Peter Britton Tobin
(born 27 August 1946) is a convicted Scottish serial
killer and sex offender now serving a sentence of life
imprisonment for three murders.
Prior to his first murder conviction,
Tobin served ten years in prison for a double rape
committed in 1993, following which he was released in
2004. In 2007, he was sentenced to life with a minimum
of 21 years for the rape and murder of Angelika Kluk in
Glasgow in 2006. Skeletal remains of two further young
women who went missing in 1991 were subsequently found
at his former home in Margate. Tobin was convicted of
the murder of Vicky Hamilton in December 2008, when his
minimum sentence was increased to 30 years, and of the
murder of Dinah McNicol in December 2009.
Early and personal life
Tobin was born in Johnstone,
Renfrewshire, the youngest of seven children. He was a
difficult child and in 1953, aged seven, he was sent to
an approved school. He later spent time in a young
offender institution, and in 1970 was convicted and
served jail terms in England for burglary and forgery.
In 1969, Tobin moved to Brighton,
Sussex, with his 17-year old girlfriend, Margaret L. R.
Mountney, whom he married in August that year. They
split after a year and she divorced him in 1971.
In 1973 in Brighton, he married a
local nurse, 30-year-old Sylvia J. A. Jefferies. They
had a son and daughter, the latter of whom died soon
after birth. This second, violent, marriage lasted until
1976, when she left with their son.
Tobin then had a relationship with
Cathy D. Wilson, who gave birth to a son in December
1987. Tobin married her in Brighton in 1989, when she
was 17. In 1990, they moved to Bathgate, West Lothian.
Wilson left Tobin in 1990 and moved back to Portsmouth,
Hampshire, where she had grown up. All three later gave
similar accounts of falling for a charming well dressed
Tobin who turned violent and sadistic during their
marriages. In May 1991, Tobin moved to Margate, Kent,
and in 1993, to Havant, Hampshire to be near his younger
On 4 August 1993, Tobin attacked two 14-year
old girls babysitting his son at his flat in Havant,
Hampshire. After holding them at knifepoint and forcing
them to drink strong cider and vodka, he sexually
assaulted and raped them. To avoid arrest, Tobin went on
the run and hid in a religious retreat in Warwickshire
under a false name, but he was recognised and arrested
after appearing on the BBC Crimewatch programme.
On 18 May 1994, at Winchester Crown Court,
Tobin pleaded guilty, and received a 14 year prison
sentence. He was released in 2004, and moved to Paisley,
Renfrewshire. In May 2007 he received a further 30-month
sentence for breaching the terms of the Violent and Sex
Offender Register from this case.
In September 2006, Peter Tobin was
working as a church handyman at St. Patrick's Roman
Catholic Church, Anderston, Glasgow. He had assumed the
name "Pat McLaughlin" to avoid detection, as he was
still on the Violent and Sex Offender Register, but not
compliant with it, following his 1994 convictions for
rape and assault.
Angelika Kluk was a 23-year-old
student from Skoczow, near Krakow in Poland. She was
staying at the chapel house of St Patrick's Church,
where she worked as a cleaner to help finance her
Scandinavian Studies course at Gdańsk University.
She was last seen alive in the
company of Peter Tobin on 24 September 2006, and is
thought to have been attacked by him in the garage
attached to St Patrick's chapel house. She was beaten,
raped, and stabbed to death, then her body was concealed
in an underground chamber beneath the floor near the
confessional in the church.
Forensic evidence suggested that she
was still alive when she was placed under the
floorboards. Police found her body on 29 September, and
Tobin was arrested in London shortly afterwards. He had
been admitted to hospital under a false name, and with a
The six-week trial resulted from the
evidence gathered under the supervision of Detective
Superintendent David Remis of Strathclyde Police and
took place at the High Court of Justiciary, Edinburgh,
between 23 March and 4 May 2007.
The trial judge was Lord Menzies, the
prosecution was led by Advocate Depute Dorothy Bain, and
the defence by Donald Findlay QC. Tobin denied raping
and murdering Ms Kluk and claimed she had consented to
have sex with him.
