David Gilroy, 49, was found guilty on Thursday of murdering Suzanne Pilley, a bookkeeper, after a high court jury in Edinburgh deliberated for eight hours, weighing up a mass of circumstantial evidence which finally convinced them of his guilt.
Cadaver dog's crucial role in hunt for body Herald Scotland
Friday 16 March 2012
police drafted in a "cadaver dog" to help with the search for Suzanne Pilley's body.
The springer spaniel called Buster was said to have once located a body under 9ft of water and found signs that were of "interest" in the basement area of Gilroy's work at IML, in Thistle Street, Edinburgh.
Constable Simone Thompson, of South Yorkshire Police, said the dog reacted at a number of areas in the garage and an internal staircase. The body was thought to have been hidden in a recess under the stairs.
It also showed interest in the boot of Gilroy's car, despite it reeking of cleaning fluid or air freshener bought by Gilroy the day of the killing.
The High Court was told victim recovery dogs, are trained to detect the smell of blood or the gases given off by a body.
Conviction not the first without a body Herald Scotland
Senior News Reporter
THE Gilroy conviction was the first case in the Lothian and Borders force area to be secured without a body and is rare in Scottish legal history.
In one case in March 2010, a businessman who battered a friend to death with a metal bar was jailed after confessing to the crime during a drunken row with his wife.
Thomas Pryde, 38, killed lorry driver Adam Alexander at the victim's home in Errol, Perthshire, more than 10 years ago and then buried the body in nearby land. Pryde pled guilty to culpable homicide at the High Court in Glasgow even though the body has never been found.
In June 2010 Charles O'Neill and William Lauchlan were jailed after strangling Allison McGarrigle in 1997 before sailing out to waters near their home in Largs, Ayrshire, and throwing over her remains.
O'Neill, 47, and Lauchlan, 33, killed her because she planned to report their abuse of a young boy.
When the 39-year-old was reported missing police did not believe she had been killed. It was only in 2005 that detectives declared the mother-of-three had been murdered despite a body having never been recovered.
The trial of a man accused of murdering his wife is set to begin in April, 14 years after her disappearance.
Arlene Fraser, 33, vanished from her home in Elgin in April 1998 with no trace since then. Nat Fraser, 53, denies that he strangled or murdered her.