A defence lawyer has accused a witness in a murder trial of planning to turn against two of his former co-accused by giving evidence against them.
Paul Smith was previously charged with the murder of missing businesswoman Lynda Spence, along with Colin Coats, 42, Philip Wade, 42, and David Parker, 38.
He and Parker had their pleas of not guilty accepted by the Crown last week when they admitted assaulting her and attempting to defeat the ends of justice. They will be sentenced at a later date.
Wade and Coats are still on trial at the High Court in Glasgow, where they deny abducting, torturing and murdering Ms Spence, 27, who disappeared in April 2011.
Smith, 47, has given evidence against his two former co-accused and he responded to Wade's defence lawyer, Gary Allan QC, under cross-examination. Mr Allan said Smith had "everything to gain" by choosing to plead guilty to a lesser charge and giving evidence for the Crown against the two men.
Speaking in hypothetical terms, he pointed out that Smith could now be facing a jail term which is up to 25 years less than if he was convicted of Ms Spence's murder.
He referred to a statement given to police by Sean Alexander, a friend of Parker and Smith, which said: "David came down right away (to my house) and him and Paul went into my spare room.
"I heard Paul saying they are going down for murder and they would have to fire Philip Wade and his pal in."
Mr Allan said: "That has been your plan right from the outset, to look after yourself, and that would mean you would fire somebody in for murder, that somebody being Philip Wade and Colin Coats?"
Smith replied: "You look after yourself in these circumstances. I know I haven't murdered anybody and if there's a lesser plea obviously you would take it - anybody would."