Tobin was found guilty of raping and
murdering Angelika Kluk and was sentenced to life
imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 21 years. In
sentencing Tobin, Judge Lord Menzies described him as "an
In June 2007, Tobin's former home in
Bathgate, West Lothian, was searched by police in
connection with the disappearance of a 15-year old girl,
Vicky Hamilton, who was last seen on 10 February 1991 as
she waited for a bus home to Redding, near Falkirk. She
had been visiting her older sister, Sharon, in
Livingston, West Lothian and was waiting to change buses
in Bathgate. The last sighting of her was as she was
eating chips on a bench in the town centre. Tobin is
believed to have left the town a few days after her
On 21 July 2007, Lothian and Borders
Police released a statement that they had "arrested,
cautioned and charged a male in connection with the
matter", but did not immediately confirm the identity of
the man arrested. The investigation later led to a
forensic search of a house in Southsea, Hampshire in
early October 2007, where Tobin is believed to have
lived shortly after leaving Bathgate.
On 14 November 2007, Lothian and
Borders Police confirmed that human remains found in the
back garden of 50 Irvine Drive, a house in Margate, Kent,
once occupied by Tobin were those of Vicky Hamilton.
After a month-long trial, Tobin was
convicted of Hamilton's murder on 2 December 2008 at the
High Court in Dundee.
Tobin was again defended by Donald
Findlay QC and the prosecution was led by the Solicitor
General for Scotland, Frank Mulholland QC. The
prosecution case went beyond the circumstance of Tobin
having lived at the two houses in Bathgate and Margate
in 1991, and consisted of eyewitness testimony of
suspicious behaviour by Tobin at the Bathgate house,
evidence to destroy his alibi, and forensic evidence of
DNA and fingerprints left on a dagger found in the
Bathgate house, on Hamilton's purse and on the sheeting
in which her body was wrapped.
When sentencing Tobin to life
imprisonment, the judge, Lord Emslie, said:
"You stand convicted of the truly
evil abduction and murder of a vulnerable young girl
in 1991 and thereafter of attempting to defeat the
ends of justice in various ways over an extended
period... Yet again you have shown yourself to be
unfit to live in a decent society. It is hard for me
to convey the loathing and revulsion that ordinary
people will feel for what you have done... I fix the
minimum period which you must spend in custody at 30
years. Had it been open to me I would have made that
period run consecutive to the 21 year custodial period
that you are already serving."
On 11 December 2008, Tobin gave
formal notice to court officials that he intended to
challenge the guilty verdict and overturn the prison
sentence imposed on him. Tobin's defence team was not
required to describe the grounds for this appeal until a
later date in the appeals process. Tobin did not proceed
with his appeal, and it was dropped in March 2009.
Dinah McNicol from Tillingham, Essex,
was last seen alive on 5 August 1991. She was
hitchhiking home with a male companion from a music
festival at Liphook, Hampshire. He was dropped off at
Junction 8 of the M25 near Reigate, and she stayed in
the car with the driver. She was never seen again. After
her disappearance, regular withdrawals of £250 were made
from her building society account at cash points in the
UK south coast counties of Hampshire and Sussex.
On 16 November 2007, a second body
was found at 50 Irvine Drive in Margate. This was later
confirmed by police to be that of Dinah McNicol.
On 1 September 2008, the Crown
Prosecution Service served a summons on Tobin's
solicitors, formally accusing him of McNicol's murder,
and this trial began in June 2009. The trial was
postponed and the jury discharged in July 2009, the
judge ruling that Tobin was not fit to stand trial
The case resumed on 14 December 2009
at Chelmsford Crown Court. On 16 December 2009, after
the defence had offered no evidence, a jury found Tobin
guilty of McNicol's murder after deliberating for less
than fifteen minutes and Tobin subsequently received his
third life sentence, with a recommendation by the judge
that his life sentence should mean life. Police are now
reopening 'Operation Anagram', to trace Tobin's past
movements and his possible involvement in a further 13
unsolved murders which includes the three Bible John
victims. Tobin is reported to have claimed 48 victims in
boasts made in prison.
The conviction of Tobin has led to speculation that
he is Bible John. There are similarities between photographs of Tobin
from that era and the photofit artist's impression of Bible John, and
Tobin had moved from Glasgow in 1969, the same year as the killings
officially ended. It is alleged that Tobin is driven to violence by the
menstrual cycle, something which has long been suspected as the motive
behind the Bible John murders. Additionally, Tobin was a Roman Catholic
with strong religious views.
Police have not commented upon any similarities, but
said that any surviving forensic evidence will be rechecked. Although
DNA had been used to rule out a previous suspect, detectives believe a
DNA link to Tobin is unlikely due to a deterioration of the samples
through poor storage.
