Accusations of murder and deceit as David Gilroy to go on trial over Suzanne Pilley murder

Suzanne Pilley
Suzanne Pilley
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A MAN is set to go on trial in February accused of murdering bookkeeper Suzanne Pilley.

David Gilroy is charged with killing 38-year-old Ms Pilley at her workplace in Thistle Street “or elsewhere” by “unknown” means on May 4 last year.

The 49-year-old is also charged with carrying out an elaborate cover-up of Ms Pilley’s murder, taking 16 different steps to avoid detection.

The list includes allegations that he concealed Ms Pilley’s dead body in the Thistle Street premises of Infrastructure Management Ltd, where Gilroy also worked, then transported it to Argyll in the boot of a car.

Gilroy is also accused of threatening to kill his own wife during a string of alleged attacks at their home in Silverknowes Brae, both before and shortly after Ms Pilley vanished.

As well as brandishing a knife at his wife and hitting her with a frying pan, Gilroy is also accused of attacking two teenagers.

Gilroy made his first appearance in open court at a hearing yesterday before judge Lord Bracadale at the High Court in Glasgow. The judge set a trial date for February 20 at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Ms Pilley, an office worker from the Stenhouse area of the Capital, vanished on her way to work in the city centre and was last seen alive on CCTV.

In the five-page indictment against Gilroy:

n Gilroy is accused of murdering Ms Pilley at her workplace in Thistle Street “or elsewhere” by “unknown” means on May 4 last year.

n Gilroy is accused of assaulting his wife, Andrea Gilroy, at their home on various occasions between January 1, 2009 and May 18 last year. He allegedly threatened his wife with violence, struck her on the head and body with his hand, threatened to kill her, brandished a knife at her, struck her with a frying pan or similar implement, and blocked her from leaving a bathroom.

n Between January 5, 2009 and January 29 last year, Gilroy allegedly made threats to two teenagers. He allegedly threatened them with violence, struck a picture frame containing their photographs against a wall, threw a mug out of a window, placed the children in a “state of fear and alarm” and threatened to punch them.

n On October 9, 2009, Gilroy is accused of conducting himself in a disorderly manner at Crieff Hydro, shouting and committing a breach of the peace.

n Gilroy is also accused of trying to gain “authorised access” to a computer at his home and at Infrastructure Management Ltd on various occasions between January 5, 2009 and October 9 last year.

n On November 9, 2009, Gilroy allegedly assaulted a Scott Stewardson at Whitson Road and Whitson Grove, swearing at him, repeatedly challenging him to a fight, repeatedly threatening to stab him, threatening to kill him, and placed a car key between his fingers and brandished them at Mr Stewardson.

The indictment also sets out a catalogue of actions where he attempted to defeat the ends of justice between May 4 and June 23 last year.

* Gilroy is accused of concealing Ms Pilley’s body within the premises of Infrastructure Management Ltd in Thistle Street, before transporting her corpse to “various locations in Scotland” inside the boot of his car.

* On May 4, Gilroy is accused of leaving the office to go to his Silverknowes house to pick up minutes from a recent meeting after being asked for a copy by a police officer. He is accused of making the trip even though the officer did not require the copy immediately, then failing to tell him about collecting the minutes until May 8.

* Gilroy allegedly requested a key to the basement area of Infrastructure Management Ltd on May 4 from an Emma Speke, telling her that he needed to go to the plant room when prosecutors contend he had “no legitimate reason to do so”.

* Gilroy allegedly told a Desmond French on May 4 that Ms Speke had instructed a courier firm to deliver boxes to the building’s ground floor area when he knew this to be untrue.

* Gilroy allegedly sent an e-mail to a Laura Carberry and Ms Pilley at 1.03pm to request their attendance at a meeting related to the Stirling Centre Project when he knew Ms Pilley was already dead. The aim was to induce Ms Carberry and others to believe Ms Pilley was still alive.

* On May 4, Gilroy allegedly bought a quantity of air fresheners from a Superdrug store in Princes Street.

* On various occasions on May 4, Gilroy is accused of visiting the basement and garage area of Infrastructure Management Ltd when he had “no requirement or necessity to do so”.

* On May 5, Gilroy is accused of going to Lochgilphead High School in Lochgilphead, Argyll, when “there was no requirement” for him to do so after telling colleagues he was inspecting sports pitches there. The pitches had already been inspected between April 29 and May 2. He is also accused of telling a Craig Kerr that he was at the school to check the ducting work at the sports centre.

* Gilroy allegedly switched off his mobile phone on May 5 between 12pm and 3.57pm, and again between 6.54pm and 9.34pm, so that he could not be contacted.

* While at the school in Lochgilphead on May 5, Gilroy allegedly asked an Elspeth Campbell for a quantity of bin bags and was given the bags.

* Gilroy is accused of repeatedly telling police and other persons that his relationship with Ms Pilley ended in December 2009 and he was encouraging her to see other men with the “truth being that [his] relationship with Suzanne Pilley continued and [he] wished said relationship to continue further”.

* Gilroy allegedly failed to travel directly from Lochgilphead to Corstorphine police station on May 5 when asked to do so by a police officer who wanted to speak to him over Ms Pilley’s disappearance.

* Gilroy allegedly went to an area near to Ben Donich, Argyll, on May 5 when he had been asked to come immediately to Corstorphine police station.

* Gilroy is accused of travelling to an area near Glen Croe Forest, Argyll, or elsewhere in Argyll, after telling colleagues he was travelling to Lochgilpead High School.

* On May 6, Gilroy allegedly told two police officers while travelling with them in a police car between Corstorphine police station and St Leonards police station that he had seen Ms Pilley as the vehicle drove along “in the knowledge that said Suzanne Pilley was dead”.

* Gilroy is accused of telling police officers and medical staff that a number of injuries found on his hands had been sustained during gardening when he fell into a thicket, and when he put his hand underneath a car, and while preparing food, when the injuries actually came from murdering Ms Pilley.

* On May 7, at Fettes police HQ, Gilroy is accused of trying to disguise the full extent of his hand injuries by applying “make-up or a similar product” when they were to be examined and photographed by police.

* Gilroy is accused of failing to wash his hands properly when ordered by police officers to remove the make-up at Fettes on May 7.

* Gilroy is accused of telling two police officers at Fettes on May 7 that he returned to Edinburgh from Lochgilphead on May 5 via the A819 and A85 roads to Crianlarich when he allegedly travelled via the A83 road through the Rest and Be Thankful site.

* On May 21, at St Leonards police station, Gilroy allegedly told two officers that he had a barbecue on May 9 at his home when that was not the case.

Gilroy’s QC Jack Davidson entered a not guilty plea to all charges on his behalf. The trial next year is expected to last up to six weeks.