‘It was a cowardly act not to help Lynda Spence’

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ONE of the men cleared of killing a missing businesswoman has given evidence at the trial of two men charged with her murder.

Paul Smith, 47, told a court yesterday it was a “cowardly act” not to get help for Lynda Spence, 27, when she was being held at a flat in West Kilbride, Ayrshire.

Smith was previously charged with murder along with Colin Coats, Philip Wade and David Parker, 38, but he and Parker had their pleas of not guilty accepted by the Crown when they admitted assaulting her and attempting to defeat the ends of justice. Smith and Parker will be sentenced at a later date.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Smith was called as a witness in the prosecution’s case against Coats and Wade. He said his understanding was that the woman was in danger because she had people looking for her, but when Ms Spence was brought to Parker’s flat on 14 April 2011 it was a different situation completely.

Smith said Ms Spence was bound to a chair by her arms and waist with silver tape, with her feet taped together and she had on dark sunglasses which were taped inside.

During the first few days of her being held in the attic of the flat, Ms Spence told the witness that Coats had cut off the tip of her little finger and crushed her little toe with loppers, which Wade had brought with him in a bag, jurors heard.

Smith told the court: “I didn’t know what Mr Coats and Mr Wade were capable of. I thought it was easier just to do what Mr Coats said, and not argue with him. I quite liked my fingers the way they were.”

Smith went on to tell the court that Ms Spence was not allowed to move or use the toilet for 13 days.

The trial, before Lord Pentland, continues.