Tobin guilty of Angelika's murder
Friday, 4 May
Convicted sex offender Peter Tobin has been found
guilty of raping and murdering Polish student Angelika Kluk.
The 60-year-old church handyman attacked Ms Kluk last
September at St Patrick's Church, Anderston, Glasgow.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Tobin concealed
the 23-year-old's body in the church and then absconded to London,
sparking a nationwide search.
Judge Lord Menzies said that Tobin should serve a
minimum of 21 years. He described him as "an evil man".
As Tobin was led from the court, he attacked and
threw a press photographer to the ground before police intervened to
assist Reliance prison officers.
Lord Menzies told the killer: "In the course of my
time in the law I have seen many bad men and I have heard evidence about
many terrible crimes which have been committed but I have heard no case
more tragic, more terrible than this one.
"The advocate-depute describes what you did to
Angelika Kluk as an atrocity and that word aptly describes what you did
to this young woman.
"Any case of rape is serious. Any case of murder is
serious. But what you did to Angelika Kluk was inhuman."
Ms Kluk, who had worked as a cleaner at the church to
fund her studies, suffered severe head injuries and multiple stab wounds
before her bound and gagged body was dumped beneath the floor of St
Patrick's Roman Catholic Church.
The jury of eight women and seven men took just under
four hours to convict loner Tobin, who had used the false name Patrick
McLaughlin during his time as an odd job man at the church.
During the six-week trial, Tobin had denied raping
and murdering the young woman and claimed that she had consented to
having sex with him.
His defence counsel, Donald Findlay QC, pointed to Ms
Kluk's relationship with former parish priest Father Gerry Nugent and
married chauffeur Martin MacAskill.
Mr Findlay accused Fr Nugent and witness Matthew
Spark-Egan of being involved in the young woman's death.
It has emerged that Fr Nugent faces contempt
proceedings for contradictory and evasive answers he gave to Mr Findlay.
However, advocate depute Dorothy Bain, prosecuting,
told jurors there was a "powerful, compelling and overwhelming case
against Peter Tobin".
Miss Kluk's sister Aneta shouted 'thank you' to the
jurors after they delivered their verdict.
In a statement released through Strathclyde Police,
she said: "My father Wladyslaw and I are relieved that the man
responsible for Angelika's death is now likely to spend the rest of his
days behind bars.
"We would both like to thank all of the Scottish
public for their support during this horrific time."
Det Supt David Swindle, who led the murder inquiry,
praised Ms Kluk's family for their handling of the ordeal.
He said: "I sincerely hope that they can now start to
rebuild their lives and feel that justice has been done."
Mr Swindle also paid tribute to police and forensics
officers involved in the case.
He acknowledged that there were "many questions
regarding Peter Tobin's background" and his previous convictions.
However, he said he could not comment on those now
due to "legal restraints".
Tobin attacked two 14-year-old girls in Havant,
Hampshire, in 1993. He raped one of the children and sexually assaulted
the other and was released in 2004.
At his trial at Winchester Crown Court, the judge
described it as "an appalling incident, I think the worst I have ever
Sex killer Tobin's violent past
Friday, 4 May 2007
BBC Scotland news
He was a registered sex offender
who had been wanted by police for a year.
Yet despite having a conviction for a horrific attack
on two 14-year-old girls, Peter Tobin was able to avoid detection until
he was arrested for the rape and murder of Angelika Kluk.
The church handyman was sentenced to 14 years in
prison at Winchester Crown Court in Hampshire in 1994 for the assault.
After his release in December 2004, he moved to
Paisley, East Renfrewshire but within 10 months the authorities had lost
track of him.
The case has once again raised questions over the
early release and monitoring of sex offenders.
Tobin, who is originally from Scotland, has a
criminal record which appears to date back to 1965.
It has been reported that at the age of seven he was
sent to a reform school.
He then spent time in a young offenders' institution
and served jail terms for burglary, forgery and conspiracy.
Forced at knifepoint
In 1993, Tobin attacked the two 14-year-olds in his
flat in Havant, Hampshire.
The court heard how he lured the girls to his home,
held them captive at knifepoint and forced them to take sedatives.
He raped one of them while she was partially
conscious and indecently assaulted the other.
