Lynda Spence jury sent home as no verdict reached

JURORS in the Lynda Spence murder trial have failed to reach verdicts about two men accused of killing her, after a fourth day of deliberations.

Colin Coats and Philip Wade, both 42, deny abducting, torturing and murdering the missing financial adviser who was last seen in Glasgow in April 2011.

The body of the 27-year-old has never been found.

The trial is in its 11th week at the High Court in Glasgow.

The jury retired on Tuesday afternoon and have yet to return verdicts on the two men. They will resume deliberations on Monday at 10am.

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Two men who admitted guarding the missing woman were due to be sentenced but this has been deferred until Monday.

David Parker, 38, and Paul Smith, 47, pleaded guilty to assaulting her by hitting her with a golf club, burning her hand, cutting off her thumb and failing to get medical help.

Parker and Smith were also originally charged with Ms Spence’s murder but were cleared after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of assault and holding the businesswoman against her will.

It is alleged Coats and Wade abducted Ms Spence on April 14 2011 and taped her to a chair in an attic at Parker’s flat in West Kilbride, Ayrshire. They held her at the Meadowfoot Road property for up to a fortnight and assaulted her as they tried to force her to reveal details of financial deals, prosecutors claim.

The court heard evidence that Ms Spence had a hand in deals involving faked Danish bearer bonds and a land sale at Stansted Airport.

Coats, who provided short-term loans to Ms Spence, held her responsible for losing his money and duping him over deals, according to prosecutors.

When it became clear she was continuing to mislead them, Coats and Wade murdered her and disposed of her body, it was alleged.

Parker and Smith claimed they were offered money to guard Ms Spence at the flat. But giving evidence at the trial, Coats said Ms Spence made an arrangement to stay there independently.

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The accused said she wanted to lie low because of threats from former business associates over an unpaid debt and disappeared from the flat one day when Smith and Parker were not there.

A spot of blood identified as Ms Spence’s which was found on the linoleum floor at the foot of the bath could have been consistent with her ordinary use of the bathroom, Coats’s lawyer Derek Ogg QC suggested.

The defence also said that the Crown failed to prove that Ms Spence is even dead, leading evidence from witnesses who claimed to have seen her after she was allegedly killed.

Coats and Wade each face a charge of abducting, assaulting, robbing and murdering Ms Spence, and a second charge of clearing up after the alleged crime in an attempt to defeat the ends of justice.

Coats is accused of a further three charges relating to extortion and robbery.