Glasgow & West Scotland

Lynda Spence case: Ex-accused admits part in 'plan'

David Parker
Image caption David Parker said he took responsibility for not getting help for Ms Spence

One of two men cleared of killing missing businesswoman Lynda Spence has told a murder trial he was part of a plan not to let her go.

David Parker, 38, and Paul Smith, 47, had pleas to lesser charges accepted by the Crown last week.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Parker said he took responsibility for not getting help for Ms Spence while she was held at a house in Ayrshire.

Philip Wade and Colin Coats, both 42, deny murdering Ms Spence in April 2011.

Smith and Parker had their pleas of not guilty to murder accepted by the Crown when they admitted assaulting Ms Spence and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Both men will be sentenced at a later date.

Parker has previously told the court that 27-year-old Ms Spence was held at his flat in West Kilbride, Ayrshire, during April 2011 and repeatedly assaulted.

Giving evidence for the Crown on Friday, he told jurors that Mr Coats and Mr Wade would arrive at the property every day and inflict violence on Ms Spence including burning her, cutting off her thumb and beating her.

He was cross-examined by Mr Wade's defence lawyer, Gary Allan QC, who asked him why he had pleaded guilty to a charge which states that he too did all of those things to Ms Spence when, according to his account, he did not.

Parker said: "The way I see it is I take responsibility for not getting Ms Spence help and not stopping the others from doing what they were doing."

'In cahoots'

Mr Allan pointed out that for him to have admitted the charge, he would either have to accept that he committed the assaults or he was part of a "common plan" with others to carry them out.

The witness replied: "I accept I was responsible, I suppose I was part of a plan.

Image caption Ms Spence was last seen at her parents' home on 13 April 2011

"I suppose the plan was not to let Ms Spence go and not to tell anyone about it."

Parker also told jurors that he had lied to police initially when they were investigating Ms Spence's disappearance because he was "scared" of what might happen to him and his family.

Mr Allan accused him of being "in cahoots" with Smith, to "get out of a murder charge" by giving police a version of events to implicate Mr Coats and Mr Wade.

Parker insisted to the court he was only telling the truth and denied any suggestion that he and Smith had got together to "get their stories straight".

The lawyer also pointed out that Parker's mother was sitting in the public gallery when Smith was giving evidence earlier this week.

He asked the witness if he and his mother had discussed Smith's evidence, to which Parker responded: "If you mean Paul's testimony then, no, we haven't discussed that. Only that he was OK and handling it well, that's it."

The trial before Lord Pentland continues.

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