Lynda Spence trial: Murder accused ‘admitted killing’

The trial is taking place at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: Iain McLellan
The trial is taking place at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: Iain McLellan
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ONE OF the men accused of murdering a missing businesswoman admitted killing her, a court heard today.

A witness said the comment by Colin Coats after Lynda Spence’s disappearance was the “most horrific” thing he had heard.

Tony Kelly agreed he was terrified of Coats and said the remark was intended to show “what he was capable of”, the High Court in Glasgow heard.

A jury also heard claims that Coats spoke of needing a “medium” to contact the missing woman and that another remark by him implied a body had been dumped in water.

Ms Spence, 27, has not been seen since leaving her parents’ home in April 2011.

David Parker, 38, from West Kilbride, Paul Smith, 47, from Largs, Philip Wade, 42, from Glengarnock, all North Ayrshire, and Coats, 42, from Glasgow, are on trial accused of abducting, torturing and murdering her.

They deny all the charges against them.

The court has previously heard that Ms Spence ran a business called Fraser Property Management from premises in Glasgow’s Great Western Road.

Financial adviser Mr Kelly, 46, a former employee, told the court today that he met Coats about a fortnight after he last saw the missing woman to discuss her financial dealings.

He claimed Coats told him, during an exchange in a car park, that Ms Spence owed him money and that he had killed her “the previous Thursday”.

Questioned by Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC, he agreed it had taken him some length of time to disclose the information to police, telling the court he was “scared”.

Under cross-questioning by Derek Ogg QC, defending Coats, Mr Kelly said he thought the conversation had taken place on a Tuesday.

Asked whether it was the most extraordinary or dramatic thing that had been said to him in his life, he replied: “The most horrific.”

“He wanted me to know what he was capable of,” the witness added.

However, Mr Ogg suggested to Mr Kelly that something else had in fact been said by Coats that day.

“What I want to put to you is there was a conversation between you and Colin Coats in a car park, and he said to you, because you were going on about bonds, ‘Forget it. I’m glad to be rid of her’,” the QC said.

Mr Kelly replied: “I don’t think so.”

Mr Ogg suggested the witness had “upgraded” the comment to an alleged confession when he gave a statement to police in November 2011 - something Mr Kelly disputed.

Mr Kelly admitted he was “under a lot of pressure from police at the time” but denied he had been pressurised to “come up with something incriminating”.