THE MAN convicted of murdering tragic divorcee Suzanne Pilley is to appeal – claiming he has suffered a miscarriage of justice.
David Gilroy, 50, has been told that he can argue the actions of prosecution lawyers and the judge during his trial earlier this year could have caused him to suffer a miscarriage of justice.
Members of Gilroy’s family, including his wife Andrea, were present at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh to hear the news.
Gilroy, formerly of Silverknowes, Edinburgh, was convicted in April of murdering former lover Suzanne, 38, in Edinburgh City Centre in May 2010.
Prosecution lawyers believe he dumped Suzanne’s remains in a shallow grave somewhere near the Rest and Be Thankful beauty spot in Argyll. The pair – who had a stormy relationship – had split up in the weeks leading up to her death.
However, Gilroy’s defence team are to argue that he has been wrongly convicted of murdering Suzanne, whose body has never been found.
In July, his solicitors lodged an appeal against the conviction. They were given permission to argue that police should have told Gilroy that he was suspected of committing a crime when officers interviewed him days after Suzanne went missing.
His legal team believe police may have broken the law when they spoke to him. They say that officers are supposed to tell people who are suspected of committing a crime that they are being spoken to as a suspect in a criminal investigation.
Gilroy’s solicitors believe police did not follow these legal requirements, and that information he gave during his police interviews was used by prosecution lawyers illegally in the trial against him.
At the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh on Friday, his lawyers were told they could argue that the judge at Gilroy’s trial, Lord Bracadale, also acted wrongly during proceedings.
During the trial, members of the jury were supposed to be shown an edited report, which had been composed by pathologist Dr Nathaniel Cary.
In the report, Dr Cary speculated about the circumstances surrounding Suzanne’s disappearance.
But rather than be shown the edited report, the jury were wrongly given copies of Dr Cary’s unedited text by the prosecution. Gilroy’s defence QC Jack Davidson asked Lord Bracadale to stop the trial, saying that the unedited text could prejudice the jury against his client.
Mr Davidson said the unedited report contained information which couldn’t be proven – and that this information could lead the jury to form false opinions about his client.
But Lord Bracadale allowed the trial to continue and dismissed Mr Davidson’s request.The jury were then handed copies of the edited report.
On Friday, John Scott QC, the solicitor advocate acting for Gilroy in his appeal, argued that this action could have prejudiced the jury against the former businessman.
He asked appeal court judges Lord Carloway, Lord Mackay and Lady Smith to allow him to argue this at his client’s forthcoming appeal. After the three judges discussed Mr Scott’s submission, Lord Carloway gave permission for the argument to be added as a grounds to the appeal.
Lord Carloway added: “We will allow this addition to the appeal.”
The date of the appeal is yet to be fixed. It is expected to be held later this year.