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Peter Britton TOBIN

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Convicted rapist
Number of victims: 3 +
Date of murders: February 10/August 5, 1991 / September 24, 2006
Date of arrest: October 3, 2006
Date of birth: August 27, 1946
Victims profile: Vicky Hamilton, 15 / Dinah McNicol / Angelika Kluk, 23
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: England/Scotland, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on May 4, 2007
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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 son.

Previous Convictions

Rape of juveniles

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.

Angelika Kluk murder

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 fictitious complaint.

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 evil man".

Vicky Hamilton murder

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 disappearance.

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 murder

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 pending surgery.

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.

Bible John connection

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.

Wikipedia.org

 
 

Tobin guilty of Angelika's murder

Friday, 4 May 2007

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 come across".

 
 

Sex killer Tobin's violent past

Friday, 4 May 2007

BBC Scotland news website

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 tracks.

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 flat.

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 religious organisation.

He arrived at St Patrick's Church in Anderston and took advantage of homeless group Loaves and Fishes.

Finally arrested

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 a hospital.

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

16/11/2007

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 lunchtime.

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

POLICE have begun tearing apart a house in southeast England, brick by brick, after discovering a second body in what is becoming a new "House of Horrors".

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 Hamilton.

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 place.

"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' sandpit

Tobin had lived at Irvine Dr for several years and had built a sandpit for his children.

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 lifted up.

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 1978.

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.

Neighbours stunned

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 discoveries.

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 there.

"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 away now."

House of Horrors relived

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, Heather, 16.

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 more bodies.

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 broken homes.

Three other victims - including West's first wife Rena, and her daughter Charmaine - were found elsewhere.

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 be freed.

 
 

Timeline: Angelika murder case

4 MAY 2007

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.

23 MARCH, 2007

The trial at the High Court in Edinburgh begins.

9 OCTOBER, 2006

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.

7 OCTOBER, 2006

Tobin is formally charged with the murder of Angelika Kluk.

3 OCTOBER, 2006

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.

2 OCTOBER, 2006

Detectives from Strathclyde Police travel to London to interview Peter Tobin.

1 OCTOBER, 2006

The body found inside the church is identified as Angelika Kluk. Strathclyde Police confirm that Peter Tobin has been arrested.

30 SEPTEMBER, 2006

Father Gerry Nugent, parish priest at St Patrick's Church, says he is "utterly shattered" that a body has been found in the church.

29 SEPTEMBER, 2006

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.

29 SEPTEMBER, 2006

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 offender.

28 SEPTEMBER, 2006

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 Tobin.

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.

27 SEPTEMBER, 2006

Angelika's sister Aneta Kluk, 28, appeals for information as fears grow for her safety.

24 SEPTEMBER, 2006

Polish student Angelika Kluk, 23, is last seen in the grounds of St Patrick's Church in the Anderston area of Glasgow.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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