Life sentences for two men who tortured and killed businesswoman Lynda Spence


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The Independent Online

Two men have been jailed for life for taping a woman to a chair for 13 days and torturing and murdering her.

Colin Coats, 42, of Glasgow, was sentenced to a minimum of 33 years in prison at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday as a judge branded him “devious and cruel” and concluded that he was the “prime mover” in the kidnapping, torture and killing of 27-year-old Scottish businesswoman Lynda Spence in April 2011.

Philip Wade, also 42, of Glengarnock, was ordered to spend at least 30 years behind bars after being convicted of the same charge. David Parker, 38, of West Kilbride, Ayrshire, and Paul Smith, 47, of Largs, North Ayrshire, who admitted assaulting Ms Spence and holding her against her will, were sentenced to 11 years and three months and 11 years respectively.

The trial heard Ms Spence, pictured, was forced into a car in Glasgow on 14 April 2011 and driven to Parker’s flat, where she was taped to a chair in the attic. For the next 13 days, she was tortured by Coats and Wade for financial information they thought she had about a land deal at Stansted airport. She was burnt with an iron, hit with a golf club and the two men crushed her toes, cut off her thumb and severed her little finger.

Her remains have never been found. Defence QCs had suggested to the court that Ms Spence had disappeared of her own accord.

Ms Spence’s parents, James and Patricia, said afterwards: “We will never begin to imagine her suffering  or comprehend the cruelty of any person who would do that to another human being.”