A MURDERER who killed his former lover and hid her body, which has never been found, has racked up a legal aid bill of more than £230,000.

David Gilroy, 51, was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of the murder of Suzanne Pilley, 38, from Edinburgh, and disposing of her body.

He put her family through a 17-day trial and has since launched several appeal attempts which have been rejected.

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The Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) have disclosed that a total of £233,033 has been paid for Gilroy's defence in the trial and his subsequent appeals.

The cash was paid in relation to legal aid incurred by his counsel and solicitors and for solicitors' outlays.

John Lamont MSP, the Scottish Conservatives chief whip, said: "The public will be sickened to see a convicted murderer able to extract so much money from the taxpayer.

"The legal aid process was not designed to be abused by people who simply refuse to admit their guilt."