Murder Accused ‘didn’t try to contact missing Suzanne Pilley’

Andrea Gilroy
Andrea Gilroy
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MURDER accused David Gilroy told police officers that he had “no idea” why Suzanne Pilley could be missing and never tried to contact her to find out, a court has heard.

David Gilroy was interviewed as a witness for 11 hours after the bookkeeper disappeared, and gave a 59-page statement to officers.

He said he had sent a text message to Ms Pilley which said “I’ll love you always” less than 24 hours before she vanished.

He told police that it was the last message he ever sent the 38-year-old after she accused him of being a “user” and a “game player”.

The statement that Gilroy gave to officers at Corstorphine police station on May 6, 2010, was read out at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday.

In the statement, he described how Ms Pilley had been a heavy drinker at times, as well as using cannabis, and was having problems at work because she was “moody” after failing to get a promotion.

Gilroy said he first got to know Ms Pilley at the end of April 2009 over drinks at a leaving do for a colleague at the Bon Vivant bar in Thistle Street.

He said: “I got speaking to her and she ended up telling me the history of her life.”

Gilroy said Ms Pilley told her she married a friend but “did not fancy him” and the union ended. He said she later went on a three-month trip to Morocco, meeting a man called Omar who was her “soulmate” but she returned to Scotland as he was “too young for her”.

He said Ms Pilley had later become engaged to a man called ‘Sil’ in Edinburgh after just three months, but they split after she discovered he had a “major cocaine problem”.

A relationship also saw Ms Pilley suffer a year of domestic abuse, including physical attacks, Gilroy said in the statement.

He added that Ms Pilley had told him that she had lived in a “series of rundown flats and bedsits”, and had been estranged from her parents when she was 18 for six years.

Gilroy said he went back to her flat that night for a drink at Ms Pilley’s request, but nothing sexual happened.

He said “it was the end of May when we began a sexual relationship”. He said: “I would say that Suzanne was the initiator. She made it clear that she was interested in me.”

Gilroy said he spent a couple of nights a week staying at Ms Pilley’s flat, telling his wife, Andrea, that he was working, but she finally discovered his infidelity.

He told police that his wife was “very angry” and “felt betrayed”, leading to a series of rows, with Mrs Gilroy wanting a “separation or divorce”.

Gilroy said that his wife found Ms Pilley’s phone number in his mobile that August, and called her to say “leave my husband alone”.

“Suzanne wanted me to make a full commitment to her and live there permanently,” he said. “I said I needed to keep contact with my kids. Andrea would not let the children visit Suzanne’s flat.

“Suzanne said she did not want to play second fiddle.”

Approaching Christmas 2009, Gilroy said “it was clear to me that I had a major decision to make”, and he could not decide where to spent Christmas Day. After a “disagreement” with his wife at 7pm that night, he said he went to Ms Pilley’s, but made an excuse to leave to visit his mum and returned to his family home.

Between January and March, Gilroy said that his relationship with Ms Pilley was “still ongoing but infrequent”, including an “infrequent sexual relationship”.

Gilroy said it was the end of January 2010 when he moved back home, “mostly for my kids”.

He said that Ms Pilley’s friends and family said that “my baggage was too much” and made it a “waste of time” for her.

In his statement, Gilroy said he was aware Ms Pilley had begun internet dating and met a council worker called Mark who was “quite nice”.

Gilroy said: “About six weeks ago was the last time we had sex together. We only had sex between four and six times since January. I had encouraged her to meet other guys. I always said that if she had the chance for a family she should take it.

“Suzanne had a termination when she was young and she always thought that never having children was her punishment.”

He added: “I was pleased that she was meeting people. I wasn’t jealous.”

Gilroy said they went for a drink at the Rutland bar around ten days before she was last seen and “discussed where we were and she told me about Mark. It was mainly work we talked about where Suzanne was having some problems”.

He said that Ms Pilley had “four vodka and cokes” and sometimes drank heavily.

Gilroy said that Ms Pilley was unhappy at work due to not getting a promotion, and said that management had accused of her of being “moody”, even suggesting she visit a doctor.

On Saturday, May 1, 2010, Gilroy said he received text messages from Ms Pilley, who had told him she was going out drinking with friends in Princes Street Gardens, asking him what he was up to. They later spoke on the phone when Ms Pilley “did not seem herself”, he said.

Gilroy said: “I sent a text saying I hoped things were going well. It will be pretty in the gardens. I got no reply.

“She texted at 9.30pm to say, ‘Yes, I’m OK. Out with friends’. I sent a message that said, ‘Cool, have fun with your friends.

“She sent back, ‘Just leave it. Call you tomorrow’.

The following day, Gilroy said that Ms Pilley sent him an “odd” text which read “Have a happy life”, and they later spoke at noon.

Gilroy said: “She said I had let her down and led her round the garden path and had no intention of committing. I tried to tell her I had not led her on. I asked if I could go round and speak to her.”

He said he later drove to Ms Pilley’s flat to collect some belongings, and she said she wanted to go up Corstorphine Hill.

Gilroy said that Ms Pilley later admitted that she had “lied”, and had been on a date with Mark the previous evening.

He said: “She said because I still love you, you’re going to blow my chances with that guy.”

Gilroy said the pair went for a walk on the hill, sitting at their “special tree”, and he suggested “writing out the things that were wrong with our lives on bits of paper then burning them because that’s what the Buddhists do”.

He said: “I had written that I was sorry I couldn’t commit to her and sorry that I couldn’t leave my children and that I would always love her.

“She read it and said she felt I was her soulmate and the one.”

Gilroy said they returned to Whitson Road, where Ms Pilley smoked cannabis, a drug she “used it quite a bit towards the end of our relationship”.

He said they shared a bed that night, but did not have sex.

Gilroy said Ms Pilley was “in a bit of a mood” on Monday morning and an argument later started.

He said Ms Pilley texted later to say “You’re a game player. You were always going to go back to your wife and now you’ve ruined my chances with this guy.”

“I said it was never my intention. I sent her a text which said I’ll love you always. It was the last text I sent to her.”

Gilroy said he bought flowers for his wife and on the Monday they had a “good conversation”, and later “slept in the same bed for the first time in a year”.

He then told police: “I’ve had no communication with Suzanne. I have no idea where she is. I have no idea why she has gone missing.”

Gilroy, 49, of Silverknowes Brae, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Pilley in Thistle Street, or elsewhere in Scotland.

The trial continues.

Gilroy’s movements

IN his police statement David Gilroy also described his movements on the day Suzanne Pilley disappeared.

On May 4, 2010, Gilroy said he was given a lift by his wife. After dropping off his daughter at school, he said he took a bus from Orchard Brae to the West End then walked to Thistle Street, arriving at his office at 8.25am. After working and chatting to colleagues, he said he spoke to a receptionist about repair issues in the office garage and plant room.

He later returned home to pick up some notes and returned in his car. Gilroy said he went out at 1.30pm, buying deodorant and air freshener at Superdrug in Princes Street before putting them in his car at the office garage. He said he left at 4.50pm.

On May 5, 2010, Gilroy said his boss, Simon Peck, mentioned that Ms Pilley was missing. Gilroy said: “I was dazed, the news came out of the blue.”

He said he went to inspect pitches at a Lochgilphead school on Wednesday, and missed calls from his boss and police. He agreed to attend Corstorphine police station to give a statement, arriving just before midnight. He added: “At no point did I try to contact Suzanne Pilley.”