Lynda Spence was ‘extrovert’ says murder accused
A MAN accused of murdering missing businesswoman Lynda Spence has told a court he did not kill her.
Philip Wade, 42, was called as a witness in his own defence at the High Court in Glasgow where he and Colin Coats, also 42, are on trial charged with abducting, torturing and murdering Ms Spence. They deny the charges.
Wade was asked by his defence lawyer, Gary Allan QC, if he murdered Ms Spence. He replied: “No.”
Mr Allan asked him if he helped in, or contributed to, the “murder” of the 27-year-old who disappeared in April 2011. Wade again replied: “No.”
He told jurors that he knew of Ms Spence through “fleeting meetings” she had with his friend, Coats.
Wade, a father of four, said she was an “extrovert” and that she would “kind of parade whatever she was involved in”.
He said: “She wasn’t quite my cup of tea but whenever we met her you were aware she was there.”
The court also heard claims that Ms Spence “conned” Wade’s brother out of £2,000 which she never returned.
Mr Allan asked Wade: “Did that fall-out provide a basis for you murdering her?”
Wade said: “No, certainly not.”
Coats and Wade also deny holding Ms Spence against her will at a flat in Meadowfoot Road, West Kilbride, Ayrshire, where it is alleged they assaulted her for up to two weeks from April 14 2011.
Wade told the court he saw Ms Spence enter the flat, which belonged to David Parker, 38, that day of her own accord, after following in a “convoy” with Coats’s car, in which Wade was a passenger, from Glasgow.
“Lynda parked up the road a bit from Colin and the two of them walked in in front of me,” he said.
Wade said he had been drinking heavily and went up to the door of the flat to see whether he could use the toilet.
But the place was “in a bit of a state” and he did not want to interrupt Coats and Ms Spence, who were having a discussion with Paul Smith, 47, so he turned away from the property without going inside and relieved himself in the back garden, he said.
“When I was out the back I could still hear (Ms Spence) OK. She was fine, just the usual Lynda - she was the main voice in the room,” Wade told the court.
The suggestion that he was involved in abducting, murdering or inflicting violence on Ms Spence is “absurd”, the witness said.
Wade admitted to the court he had been a cocaine dealer and that he was in the West Kilbride area on numerous occasions to chase debts from customers.
Coats often gave him a lift as he was disqualified from driving after being caught drunk behind the wheel in 2009, he said.
Jurors were told he spent four and a half months on remand in Barlinnie prison at the end of 2010 and early 2011, after being charged by police with an assault. He was acquitted of that charge four days into a trial.
Wade said he never entered the Meadowfoot Road flat and, whenever Coats went to see Ms Spence there, he waited in the car.
“I was aware she had to get out of Glasgow. Colin was trying to shield her and conduct business for her in Glasgow. In my opinion, he was running about after her and, in my opinion, she didn’t deserve him running about after her,” he said.
Parker and Smith were also accused of murdering Ms Spence but were cleared when they pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of detaining her against her will and assaulting her, as well as attempting to defeat the ends of justice. They will be sentenced on Monday.
Coats’ and Wade’s trial continues.
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