Gilroy should give Suzanne’s family closure (19 April 2012)

A partial justice was done yesterday in the Edinburgh High Court.  Lord Bracadale sentenced David Gilroy to life imprisonment for the murder of Suzanne Pilley.  He won’t get out for a minimum of 18 years.

David Gilroy had a relationship with Suzanne Pilley in which he tried to own her.  She tried to get away from him, to start life anew, in fact was in the beginnings of a new and hopeful relationship, but Gilroy couldn’t let her go.  He phoned and text her and eventually he killed her.

Lothian and Borders Police put together a comprehensive case which seemed enough to prove, without doubt, that Gilroy was guilty of her murder despite the fact that Suzanne’s body has never been recovered and Gilroy steadfastly refuses to acknowledge his own guilt, let alone say where her body is.  Of course, to reveal the location of where Suzanne is means he’s be admitting his guilt and he’s not yet come to terms with that.

Suzanne’s family have been quiet and dignified in the two years since their daughter disappeared and their lives changed for ever.  Yesterday they were able to take partial closure from the fact that the man responsible for the death of their daughter will not be free for at least 18 years and most likely longer.  What would help them even more is if he would simply reveal the location of Suzanne’s body so that it could be recovered and the Gilroy family would be able to lay her to rest.  Let’s hope that in the months to come Gilroy realises his fate and allows the Gilroy family to move on.

Technology played a huge part in the conviction of David Gilroy.  CCTV to be more accurate.  While I’m not sure how much I like the fact that many hours of my everyday life are recorded on CCTV in shops, on buildings, in cafes/restaurants and in a variety of other places, I do appreciate that without CCTV it would be highly unlikely that Gilroy would have been convicted.  This might be a lesson to criminals.  The ordinary person has nothing to fear because they’re doing nothing wrong but someone like Gilroy, who perhaps thought he’d covered all his tracks by cleaning his car and making up stories as to his whereabouts, was caught because he appeared on CCTV in a variety of places which allowed police to track his movements via that and his smartphone, and which highlighted the holes in his story.

Lothian and Borders Police have to be applauded for their dedicated work in bringing David Gilroy to justice and even if he continues to refuse to reveal the location of Suzanne’s body, the knowledge that he will remain in jail for, at least, the better part of the next two decades is some slight relief for the Pilley family.