The trial of four men accused of abducting, torturing and murdering a businesswoman has been deserted after a jury member withdrew.
Evidence was due to begin in the case of Lynda Spence, 27, who was allegedly taken in Glasgow in April 2011.
David Parker, 37, from West Kilbride, Paul Smith, 47, from Largs, Philip Wade, 42, from Glengarnock, all North Ayrshire, and Colin Coats, 42, from Glasgow, have denied the charges.
At Glasgow High Court, judge Lord Pentland told the jury that its missing member was unable to continue hearing the case for "undisclosed reasons".
It is alleged the accused men forced Ms Spence into a car and held her hostage in a West Kilbride flat for up to a fortnight, where they hooded and tortured her to reveal bank account details and information about financial dealings they believed she was involved in.
They are accused of crushing Ms Spence's toes, burning her hands with lit cigarettes and an iron, cutting off her thumb and severing the tip of one of her fingers.
It is also claimed they hit her with a hammer and a golf club.
Prosecutors say the men cut off Ms Spence's head and attempted to cover up their crimes by bleaching floors, pulling up carpets and laying new floorboards.
In total, Parker, Smith, Wade and Coats deny 26 charges against them.
The case is expected to restart with a new jury later this week. Lord Pentland said the withdrawal of the juror was "an entirely unexpected and unforeseen development".