Ms Spence from Broomhill Path, or elsewhere, in Glasgow on April 14 last year, and driving her to a house in Meadowfoot Road, West Kilbride.
It is alleged they detained her against her will between April 14 and 28 last year, placed a hood over her head, blindfolded her and put tape and a gag over her mouth.
It is also alleged they tied her to a chair and robbed her of an iPhone and Sim card and repeatedly demanded she give them details about bank accounts and financial dealings.
All four are also accused of intent to defeat the ends of justice and attempting to defeat the ends of justice by washing and cleaning the flat in West Kilbride, lifting and removing carpets and floorboards, laying new floorboards, cutting the head off the remains of Miss Spence and disposing of her body at an unknown location in Scotland between April 14 and June 2 last year.
Wade and Coats are alleged to have sent email and text messages to Miss Spence threatening her with violence. Wade is accused of doing this on October 1, 2010 and Coats between September 29 2010 and April 28, 2011.
Coats is also charged with assaulting Miss Spence, of Whitworth Drive, Glasgow, on one occasion between March 14 and April 14, 2011 at Broomhill Terrace, Glasgow, or elsewhere by repeatedly handling her breasts and making remarks of a homophobic nature.
He is also accused of attempting to extort £12,000 from John Glen. It is alleged Coats showed Mr Glen a human thumb on April 26 last year, and stated it belonged to Miss Spence. And on August 15, 2011 at 21 Broomhill Path, Glasgow forced him to strip off and demanded that he obtain money for him.
Parker, Wade and Coats deny all the charges against them.
Smith denied murdering Miss Spence. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assaulting her, by detaining her against her will and lopping off her toes, the tip of a finger and a thumb and burning her with cigarettes and an iron, but the plea was rejected by the Crown.
Judge Lord Turnbull continued the case until July 27 at the High Court in Edinburgh for a further preliminary hearing.
No date has been set for the trial which is estimated to last from four to six months.
Ms Spence, 28, was last seen leaving her parents’ home in Glasgow Harbour on April 13 last year.
She sent a text to her mother the following day stating she had gone to London but her parents later reported her missing.
Ms Spence, who used several aliases, ran a finance company, Fraser Developments, which arranged mortgages. Shortly before she disappeared the firm got into difficulties resulting in several deals falling through and was thought to owe tens of thousands of pounds.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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