Tobin fled to Coventry where he sought refuge among
an evangelical Christian community using a false name to cover his
Just days after he left, members of the Jesus
Fellowship Church saw his face on the BBC's Crimewatch programme and
alerted the police. He was arrested shortly afterwards.
Unlike the Angelika Kluk case, Tobin pleaded guilty
to the attack.
The judge described it as "an appalling incident, I
think the worst I have ever come across".
Anthony Davies, prosecuting, told the court: "Tobin
treated the girls as cruelly as a cat would treat a mouse."
After his release, Tobin returned to his native
Scotland, to a home in Paisley.
It is believed he then attacked another girl in the
In October 2005 a warrant was issued for his arrest
after he failed to notify the police that he had changed his address but
they failed to trace him.
In May 2006, Tobin was again seeking refuge through a
He arrived at St Patrick's Church in Anderston and
took advantage of homeless group Loaves and Fishes.
Exploiting the "open doors policy", he worked as an
odd job man under the false name of Pat McLaughlin.
Two days after murdering Ms Kluk, Strathclyde Police
interviewed Tobin about her disappearance.
However, despite the outstanding warrant and a
picture which had been widely circulated around the country's forces,
they failed to make the connection.
Tobin fled to London where he was finally arrested in
On a Polish community message board she was using to
search for her sister, Ms Kluk's sister Aneta described how she felt
hearing that Tobin was in the frame for the killing.
"He's a psychopath, not a person," she said. "How
could the police lose track of him in the electronic age?"
Peter Tobin on murder charge
The family of Vicky Hamilton has described their
"long road" as nearly at an end after a man was charged with her murder.
Michael Hamilton, the father of
the 15-year-old who went missing in 1991, walked in front of the van
carrying Peter Tobin as it drew up to Linlithgow Sheriff Court.
Forensics teams, who confirmed that
they had found Vicky's remains, continued to search 61-year-old Tobin's
former home in Margate, Kent, for the remains of another missing
teenager, Dinah McNicol.
Tobin was formally charged with
Vicky's murder when he appeared in private at the West Lothian court at
A statement read before the hearing by
Vicky's uncle, Eric Hamilton, said of the girl's father: "He is happy
that the long road is nearly at an end now. All we are wanting to do is
to have peace, and to get on with putting Vicky where she belongs."
A spokesman for the Crown Office said:
"Peter Britton Tobin, aged 61, today appeared in private, on petition,
at Linlithgow Sheriff Court. He has been charged with the murder of
Vicky Hamilton. He made no plea or declaration and he remains in custody.
The accused is expected to appear again next week."
Tobin arrived at the court in a prison
van at around 10.30am. Traffic was stopped as Mr Hamilton, accompanied
by a police officer, walked slowly in front of the vehicle.
There were emotional scenes and
shouting from members of the public as Tobin was taken inside for the
hearing. Visibly shaken, Mr Hamilton was comforted by two women who took
his arms and led him away.
Vicky went missing in Bathgate, West
Lothian, near to where Tobin was living at that time. Her disappearance
sparked one of Scotland's biggest-ever missing persons inquiries. Her
mother, Janette, died in 1993 without knowing her daughter's fate.
Peter Tobin's house of horrors
may hold 18 bodies
November 18, 2007
The remains of a young woman
- expected to be confirmed as missing 18-year-old
Dinah McNicol - were found yesterday at the
terrace on 50 Irvine Dr, Margate, in Kent.
The discovery came the day
after Peter Britton Tobin, 61, appeared in court
charged with the murder of 15-year-old Vicky
Her body was found on Monday,
buried under a sandpit in the back garden.
"There is every possibility
that other human remains will be found," a
police officer said.
Tobin, a former handyman, is
feared responsible for the deaths of at least 18
women, which would eclipse the murderous record
of Fred and Rosemary West's 12 victims.
Ms McNicol vanished in 1991
after hitchhiking home from a music festival.
Her father, Ian McNicol,
fought back tears as he revealed that police
believed they had found his missing daughter.
"I will be absolutely elated
if they have," he said. "It will mean we will be
able to grieve as a family.
"It has been long wait. I
always said I wanted to know what happened to my
daughter before I died and hopefully I will now.
"I don't know how the police
ended up going to that house, in the first
"It's a fantastic bit of
police work, if they have found her.
"It's the worst thing (not
knowing what happened) I've ever had, the not
knowing - because I've had it for years."
