Mur­derer fights car auc­tion claim­ing it can clear his name

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS -

A man con­victed of mur­der­ing his lover has chal­lenged po­lice plans to auc­tion off the car which was al­legedly used to dis­pose of her body.

David Gilroy, 52, was jailed for life in 2012 for mur­der­ing his for­mer col­league Suzanne Pul­ley.

Gilroy’s sen­tenc­ing was the first time TV cam­eras were al­lowed in a Scot­tish court but he has con­tin­ued to protest his in­no­cence.

Miss Pil­ley’s body has never been found and there was no DNA or foren­sic ev­i­dence in the car or else­where link­ing Gilroy to the crime.

It has never been defini­tively proven that the 38-year-old book­keeper died at all, but key ev­i­dence at the trial re­lated to the sil­ver Vaux­hall Vec­tra.

The pros­e­cu­tion al­leged Gilroy had made an un- nec­es­sary trip to the West High­lands, by an un­usual route, and dam­age to the car sug­gested he had driven it off the road.

A gap of sev­eral hours be­tween his de­par­ture and ar­rival, along with other cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence, helped con­vince the jury he had de­toured to dis­pose of Miss Pil­ley’s body in the wilder­ness some­where in Ar­gyll.

Gilroy’s ap­peal was re­jected by the Court of Crim­i­nal Ap­peal in Ed­in­burgh in De­cem­ber 2012.

Po­lice Scot­land has writ­ten to Gilroy in Perth Prison to tell him that if he does not wish to col­lect the Vec­tra, it will be dis­posed of by Oc­to­ber 3.

Pro­ceeds from any sale of the car will go to Po­lice Scot­land funds.

But Gilroy has writ­ten to the com­pany cur­rently hold­ing the car – 911 Re­cov­ery – ar­gu­ing Crown Of­fice rules state all ev­i­dence used in the trial must be re­tained safely for the du­ra­tion of his sen­tence.

His fam­ily be­lieves the car could be cru­cial in their on­go­ing bat­tle to prove his in­no­cence.

In a let­ter to the Chief Con­sta­ble of Po­lice Scot­land Philip Gorm­ley, who is on spe­cial leave while fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of bul­ly­ing and mis­con­duct, Gilroy claimed his ap­peals were on­go­ing and he plans a fur­ther ap­pli­ca­tion to the SCCRC.

In a let­ter to the Lord Ad­vo­cate, Gilroy’s step­mother, for­mer MP Linda Gilroy, states: “We are shocked the Crown are not pre­pared to keep ev­i­dence which was cen­tral to their case that David cov­ered up the mur­der he was sup­posed to have com­mit­ted.

“To dis­pose of the ev­i­dence at this stage could deny David vi­tal op­portu- Par­lia­ment’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment com­mit­tee had heard last week from a se­nior of­fi­cial on the coun­cil that a search in the aftermath of the Gren­fell fire tragedy had found com­bustible cladding on some pri­vate flats – but the coun­cil had not in­formed the own­ers of the build­ings or those liv­ing in them.

Raymond Bar­low, the as­sis­tant head of plan­ning and build­ing stan­dards at the coun­cil, said at the time the author­ity had been wait­ing to hear from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment on the is­sue.

Coun­cil leader Susan Aitken apol­o­gised “un­re­servedly” for any alarm caused to res­i­dents.

Speak­ing ear­lier this week she said: “It is not our ex­pec­ta­tion at this point that there is any im­me­di­ate dan­ger or con­cern for res­i­dents.”

Bill Dodds, head of build­ing stan­dards at the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment, said they were seek­ing “clar­ity” over the ex­tent to which the cladding had been used.

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