Broadchurch: The Sandbrook Suspects - Ricky Gillespie




Ricky's Background
Ricky is dad to murdered 12 year old Pippa and uncle to missing 19 year old Lisa. His marriage to wife Cate has broken down since the death of their child.
On the night the girls went missing he was with Cate at a friend's wedding. Cate has since accused him of cheating on her with a bridesmaid at the wedding and with Claire Ripley who was their old neighbour.
Claire has secretly been calling Ricky since she moved to Broadchurch, his number was found on her mobile.
Ricky is adamant that Lee is the killer and is angry that Alec messed up the case against him, he travelled to Broadchurch to beat Lee up.
Ricky is angry when he finds out that Alec has been asking questions again about Sandbrook.
Lee has told Alec that Lisa told him that Ricky has tried it on with her and he thinks that he could be the real killer.
Ricky provided Lee and Claire with Rohypnol.
Ricky no longer has an alibi for the whole night when the girls went missing. He now has 2 hours that no one can vouch for.

Ricky Is Lee's Main Suspect
After carrying out his own investigations in a bid to clear his name, Ricky Gillespie emerged as Lee Ashworth's prime suspect. He told Alec that the police didn't look in to the family close enough and says that Lisa had told him that Ricky had made a pass at her when he was driving her home from baby sitting the child.
Lee also accused Ricky of planting the hair that was found on Pippa's pillow and of providing him with Rohypnol.




Ricky's Reluctance
Ricky is initially very reluctant to let Alec start investigating the murder again. He reckons that he is convinced that Lee is the killer and that Alec messed the whole thing up and has allowed a guilty man to walk free.
He follows Alec to a family meal at a restaurant in Sandbrook and is so aggressive and negative towards the detective that once he's back in Broadchurch he begins to ponder whether he's actually got the right man in Lee asking Ellie "Why would a father not want an investigation to restart  in to the death of his own daughter? What if Lee Ashworth didn't do it? What if he's been telling the truth? What if I've been wrong?"



The Missing Two Hours
Ricky and wife Cate have always had an alibi for the night the girls went missing, they were at a friend's wedding and staying over night at a hotel. However when Alec travels back to Sandbrook to let Cate know that Lee is back in the UK, she changes her story and claims that she wasn't with him all night and that he had sneaked off for sex with one of the bridesmaids, not only this but she says that he was also seeing their next door neighbour Claire Ripley too:

Alec: I'm sorry to hear about you and Ricky.
Cate: It was a long time coming.
Alec: Well, going through something like this..
Cate: Oh, we were broken before then. All that cock of the walk, every woman loves me bullshit. Only so much any woman could take. Even over the fence, when he knew I was watching. With Claire. He'd check I could see.
Alec: I'm sorry you never told us.
Cate: Even the moment his daughter was being killed.
Alec: At the wedding? You were at the wedding together.
Cate: He was shagging one of the bridesmaids. Tiffany Evans.
Alec: You always said you were together that night. You never mentioned it.
Cate: Well what did it have to do with you? It makes no difference now anyway.

Pretending to be with South Mercia Police Alec and Ellie track down the woman from the wedding and ask her if she had sex with Ricky at the wedding:

Tiffany: No I didn't, I mean he tried it on, he was after me all night. He even followed me back to my room when I went to change my shoes, because my heels were killing me and he had this little silver hip flask, he kept trying to make me have a drink with him, but I threw him out, it was a bit much, he was there with his wife. The last I saw he was heading back for the car park.
Ellie: And how long was he in your room for?
Tiffany: Five or ten minutes. Didn't see him for the rest of the evening.

Ellie points out that this means that nobody saw Ricky for two hours. And asks "who takes a hip flask to a wedding?"

Ellie: Do you think he was going to drug her?
Hardy: Not had any reports of him trying that sort of thing on anyone.
Ellie: Well Claire said that's what Lee used to do to her. Do you think it's something all four of them used to do?

Later when Ellie questions Ricky at Alec's house, he still insists that he was with Cate all night:
Ellie: The night both girls disappeared you were at a wedding with Cate and you were together all night?
Ricky: Yeah, I had to look after her. She was pissed. A sign of things to come eh?



The Claire Connection
As well as Cate Gillespie's claims that Ricky was having an affair with Claire Ripley, Ellie discovered Ricky's phone number on Claire's mobile phone so they have obviously been in touch with one another since Alec took Claire to live in Broadchurch.
Ricky also mentioned that his daughter Pippa wanted to be a hairdresser when she grew up, Claire is a hairdresser.

Claire's latest story about the night the girls went missing is that Lee drugged her with Rohypnol and she was out cold until 5am when she awoke to find him cleaning. Lee claims that he and Claire had used Rohypnol once and that he was given it by Ricky who used to bring all sorts back from trips to Amsterdam.

In Love With Lisa?
After persuading him to help them solve the case Ellie asks Ricky about Lisa,, She's keen to establish if Lee's claims he came on to the girl have any truth..

Ellie: Tell me about Lisa
Ricky: She was my niece, tricky relationship with her dad, still uses her mum's surname.
Ellie: And she babysat for you quite regularly?
Ricky: Every other week, sometimes she'd stay over, other times I'd take her home.
Ellie: Did she have a boyfriend?
Ricky: No one regular.
Ellie: Did you fancy her Ricky?
Ricky: She was my niece.
Ellie: I had to ask.
Ricky: No. You didn't.

Who's lying? Lee, Ricky or even Lisa herself?




The Bluebells
Whilst Ellie is calling Ricky's phone to establish who the number from Claire's phone belongs to we see that he has a photo of a bluebell wood on the wall of his office.
We already know that someone has anonymously sent Claire a card with a pressed bluebell in it and on a trip to Sandbrook to visit the river where Alec found the body of Pippa Gillespie, he tells Ellie that the woodland next to the river was covered in bluebells at the time of the murder.





  • Read more evidence from the Sandbrook case here.
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