Friday, 23 August 2013

Second murderer appeals conviction

Both men jailed for life in April over the West Kilbride murder of businesswoman Lynda Spence have now lodged appeals against their convictions.

the3towns revealed in June that Glasgow man Colin Coats had appealed against his guilty verdict and 33-year sentence.  Now, Philip Wade, from Glengarnock, has also lodged court papers setting-out grounds for an appeal against his conviction and the 30-years he received.

Specifically, lawyers acting for Wade argue that prosecutors failed to make timely or full disclosure of Ms Spence's role as a police informant.

During a three-month trial at the High Court in Glasgow, jurors heard graphic details of how Coats and Wade had held Lynda Spence against her will at a property in Meadowfoot Road, West Kilbride, and had tortured her, including burning her with an iron, crushing her toes and cutting-off her thumb.

Ms Spence was last seen in April 2011 and her body has never been found.

At an appeal hearing last week before Lord Menzies, sitting with Lady Dorrian and Lord Glennie, Wade’s counsel, Gary Allen QC, said, “The case involved both a murder without a body, and a murder which was not witnessed by any of the Crown witnesses.”

The QC also alleged prosecution witnesses had made “conflicting admissions and admissions which were mutually exclusive,” which, Mr Allen argued, represented grounds for challenging his client’s conviction.

 Shortly before she went missing, Lynda Spence had agreed to become a ‘human intelligence source’ for the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, providing information on suspected criminals with whom she had regular contact.

During the murder trial, the court heard Ms Spence owed substantial sums of money to individuals associated with crime, and had siphoned-off cash provided to her by members of the Chinese community in Glasgow.  The funds should have been used as deposits to secure properties in a new housing development.

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