Voicemails left on Suzanne Pilley’s phone played in court

DC Colin Fordyce
DC Colin Fordyce
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MURDER accused David Gilroy left a string of pleading voicemails on the phone of missing bookkeeper Suzanne Pilley over the weekend before she disappeared, a court has heard.

Gilroy repeatedly asked for Ms Pilley to call him, telling her that they could “sort everything out”, but never phoned her again after she was reported missing.

The jury yesterday listened to the voicemails before hearing a series of messages left by friends and colleagues of Ms Pilley urging her to get in touch.

The court also heard that Gilroy had been officially declared a “suspect” on May 8, 2010, four days after Ms Pilley was last seen alive.

But Detective Constable Colin Fordyce denied that police considered the 49-year-old to be a suspect as soon as the early hours of May 6, 2010 when Gilroy gave them a witness statement at Corstorphine police station.

Forensic medical examiner Dr Mark Houseman told the High Court in Edinburgh on Thursday that officers had told him that “foul play was suspected” in Ms Pilley’s disappearance.

DC Fordyce, who accompanied Dr Houseman while he examined injuries Gilroy had suffered, told the court yesterday that he had never suggested foul play was involved at that stage.

DC Fordyce identified the voice heard on a number of voicemails played to the jury as belonging to Gilroy.

Several of the messages were left by Gilroy on May 1, 2010. Mark Brooks, 41, previously told the court that he had been out on a date with Ms Pilley on that afternoon and evening.

In a second statement given by Gilroy to police on May 6, 2010 at Corstorphine police station, which was read out in court, he told DC Fordyce that Ms Pilley had a savings account with “little if anything in it”, and only had £200 of disposable income a month after paying her bills.

He added: “Put it this way, she is far better off now than she was when I met her. Her flat is much nicer. I spent £3000 of my own money doing her flat up and trying to help her.”

Gilroy added that he would often go camping and walking with Ms Pilley during their relationship.

The jury were shown photographs of Gilroy’s injuries, which included abrasions to his forehead, hands, arm and shin, a bruise to his chest, and a cut on his finger.

DC Fordyce said that Gilroy told police that he sustained the injuries whilst gardening. DC Fordyce said he later visited Gilroy at his Silverknowes home, where the accused volunteered to show him where he suffered the mishap.

Asked by advocate depute Alex Prentice QC if he saw any sign of gardening work, DC Fordyce said: “No. The ground had not been turned over. There were no cut branches.”

The officer told the court that he took Gilroy to Fettes HQ on Friday, May 7, 2010 to have his injuries photographed, but the photographer, Louise Harrower, spotted what she believed to be “make-up” on his hands.

DC Fordyce said that he took Gilroy into the toilet to wash a “substance” from his hands, but he said he didn’t think the father-of-two tried to wash them properly.

Gilroy, of Silverknowes Brae, denies murdering Ms Pilley, 38, in Thistle Street, or at another location in Scotland.

The trial continues.