Pilley murder accused ‘made unnecessary trip to Argyll’

Simon Peck said he repeatedly tried to phone murder suspect David Gilroy
Simon Peck said he repeatedly tried to phone murder suspect David Gilroy
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MURDER accused David Gilroy made a trip to Argyll the day after bookkeeper Suzanne Pilley went missing which “did not seem necessary”, his boss told a court.

Simon Peck said that he repeatedly tried to phone and text Gilroy on the afternoon following Ms Pilley’s disappearance after learning police wanted to speak to Gilroy.

Mr Peck, the director of Infrastructure Management Ltd, had found out hours earlier that Gilroy and Ms Pilley had been in an “intimate relationship” after staff accessed her emails on the advice of police.

But the 52-year-old told the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday that when he finally got through to Gilroy and asked him about the affair “the phone went dead straight away”.

Mr Peck said that Gilroy had told other staff that he was travelling to Lochgilphead High School, which his firm managed, in Argyll on May 5, 2010, the day after Ms Pilley was last seen alive a short distance away from their Thistle Street office.

Mr Peck also told the court that he had a “quite emotional” meeting with Gilroy after inviting him to his flat on May 8, 2010, when Gilroy told him he felt he had been “blackmailed” by Ms Pilley.

By this time, Gilroy had been interviewed by police.

Mr Peck said that Gilroy told him his relationship with Ms Pilley had developed after he helped her with work at her flat, and he had spent £8000 on her during their time together.

At a later meeting with Mr Gilroy on June 13, 2010, Mr Peck said that Gilroy told him he had picked up a “bin liner” while in Lochgilphead which he used for “rubbish from his car which he discarded on the way back to Edinburgh”.

Mr Peck told the court that on May 4, 2010 – the day Ms Pilley was last seen – Gilroy interrupted him on a conference call at around 4pm to ask to go home early to attend a meeting at his daughter’s school, a move he felt was “unnecessary”.

After police came to the city-centre office the following day, Mr Peck learned from other staff that Gilroy had driven to Lochgilphead to inspect pitches at the high school.

Asked by advocate depute Alex Prentice QC whether the trip was necessary, as the site had last been inspected three days earlier, Mr Peck said: “It did not seem necessary to me.”

Mr Peck said he tried repeatedly to contact Gilroy to tell him that police wanted to speak to him. He added that Gilroy phoned him back at 4.03pm but the call lasted only a minute until he mentioned the emails.

Gilroy, 49, of Silverknowes Brae, has denied murdering Ms Pilley, 38, on May 4, 2010, at Thistle Street or elsewhere in Scotland. The indictment also alleges that Gilroy attempted to defeat the ends of justice, including going to Lochgilphead High on May 5 when “there was no requirement” for him to do so.

Gilroy is alleged to have switched off his phone during parts of May 5 so that he could not be contacted.

While at the Lochgilphead school, Gilroy is alleged to have asked for a quantity of bin bags. The trial continues.

Colleague tells of ‘unusual’ email

AN accountant who worked with David Gilroy said that she received an “unusual” email from the murder accused in the hours after Suzanne Pilley was last seen alive.

Laura Carberry, who also works for Infrastructure Management Ltd, said that Gilroy sent an email to her and Ms Pilley at 1.03pm on May 4, 2010.

In the message, Gilroy asked either Ms Carberry or Ms Pilley to accompany him on a site visit to Falkirk later that month to assist him.

The court heard from a statement Ms Carberry gave to police on May 21, 2010. She said that the email was “unusual because I knew nothing about that project”.

She added that Ms Pilley had dealt primarily with that work.

Ms Pilley was last seen shortly before 9am on May 4, 2010.