A missing financial adviser who was allegedly tortured and murdered thought she was going to be killed in the run-up to her disappearance, according to a trial witness.
Lynda Spence, 27, was receiving threatening text messages from former business associate John Glen, which said someone "will chop you up" if a debt was not paid, a court heard.
She has not been seen since April 2011 and it is alleged that Colin Coats and Philip Wade, both 42, murdered her after taping her to a chair and assaulting her at a flat in West Kilbride, Ayrshire, for up to two weeks. They deny the charges against them.
Coats is giving evidence at their trial at the High Court in Glasgow. He said it was Ms Spence's idea to "lie low" in West Kilbride as a way of getting out of Glasgow in the wake of Mr Glen's threats. She was in touch with Paul Smith, 47, who was also previously charged with her murder, about getting a passport and somewhere to stay, Coats said.
Coats told jurors that Ms Spence was also concerned that she was being investigated by police over a fraud involving a group of people and a property development in Maryhill, Glasgow.
The texts from Mr Glen have been read out in court, and he gave evidence at the trial during which he admitted sending them. One, sent on April 14 2011, said: "Listen stupid, be warned school fees paid, 10 today, 10 yesterday, 0 down. He will chop you up Lynda at 2pm today if that 20 isn't there. I will help him sort you as he says it's my responsibility as I brought him in. If you don't show, no problem. I will sort things myself."
Coats told jurors he understood that a man named Andy Cairns was behind the threats.
When asked by his defence QC, Derek Ogg, if he thought the threats were credible, he replied that he did. Coats said: "She felt that the threat was imminent.
"She thought she was going to be killed, on the 14th, because of the text messages and because of the things that had happened in the past."
Smith and David Parker, 38, were cleared of Ms Spence's murder after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of holding her against her will and assaulting her. They are due to be sentenced on Monday. The trial before Lord Pentland continues.