Convicted killer David Gilroy’s CCTV court bid fails

David Gilroy was convicted of Suzanne Pilley's murder. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
David Gilroy was convicted of Suzanne Pilley's murder. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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SUZANNE Pilley’s killer, David Gilroy, has failed in a bid to convince judges that CCTV footage exists which could overturn his murder conviction.

Gilroy, who is serving a minimum of 18 years for murdering his former lover in 2010 after she ended their affair, represented himself in court after being denied legal aid to pay for lawyers.

He took the opportunity to again plead his innocence – insisting he was not involved in the death of his former colleague Ms Pilley, whose body has never been found.

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Gilroy told the Court of Session in Edinburgh: “The higher principle to me is I am not guilty of a crime.”

He made the claim as he appealed a refusal by police to provide him with a list of 
locations from which they gathered CCTV evidence during the murder inquiry.

A previous appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner also failed after she ruled that police were entitled to withhold the information.

Rejecting the fresh appeal yesterday, Lord Carloway, who heard the challenge with Lady Smith and Lady Clark of Calton, also awarded the expenses of the hearing to the commissioner and chief constable.

Lord Carloway said that at the root of the appeal was “a broad contention from the appellant” that there existed or exists CCTV images which could undermine his conviction.

Gilroy, who was transferred to the court from prison, told the judges that access to the information was vital to his bid for freedom.

He said: “I need to obtain information that helps me to achieve the end goal of having a conviction quashed. Already I have done four years in prison.”

In his challenge to the commissioner, it was argued that she had erred in law and that both she and the chief constable were mistaken in classifying the information he sought as personal data.

He claimed that the decision of the commissioner was not rational.

Gilroy said: “I was after locations that covered the entirety of the investigation, not just aspects that focused on me.

“It is those locations I am after because they are of material benefit to me. They do not concern my movements.”

Gilroy said he believed there were other CCTV locations in existence which had not been disclosed. He said: “I don’t have all the locations.”

In a statement issued by Gilroy’s family before the hearing, it was claimed that even a rejection of his appeal would help his case.

The family believes a failure to provide a list of CCTV locations will prove that the case against him was unjust.

The family also pointed out that a small blue car spotted near Ms Pilley’s Thistle Street office on the morning of her disappearance has never been found, despite a police appeal at the time to establish who was behind the wheel.

The statement read: “On at least four occasions, David has been told that he has been given a full list of CCTV locations or that specific footage does not have anything relevant on it – information which has later turned out to be untrue.

“David has good reason to believe that the police must have seized footage from more locations during the missing person stage of the inquiry into the disappearance of Suzanne Pilley than they have so far revealed to him.

“If today’s hearing grants David’s appeal against the commissioner, then he hopes it will allow him a further 
attempt to have the disclosure of a full list of locations looked into.

“If David’s action today is turned down, it will be reasonable to conclude that the police did not collect evidence which could have shown other circumstances to account for Suzanne Pilley’s disappearance.

“One way or the other, the decision on today’s appeal will add significantly to what David is doing to show the case against him was unfair, that there has been a miscarriage of justice and he has been wrongfully convicted of a crime in which there was no witness or forensic evidence and no body.”

Gilroy, formerly of Silverknowes, was ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years at the High Court in Edinburgh in April 2012.

Married Gilroy was found guilty of murdering his 38-year-old former lover who worked with him at Infrastructure Managers in the city centre.

Bookkeeper Ms Pilley went missing in May 2010, and prosecutors believe Gilroy hid her remains close to the Rest And Be Thankful beauty spot in Argyll.

Gilroy was convicted on 
circumstantial evidence after no witnesses were called and no forensic insight was produced at his trial.

Ms Pilley was spotted on CCTV footage near her office in Thistle Street but there has been no trace of her since.

Last September, Gilroy had a number of complaints he made against the police upheld by a watchdog.

His complaints were understood to relate to the collection of evidence before the 2012 trial, in which he was convicted before a jury.

Five of 15 complaints he made were upheld by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc). Pirc also made six recommendations to Police Scotland, which were implemented in full but are yet to be made public.

newsen@edinburghnews.com