THE family of the man convicted of murdering Edinburgh woman Suzanne Pilley have insisted the case against him was “flawed” and he is innocent.
David Gilroy, 52, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of ex-lover Suzanne Pilley in 2010.
Her body was never found and no witnesses ever came forward. Gilroy was found guilty after circumstantial evidence convinced a jury he had throttled her in a jealous rage and buried her in a “lonely grave.”
Gilroy and his family have always maintained his innocence, and now his stepmother, former Plymouth MP Linda Gilroy, has spoken out against his conviction.
Speaking of his family’s efforts to clear his name, she said: “It is five years this week since David was charged with a crime that he did not commit.
“As a family, we sat through the trial. We thought that the defence had done enough to show that the case against David was not proven to a standard beyond reasonable doubt.
“There was, and remains to this day, no forensic evidence, no body and no witness.
“As a family, we were shocked at the conviction. The fact that David would be sentenced to many years in prison took us all a good few weeks to come to terms with.
“We talked amongst ourselves about how on earth we found ourselves in this nightmare of a situation.”
She went on: “The more we have looked into the case, the stronger becomes our belief that David’s trial was far from fair and full of gaps in evidence that should have been put before the court.”
The Gilroy family, including his wife Andrea, 45, and his two teenage children, have been working to challenge his conviction since the trial.
In a statement, former MP Ms Gilroy outlined the grounds for their challenge, citing weak circumstantial evidence as the major flaw in his case.
Gilroy has already lost two appeals, but a review by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission could result in a new appeal being heard.
Yesterday’s statement added: “The media coverage of the case had from the beginning been unquestioning of the prosecution case.
“No-one seemed interested, or likely to be interested, in what it was which some of the jurors found to be unconvincing about the trial evidence.
“We put out a statement saying the family believed David was not guilty and that we were confident that justice for David would be achieved through the courts and appealing.
“The process of appealing through the High Court and the Supreme Court concerned fairly narrow points of law which could not cast much light on the extensive flaws that we believed existed in the case against David.
“We knew there were significant gaps and unchallenged errors in the trial evidence. How could we look into the key strands of evidence which had influenced a majority of the jurors to bring in a guilty, rather than not guilty or not proven verdict?”
The Gilroy family – wife Andrea, his two teenage children, father Bernard, stepmother Linda and mother Grace – have put their own case together.
They are challenging the Crown over the disclosure of information including CCTV footage from various locations which they say would give answers that would either prove or disprove their case.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission is expected to reach its conclusions about the case in August.
A Crown Office spokesman said: “David Gilroy was sentenced to life imprisonment having been found guilty by a jury after trial. The Crown has a duty of disclosure throughout proceedings, which was fulfilled.”
The Pilley family declined to comment, but in the wake of Gilroy’s conviction they urged him to confess as to the location of their daughter’s body, which police believe to be somewhere in the Argyll Forest.
At the last appeal, Robert Pilley, 73, and wife Sylvia, 72, said of the failure to find their daughter’s body: “It puts us through hell.”