Family of man convicted of murdering Suzanne Pilley 10 years ago call on Scotland's police chief to give them access to CCTV in case

The family of a man convicted of murdering Edinburgh woman Suzanne Pilley ten years ago have written to Scotland’s police chief asking for access to CCTV evidence used in the case.

Ms Pilley was last seen on her way to work as a bookkeeper at a Thistle Street office in the Capital, after leaving her Whitson Road home on May 4th 2010.

The 38-year-old’s former lover, colleague David Gilroy, was convicted of her murder in 2012 and was ordered to serve minimum 18 years behind bars.

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Family of Suzanne Pilley issue emotional plea to help find body ten years after ...
David Gilroy was convicted of murdering Suzanne Pilley.
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It is believed she was murdered in the basement of Infrastructure Managers Ltd in Edinburgh and her body buried in a forest in Argyll.

The military, police, mountain rescuers and other experts scoured the huge Argyll Forest Park – which is not scheduled to be felled for decades – in an attempt to find her, without success.

On Monday this week, her family issued a fresh plea for help to find her body as they marked the 10th anniversary of her disappearance.

Ms Pilley’s sister, Gail Fairgrieve, said loved ones have been left in “limbo” since she went missing in Edinburgh city centre, unable to “say a proper goodbye” until her body is found. Her father also passed away knowing his daughter had not been found.

The search in Argyll.

Gilroy, now 57, maintains his innocence to this day and will not reveal where Ms Pilley’s body was hidden.

But his father, Benny, and his stepmother Linda, have today said that there will never be closure for the Pilley family or the Gilroy family, based on such a narrow approach taken by police to the events of May 4th and 5th ten years ago.

In a letter dated Tuesday, May 5th, they call on Police Scotland’s Chief Constable, Iain Livingstone, to explain why Police Scotland are not willingly allowing their expert reasonable access to the CCTV evidence used in the case.

In particular, they want their expert to be able to check footage in and around St Andrew Square, including the bus station area, in the minutes before a camera showed David Gilroy meeting a witness on the second floor of the Thistle Street office.

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And they say they want a new officer to lead their ongoing review, someone other than the officer who in 2010 led the collecting and analysis of the CCTV evidence during the original inquiry.

In a statement released today, the Gilroys said: “We would also like to say that if we thought for one minute that David committed such a heinous crime, we would certainly be asking him to put the Pilleys’ minds at rest.

“Since the 2012 trial, as every year has gone by, it has become clearer and clearer to us that the evidence given at the trial shows that the Crown theory was well-nigh impossible.

“For over two years now we have been trying to establish reasonable access to the original CCTV footage for our expert who has been considering the detail that others have not taken the time to look at properly.

“If there was no such crime it follows that there was no cover-up and it will never be possible for a body to be found in Argyll. At this stage, ten years on from the events, we call on the Chief Constable to ensure that fresh eyes, from our expert and a new lead on Police Scotland’s ongoing review team, give everyone a chance to bring this sad story to a close.”

In the letter, the family wrote: "How can the original officer have a truly open mind about this even if he wanted to?

"If he produced flawed evidence, he is hardly going to have the motive to expose that to public scrutiny.

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"The flaws we wish our expert to check against the original footage are most obvious in relation to what was taken from cameras in and around St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.

"Although we do also believe some further work on the Argyll footage could show where the police report about that was misleading.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "We can confirm we have received a letter, sent to the Chief Constable, and it will be replied to in due course."

Fresh public appeal

To mark the tenth anniversary of her death this week, Police Scotland said they remained committed to finding answers for Ms Pilley’s family and asked for anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Houston, from Police Scotland's Specialist Crime Division, has said he is “entirely confident that justice was served” in terms of Ms Pilley’s murder.

He added: “However, it is deeply regretful that, as of now, we have been unable to recover her body and bring a sense of closure to her family.

"We will continue to revisit this investigation and conduct fresh search activity in the Argyll Forest area, whenever we receive new information from the public. So, with that in mind, I'd urge anyone who believes they have any relevant information, but who hasn't yet spoken with police, to contact us immediately."

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Speaking on Monday, Ms Pilley’s sister said her family accepts that she was murdered and believes the person responsible is in prison, but feel they can not say a proper goodbye until her body is found.

Anyone who may have information is asked to contact Police Scotland by calling 101, or can contact charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.