Lynda Spence: ‘He will chop you up’ text threat
ONE of the two men alleged to have murdered missing businesswoman Lynda Spence has told a jury he is wrongly accused.
Colin Coats said claims from his two former co-accused, David Parker and Paul Smith, that he committed “a whole manner of evils” against Ms Spence are “monstrous lies”.
Coats, 42, was giving evidence at the High Court in Glasgow, where he is on trial with Philip Wade, also 42, charged with abducting, torturing and murdering the 27-year-old financial adviser.
He told the court that, in the lead-up to her disappearance in April 2011, Ms Spence arranged to “lie low” in West Kilbride, Ayrshire following a series of threats from her former business associate John Glen, in which she was told someone would “chop you up” for not repaying a debt.
She drove herself there in a silver Vauxhall Astra hired for her, followed by Coats and Wade “in convoy”, on April 14 2011, Coats claimed.
He said the last time he saw her was on April 26 2011 when he apparently declared himself “out” after being threatened by Ms Spence’s former partner Sokal Zefaj.
Derek Ogg QC, representing Coats, said: “Can I ask you to look into your conscience; if there is anything you know that may be of assistance to Lynda Spence’s parents or indeed the course of justice, that you can tell the court about her whereabouts or where she has been?”
Coats replied: “What I can tell you is that I am wrongly accused of murder and other horrific alleged crimes. I’m not aware as to her whereabouts, or whether she is still alive or not.”
Mr Ogg asked his client to comment on the evidence given by Parker and Smith who have told the court that Coats and Wade taped Ms Spence to a chair and inflicted daily violence on her, including chopping off her thumb and burning her hands with an iron, which the lawyer referred to as “a whole manner of evils”.
Coats said: “Those are monstrous lies.”
The arrangement for her to go to West Kilbride was made between Smith and Ms Spence, he said.
She was to stay at a flat in Meadowfoot Road, which belonged to one of Smith’s friends who jurors have heard was Parker, because she believed she was going to be killed after receiving threatening messages from Mr Glen, Coats said.
One of the texts, sent on April 14 2011, included the line: “He will chop you up Lynda at 2pm today if that 20 isn’t there.”
Coats, a father-of-four who has worked in information technology and property investment, said he invested all of his money in Ms Spence, which was tied up in an apparent land deal at Stansted airport involving someone called “Uncle Ben”.
He said he was told by the businesswoman that he would get a return of “somewhere in the region of £2 million” for his £85,000 investment, a figure which later rose to more than £3 million.
He claims he asked her for the money in the form of a bearer bond, as a way of paying less tax on it.
But he found out in June 2011 that his bearer bond was fake, when he was taken to the house of the man who had forged it for Ms Spence, Amash Syed, whom he identified as “Uncle Ben’s driver” who dropped the documents off to him months before.
“(My) world crashed,” he said. “I knew I had been had. I was livid. I despise her (Ms Spence).”
He said he went to West Kilbride on April 26 to see Ms Spence and “declare myself out” of assisting her.
Smith, 47, and Parker, 38, were cleared of Ms Spence’s murder after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of holding her against her will and assaulting her.
The trial before Lord Pentland continues on Monday when Smith and Parker are to be sentenced.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North