THE case against David Gilroy was built wholly on circumstantial evidence pieced together by police and prosecutors, but it was enough to prove his guilt. The jury were presented with five crucial strands of evidence which enabled them to convict Gilroy of murdering Suzanne Pilley.
• Gilroy bombarded Ms Pilley with more than 400 texts and 49 phone calls between April 11 and May 3. But after she disappeared the following morning, he did not text or call his victim’s phone even once as he knew she was already dead, later telling police it was because he did not want to “interfere” in their investigation.
• Gilroy had cuts and grazes to his hands and arms, which he claimed he suffered while gardening three days before Ms Pilley vanished. Forensic experts testified that they appeared more recent and matched those typically inflicted by victims of strangulation. A police photographer also spotted that he had tried to cover the wounds with make-up while she was taking pictures of them on May 7, 2010.
• Specially trained “cadaver” dogs, which can identify the smell of human remains, showed “interest” in the boot of Gilroy’s Vauxhall Vectra and areas of the garage at IML where he would have loaded Ms Pilley’s body into the vehicle.
• Police re-staged the journey Gilroy made from Edinburgh to Lochgilphead on May 5, 2010, and found it took them around three hours. Gilroy took almost five-and-a-half hours, giving him time to dispose of the body. Vegetative matter found on his car, which also had three fractured coil springs, indicated that it had been driven “off-road”.
• Prosecutors had to present evidence that Ms Pilley was dead to prove their case. Checks established that Ms Pilley had not used her bank account, credit cards, passport or bus pass, and had never contacted friends or family after May 4, 2010.