Lynda Spence trial: Woman ‘held at knifepoint’

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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A WOMAN has told a murder trial that one of the men accused of the killing held a knife to her neck and told her “keep your mouth shut”.

Alicia Thomson, 23, said Philip Wade came to the flat she was living in with his co-accused, Paul Smith, in Largs, Ayrshire, in October 2011 and threatened her.

Wade, 42, and Smith, 47, are accused along with Colin Coats, 42, and David Parker, 38, of murdering missing businesswoman Lynda Spence.

The 27-year-old has not been seen since April 2011 and prosecutors allege the four men held her hostage and tortured her at a flat in West Kilbride, Ayrshire, for up to a fortnight. They deny all charges against them.

Ms Thomson told jurors: “I was in Paul’s and I was in the living room with him and the door got chapped.

“Paul came back to the living room with Philip Wade and Morag Gallacher. I had no idea they were coming.

“I was told to keep my mouth shut.”

Solicitor general Lesley Thomson, prosecuting, asked her if she remembered anything else, to which she replied that Wade had a “blade”.

“It was held at me, my neck.” Ms Thomson said.

She was unable to identify Wade in court, but jurors heard she picked him out in an earlier police identification parade.

Gary Allan QC, defending Wade, pointed out that a police statement given by Ms Thomson on 26 October 2011 did not mention a knife was held to her throat, and that it included the line: “Philip Wade did not threaten me with the knife.”

The statement she gave police said: “He [Wade] said, ‘are you passing my name about ... trying to get me the blame for murdering somebody?

“You better keep your mouth shut or you will be going away for a long time’.

“Phil then told me to give him the keys to my ex’s flat, who was John Cameron.

“I told him I didn’t have any keys to John’s and then he grabbed me by the arm of my top and said, ‘well you can get us in then’.

“He then pulled out a knife, it was a large kitchen knife ... with a 10in blade which tapered into a point.

“As he held the knife he says, ‘because I’m gonnae plug him’.”

Mr Allan asked Ms Thomson if she knew what the word “tapered” meant, to which she said she did not.

“How can it be in your statement then?” he asked.

She said it was possible officers explained at the time when they read the statement back to her.

Ms Thomson also told police about a conversation that she had with Wade on the phone.

In a statement given to officers, she said: “I took the phone and Phil said to me, ‘I think we need to have a wee sit down and have a cup of tea and a packet of chocolate fingers’.

“I asked him why ... and he said, ‘because ah [sic] cut the woman’s fingers off’.”

In court yesterday, Ms Thomson said she could not remember if the conversation that she had was with Wade or Coats.

Mr Allan put it to Ms Thomson, who admitted to jurors she was addicted to heroin at the time, that she could not recall anything unless her statement was in front of her.

Ian Clyde, 24, a friend of Smith and Parker, also gave evidence at the trial, and was questioned about a conversation the men had in his house that he told police about but could not remember yesterday.

The statement he gave to police on 17 January last year was read out, which said: “Parker then said to Smith, ‘hurry up, you know we’ve got to go’, to which Smith replied ‘f*** her’.

“Smith went on to say, ‘her scalp’s already been done and we’ve cut her finger off’.”

The trial before Lord Pentland at the High Court in Glasgow continues.