THE former MP stepmother of murderer David Gilroy has spoken out against his conviction.
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, but 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 of 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 it was made.
In a statement released today the former MP 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 but the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission could result in a new appeal being heard.
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.”
In the wake of Gilroy’s conviction the Pilley family urged him to confess 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 Sylvia Pilley, 72, said of the failure to find their daughter’s body : “It puts us through hell.”
Mr and Mrs Pilley declined to comment on the Mrs Gilroy’s statement at their home today.