A BRUTAL murderer who killed an accountant in West Kilbride has landed a voluntary post as a prison counsellor advising other convicts.

Philip Wade, 49, received the ‘agony uncle’ position at Kilmarnock Prison after receiving training from The Samaritans charity.

Wade was given a 30 year sentence in 2011 for killing Lynda Spence, 27, after she was taped to a chair in an attic before being brutally tortured. She had two fingers hacked off, her kneecaps smashed with a golf club, her toes crushed and her hands burned with a steam iron.

Wade and accomplice Colin Coats were convicted in 2013 of abduction and murder. The financial advisor was snatched from a street in Broomhill, Glasgow, after Coats, 49, lost money in a sham land deal that she had dreamed up. Her remains have never been found.

Victims of crime campaigners have described the development as ‘a slap in the face’ for Linda’s devastated family.

Inverkip man John Muir, 79, whose son Damian, 34, was knifed to death in Greenock in 2007, said: “It seems madness that someone with such a violent background should be giving advice to anyone.

“He doesn’t seem an appropriate candidate for the job to me. As a victim of violent crime, I find it hard to believe something like this would be approved.

“Surely there’s a risk he abuses the system to befriend other violent criminals.”

Tory shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr added: “Every prisoner should attempt to rehabilitate themselves, but it’s hard to see how this is an appropriate arrangement.

“His victim’s family and friends will be undoubtedly upset by these revelations.”

The unpaid role has seen Wade taking up the listener role for a period of months before it was suspended in January. The scheme is expected to be relaunch soon and Wade is understood to have reapplied for the position.

A Samaritans spokeswoman said: “The listener scheme is our peer-support scheme, which aims to reduce suicide in prisons. “Volunteers select, train and support prisoners. The listeners then provide face-to face support to fellow prisoners who are struggling to cope.

“We have a rigorous selection and application process.”