Glasgow & West Scotland

Lynda Spence trial: Missing woman's blood 'in flat'

Lynda Spence
Image caption Ms Spence, whose body has never been found, was last seen in April 2011

The Lynda Spence murder trial has heard that blood from the missing financial advisor was found at the flat where she was allegedly held and tortured.

Forensic scientist Dr Nighean Stevenson told the High Court in Glasgow that a small blood stain, found on lino in front of the bath, matched her DNA.

She was giving evidence at the trial of Colin Coats, 42, David Parker, 38, Paul Smith, 47, and Philip Wade, 42.

All four deny murdering Ms Spence at a flat in Ayrshire in April 2011.

The businesswoman was last seen on 14 April 2011.

DNA samples

The accused are charged with abducting, torturing and murdering the 27-year-old at a flat at Meadowfoot Road, West Kilbride, between 14 and 28 April 2011.

Dr Stevenson told Solicitor General Lesley Thomson, prosecuting, that a DNA sample was taken from one of Ms Spence's metal bangles.

The court heard that the DNA obtained from the bangle was compared with that of Ms Spence's parents Jim and Patricia.

Dr Stevenson said: "The DNA sample taken from the bangle was consistent with her being a daughter of Mr and Mrs Spence.

"She was their only daughter. Therefore it is assumed to be the DNA profile of Lynda Spence."

The forensic scientist said that she examined the flat in West Kilbride, from 28 October 2011 and took swabbings.

She was asked by Ms Thomson about a blood swabbing taken from the linoleum at the front of the bath.

Dr Stevenson said: "A DNA profile was obtained that matched the DNA profile of Lynda Spence. The probability of finding someone else matching that profile is more than one in a million."

Speaking of the blood stain Dr Stevenson said: "It had a diluted appearance and it had likely been smeared where it was. I couldn't say scientifically what it had been diluted with."

Blood lifts

The court was shown a photograph of the blood stain which was beside the bath panel, which was broken and pushed in at one side.

Ms Thomson asked: "If the bath panel had been fitted correctly would the blood stain have been visible," and Dr Stevenson replied: "It may have been covered by the bath panel."

The court was told that other blood lifts taken from the bathroom were examined.

One came from an unknown male and another from accused Mr Parker, who was the tenant at the flat.

The inside of the overflow pipe from the bath was examined and spots which looked like blood and tested positive for blood were examined from DNA, but no profile could be obtained.

The jury was told that it was possible the staining found was human blood, animal blood or something other than blood.

The pipes connecting the washing machine in the flat and the machine itself were also examined.

Staining on the pipes tested positive for blood, but did not have the visual appearance of blood.

Dr Stevenson said: "There was staining which gave a positive result for blood, but did not look like blood. It is unlikely to be blood, but we can't rule it out."

Meanwhile, the jury in the trial is down to 14.

Judge Lord Pentland told the remaining jurors: "Your number has now been reduced from 15 to 14. This is something the law allows the court to do. It is neither necessary nor appropriate to say why this decision has been taken."

The trial continues.

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