Lynda Spence murder trial hears victim was tortured
MISSING financial adviser Lynda Spence was held captive for 12 days and had her thumb and the tip of her pinkie cut off with loppers, a court heard yesterday.
Jurors in the trial at the High Court in Glasgow of four men accused of abducting, torturing and murdered Miss Spence were played a police interview with one of the accused Paul Smith
David Parker, 37, Smith, 47, Philip Wade, 42, and Colin Coats, 42, who deny abducting and then torturing Miss Spence at a flat in Meadowfoot Road, West Kilbride between April 14 and 28, 2011.
It is claimed they murdered Miss Spence on April 28, 2011 after torturing her to obtain financial information and then cut off her head and disposed of her body.
During his interview at Saltcoats police station on October 31, 2011, Smith told detectives that he was asked by Coates and Wade if he could provide a safe house for Miss Spence, who owed somebody money, until she got a passport.
Smith said: “I was kind of hoodwinked. I was doing a favour and it kind of turned sour.”
The court was told that Miss Spence was going to stay at Parker’s house in West Kilbride.
In his interview which lasted around 10 hours Smith said that Miss Spence was brought to Parker’s flat by Coats and Wade.
He said: “She had dark sunglasses and Colin Coats’ guided her up the stairs.”
Smith claimed in his interview that during the whole time in the attic area of the flat Miss Spence was bound to a computer chair by gaffer tape.
He said that he and Parker gave her cups of tea and soup, but they were told not to let her out of the chair, not even to go to the toilet.
Smith told detectives conducting the interview, DC Pamela McCowie and DC Michael Neill, that Coats beat up Miss Spence a couple of times while questioning her about bank accounts.
He alleged that he also cut of the tip of her pinkie during a visit with Wade and then returned alone later and cut off her thumb.
Smith said that as he left the flat on the later occasion Coats made a thumbs up sign and gestured as if he had something in his pocket.
Smith went on: “He thought it was funny.”
DC Neill asked Smith: “Was he laughing?” and she replied: “More or less.”
Smith said he saw Miss Spence’s pinkie and thumb covered in surgical tape but claimed he saw no blood on either occasion.
In the taped interview which lasted hours Smith said that he spoke to Miss Spence and she told him it was to do with bearer bonds in the Cayman Islands.
Smith said: “She said something about bearer bonds and said they were going to be proved to be fake if someone tried to cash them.”
He was asked how much of Coat’s money was missing and replied: “She said £3.2m.”
On another occasion he said she mentioned the figure £70, 000 to £80,000.
Smith told detectives that he and Parker bailed out shortly after the alleged cutting off of the thumb.
He said: “Colin and Phil said to us look you can go.
“There’s guys from London coming up to talk to Lynda. We were quite relieved.
“She was alive. There were injuries on her. She wasn’t dead. She was compis mentis and alive.”
Smith told police that he felt sorry for Miss Spence, but claimed he was too scared of Coats to let her go.
He was asked by police if Miss Spence had asked him to free her and said she hadn’t.
Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC, prosecuting, asked witness DC McCowie: “While Mr Smith was in the house as a babysitter he began aware of injuries she was receiving,” and she replied: “Yes.”
All four accused deny all the charges against them.
The trial before judge Lord Pentland continues.
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