Murderer fights car auction claiming it can clear his name
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.