Police began searching the
small home after the arrest of pensioner Peter
Tobin, following discovery of a knife hidden in
the roof of his former home in Edinburgh.
The knife had Ms Hamilton's
DNA on it. Police expected to find Ms McNicol's
body, but instead found Ms Hamilton's.
Now police suspect Tobin -
serving life for raping and killing Polish
student Angelika Kluk, 23, in Glasgow last year
- could be behind the murder of at least 17
other young women.
Body hidden in kids'
Tobin had lived at Irvine Dr
for several years and had built a sandpit for
It was in this deep pit that
forensic pathologists and crime scene detectives
found the bodies.
Digging on their knees and
searching with fingertips, police found personal
items belonging to the girls.
Yesterday the patio of the
three-bedroom home was lifted up, the walls torn
down to expose cavities and floorboards also
Ground-penetrating radar was
used on the concrete slab floor and holes
drilled to test abnormalities in sub-flooring.
Irvine Dr is one of many
homes the Scotsman had lived in and police vowed
to search every house he had lived in since
Tobin's former wives have
told UK media their lurid stories of torture and
abuse by the former odd-jobs man.
His first wife, Margaret
Mackintosh, said she was distressed by the
discovery of a second body.
"I don't know where this is
all going to end," she said.
Before the murder of Miss
Kluk, Tobin had served 14 years for a sex attack
on two 14-year-old girls.
Stunned neighbours in Margate
yesterday spoke of their shock at the
Patricia Owen, 48, said: "Oh
my God, this is awful. I have been praying every
night this week that no-one else would be found
"I just can't believe they
have found another body there.
"It's horrifying to think
what happened in that house, really terrifying.
"Who knows how many bodies
the police will find there?"
Bethany Jenkins, 28, said: "It's
incredible to think all this is happening, so
close to my home.
"I've got two young children.
This has chilled me to the bone.
"I feel sick with it all.
It's worse than a horror film. I want to move
House of Horrors
For Britons, the events at 50
Irvine Dr have evoked memories of the Gloucester
"House of Horrors", where serial killers Fred
and Rosemary West buried nine victims.
When police started digging
at the Wests' Cromwell St home in 1994, they
were looking for the couple's missing daughter,
But they stumbled on another
body and, when Fred West realised that police
would not leave until they had ripped the
property apart, he confessed that there were
In the next few days,
detectives discovered nine young women's bodies
under the patio and in the cellar.
They had been raped and
tortured by the couple, who targeted girls from
Three other victims - including West's first
wife Rena, and her daughter Charmaine - were
West suicided in Winson Green
prison, Birmingham, in 1995 as he awaited trial
accused of 12 murders.
His wife was convicted of 10
murders. She has since been told she will never
Timeline: Angelika murder case
A jury finds Peter Tobin guilty of
raping and murdering Angelika Kluk. The eight women and
seven men took just under four hours to convict him at
the High Court in Edinburgh after a six-week trial.
The trial at the High Court in
Tobin appears in court charged with
Angelika's murder. He faces one charge of murder and two
charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Tobin is formally charged with the
murder of Angelika Kluk.
Due to a medical condition, Peter
Tobin is detained in a hospital in London and it is
unclear when he will be fit to travel to Scotland.
Detectives from Strathclyde Police
travel to London to interview Peter Tobin.
The body found inside the church is
identified as Angelika Kluk. Strathclyde Police confirm
that Peter Tobin has been arrested.
Father Gerry Nugent, parish priest at
St Patrick's Church, says he is "utterly shattered" that
a body has been found in the church.
Police discover a body concealed
within the church where Angelika was last seen. Officers
say they have yet to identify the body and a post-mortem
examination is expected to establish the cause of death.
Police reveal that the man previously
thought to be Patrick McLaughlin is 60-year-old Peter
Tobin. They also confirm that he is a registered sex
Police say an appeal for information
generates a good response from members of the public.
Officers still want to speak to the church's odd job man
Pat McLaughlin, who is later confirmed as being Peter
On the same day, detectives release a
picture of the man known as Pat McLaughlin who is
thought to be the last person to see Angelika. The
Polish student is still classified as missing.
Angelika's sister Aneta Kluk, 28,
appeals for information as fears grow for her safety.
Polish student Angelika Kluk, 23, is
last seen in the grounds of St Patrick's Church in the
Anderston area of Glasgow.