Suzanne Pilley trial: Murder accused ‘said victim was blackmailer’

Suzanne Pilley disappeared in May 2010
Suzanne Pilley disappeared in May 2010
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THE man accused of killing his work colleague Suzanne Pilley told his boss he felt he was being blackmailed by her, the murder trial has heard.

Simon Peck, director of Infrastructure Managers Ltd where Ms Pilley and David Gilroy both worked, said Gilroy had not elaborated on how she was blackmailing him or over what.

Mr Peck, 52, said he had a “quite emotional” meeting with Gilroy days after Ms Pilley did not turn up for her work.

He said he had a discussion with Gilroy, 49, about Miss Pilley and added: “David explained to me the circumstances of that relationship.”

He said he “just explained how it had happened and just really from when he first joined the company how they had struck up a friendship. How he had wanted to help her with some things in her flat and a friendship had developed into a relationship.”

Mr Peck was asked if there was a reference to money being spent and replied that over the course of their relationship he had spent quite a lot of money on her.

“I seem to remember it being £8,000,” he said.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC asked Mr Peck if he knew what was meant by the term blackmail and he answered “yes”.

The prosecutor asked if there was any mention of anything of that nature and Mr Peck responded: “It did come up. Just that he felt he was being blackmailed by her.”

He said Gilroy did most of the talking at the meeting. He was questioned on whether Gilroy had expressed any concerns for Ms Pilley.

Mr Peck told the High Court in Edinburgh: “Probably not as much as I thought he might bearing in mind the explanation he had given me about their relationship.”

Ms Pilley, 38, of Whitson Road, Edinburgh, did not arrive for work on 4 May in 2010 as a bookkeeper at IML’s offices in the city’s Thistle Street.

Mr Peck said he had taken notes following a second later meeting after Gilroy had arrived at his flat. He said Gilroy had said he had military training for 12 years and added: “Just that had helped him get through these difficult weeks.”

The court also heard Gilroy previously allegedly asked hotel staff to force open a door to a room where the missing bookkeeper was supposedly staying.

Gilroy is said to have asked staff at the Crieff Hydro hotel, in the early hours of 9 October, 2009, to open the door to his former partner’s room.

Mr Gilroy allegedly committed a breach of the peace at the hotel on that day.

Mr Gilroy is said to have told staff that the lock to the room had failed and he needed to gain access.

Gilroy, of Silverknowes Brae, Edinburgh, has denied murdering Miss Pilley on 4 May in 2010 at Thistle Street or elsewhere in Scotland.

It is alleged that he assaulted her and by means unknown to the prosecutor caused her injury as a result of which she died.

He has also pled not guilty to attempting to defeat the ends of justice between 4 May and 23 June that year.

Part of that charge alleges that he concealed her dead body within the premises of Infrastructure Managers and transported it to various locations in Scotland in the boot of a car.

The case continues.