Monday 19 February 2018

Judge instructs Lynda murder jury

The body of 27-year-old businesswoman Lynda Spence has never been found
The body of 27-year-old businesswoman Lynda Spence has never been found

Jurors in the Lynda Spence murder trial have been told to disregard any feelings of "revulsion or outrage" as they prepare to consider their verdict.

Two men are accused of torturing and killing the missing financial adviser who was last seen in Glasgow two years ago, in April 2011.

The body of the 27-year-old has never been found. Colin Coats and Philip Wade, both 42, deny her murder.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Lord Pentland told jurors not to let their judgment be swayed by "sympathy" for anyone affected by the case or feelings of "disapproval, revulsion or outrage".

He told the 13 panel members: "Social or moral judgments have no part to play in a court of law."

It is alleged that friends Coats and Wade abducted Ms Spence on April 14 2011 and taped her to a chair in an attic at a flat in West Kilbride, Ayrshire. They held her there for a fortnight as they tried to force her to reveal details of financial deals, prosecutors claim.

The lengthy trial has 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 that she was continuing to mislead them, Coats and Wade murdered her and disposed of her body, the court was told.

Two men - David Parker, 38, and Paul Smith, 47 - claimed they were offered money to guard Ms Spence at the flat. The pair were charged with her murder but were cleared after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of assault and holding the businesswoman against her will.

The jury retired from deliberating on Tuesday after two-and-half hours. It will resume from 10am on Wednesday when Parker and Smith will also be sentenced.

Press Association

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