Trial told Spence sent e-mails demanding money back

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AN ALBANIAN local government official told a murder trial that he received a series of e-mails from missing financial adviser Lynda Spence just days before she was allegedly killed.

Sokal Zefaj, 39, who came to the UK as an asylum seeker with just pocket money in 2000, told the High Court in Glasgow yesterday that he met Miss Spence in Glasgow.

Mr Zefaj was giving evidence at the trial of Colin Coats, 42, and Philip Wade, 42, who deny abducting, torturing and murdering Miss Spence at a flat at Meadowfoot Road, West Kilbride, between 14 and 28 April 2011.

He told Solicitor General Lesley Thomson, QC, prosecuting, that he had a sexual relationship with her for about a year, but denied marrying her and said he was annoyed that she sometimes used his name.

The jury was shown an e-mail from Miss Spence’s account on 26 April 2011, which said: “I’m in the s*** because of the money you stole out of the flat. It was not my money.” The court was told that he sent the reply: “Who the hell are you and what are you talking about?”

Mr Zefaj was asked why he had done this, and he replied: “I never imagined she would send me an e-mail like that.”

The court was told that Mr Zefaj sent back an e-mail saying: “I’m not an Albanian monkey. I’m an Albanian gentleman, first of all. What is this money you are talking about?”

Another e-mail was sent from Miss Spence’s account on 27 April saying: “What type of ­gentleman runs brothels, does gun-running and sells drugs? You need to give me the money back because I can’t come back to Glasgow until you do. You have no idea whose money it is.”

The jury heard that Mr Zefac sent back a reply on 28 April 2011 saying: “You’re very creative with your words; shame you are not as creative in bed. Maybe you shouldn’t come back to Glasgow so you can’t tip ­anyone off.”

Mr Zefaj admitted that he sent the reply, but added: “I treated it like a joke.”

Under cross-examination by Gary Allan, QC, defending Wade, Mr Zefaj admitted coming to Scotland almost penniless and ending up owning three flats worth a total of around £420,000.

Mr Zefaj admitted that he was stopped by police on the M74 with £50,000 in cash in his car, but denied any wrongdoing.

Miss Spence went missing on 14 April 2011 and her disappearance was reported to the police a month later.

The trial before judge Lord Pentland continues.