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NewsCourt & CrimeConvicted murderer wins right to have case reviewed

Convicted murderer wins right to have case reviewed

THE murderer of an Edinburgh book-keeper has been granted a review which could see his case return to the High Court.

David Gilroy, 51, who is serving a minimum sentence of 18 years for the 2010 murder of 38-year-old Suzanne Pilley – his former lover and colleague – successfully applied for a review of his conviction.

The case will be looked at by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) which could result in the case returning to court.

Suzanne was last seen on CCTV shortly before 9am on May 4, 2010 close to the place in central Edinburgh where she worked as a book-keeper.

She had split with Gilroy, who worked at the same firm, and prosecutors claimed he killed her in the basement and put her body in his car.

The body has still not been recovered and police believe it is buried in the area of Arrochar, Argyll.


David Gilroy Bailed
David Gilroy who won his right to have his case reviewed by the SCCRC


The grounds for Gilroy’s review have not been revealed by the SCCRC but during his appeal in April 2012 his defence argued that police originally interviewed Gilroy as a witness rather than a suspect.

His lawyers claimed that Gilroy was a suspect at this stage and should have been interviewed as such, with a lawyer present. His appeal failed.

A source close to the case said: “An appeal will only be accepted for review if there are new grounds for examination. There is no indication of the likely outcome of the case.”

A spokesman from the SCCRC confirmed Gilroy’s application had been accepted for full review but declined to comment further.

Even though the SCCRC will look at the case, it does not mean Gilroy will get another appeal.

In 2013/14 the SCCRC received 155 applications from convicts for reviews but only 44 were accepted. Of those only four, 9%, were referred back to the High Court for appeal

The SCCRC does not decide whether or not a miscarriage of justice has taken place but does refer cases to the High Court where aspects of the case may need to be looked at again.

Reviews usually take around eight months to complete.


Suzanne Pillie who disappeared in 2010 - her body has never been found
Suzanne Pilley who disappeared in 2010 – her body has never been found


On February 20, 2012, the trial of David Gilroy began at the High Court of Justiciary, sitting in Court 11 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The first witness in the case, Sylvia Pilley said that Gilroy and Suzanne had a “ turbulent on-off relationship” with Gilroy, and that she had previously lived with him.

Gilroy’s wife Andrea declined to give evidence in the case – it took place before section 86 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 came into force.

On March 13, 2012, the jury of eight men and seven women were sent out to consider their verdict. After two and a half days of deliberations, on March 15, 2012 David Gilroy was found guilty by majority verdict of the murder of Suzanne Pilley.

Gilroy, formerly of Silverknowes, Edinburgh, was convicted of the May 2010 murder of Ms Pilley at Edinburgh’s High Court in April 2012 – he was jailed for life.

In June last year the Gilroy family issued a statement ahead of a BBC Crimewatch programme about Ms Pilley’s disappearance stating that appeals were ongoing and they had made an application to the SCCRC.

Mr and Mrs Pilley said that the time of the BBC appeal that they hoped the TV appeal would lead to the discovery of their daughter’s body and lead to closure.

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