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The Tobin / Kluk Murder Trial 2007-05-05

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Glasgow, Intolerance, Scotland.
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Summary of the trial’s main evidence, all the key points, and the closing speeches:

Witnesses testify

The jury heard from a couple who reported hearing a scream on the day the Polish student was last seen alive.

Ms. Leigh Brown, 47, told The Prosecuting Advocate Depute Ms.Dorothy Bain that she heard a scream on Sunday, 2006-09-24 through the open windows of their high-rise home overlooking St.Patrick’s Church in William Street, Glasgow, it was a loud female scream and sounded like someone was being grabbed.

‘It was loud enough to get my attention — to get me right up off the couch — and go to the window,’ she said.

‘I can still hear that horrible noise.’

Her husband Andrew Brown, 46, said he also heard the scream at about 1400 BST.

Pathological Evidence

Consultant Pathologist Ms. Julie Mcadam, 35, told the court that although she was called to the church on the night of 2008-09-29, it was the following evening that she began to examine the bound, gagged and heavily blood-stained cadaver.

The Consultant Pathologist said she had tried to work out from the injuries what had happened — beginning with blows to the back and side of Angelika’s head.

A finger was broken and hands bruised as she instinctively put them up to her head.

‘If she were not unconscious she would have been stunned,’ The Consultant Pathologist said.

‘Possibly this would have given her assailant time to bind her and gag her without too much of a struggle.’

Angelika was then attacked with a knife, The Consultant Pathologist said.

‘If unconscious she has been able to regain consciousness, or been conscious enough to try to ward off the blows with the knife and that has resulted in the defence injuries.’

She said there was a ‘very strong possibility’ that there had been a sexual motive to the attack.

The Consultant Pathologist said she could not tell how long the attack had lasted or when it happened but said the student did not die instantly.

The Prosecuting Advocate Depute asked The Consultant Pathologist if she thought Ms Kluk was alive beneath the floor boards.

The Consultant Pathologist replied:

‘If deposition followed immediately after the attack, I couldn’t rule that out as a possibility.

‘As she lost blood she would have lost consciousness so she would have been, at least, unconscious.’

When pressed by Defence QC Donald Findlay, The Consultant Pathologist said:

‘From a pathologist’s point of view, I wouldn’t be able to say.
‘But I would say she was probably dead — if not, dying.’

She said her opinion was based on signs that, once down the hole, Ms Kluk had not been able to move.

‘The body has hit the bottom and collapsed, so, probably, she has not been able to move after that.’

The court was closed to the public as the jury were shown photographs taken at the post-mortem examination. Ten of the stab wounds were close together in the middle of Ms Kluk’s chest. The Consultant Pathologist said they were probably inflicted in quick succession when she might not be in a position to move.

‘The area where the injuries were found would tend to suggest to a pathologist that there had been some sexual motive to this,’ she added.

The trial heard that the force used had cut through rib cartilage, damaged the breast bone and caused both lungs to collapse. The lining round her heart had been nicked but the heart was undamaged.

Questioned by Prosecuting Advocate Depute, The Consultant Pathologist said the cause of death was

‘stab wounds to the chest and head injuries and occlusion of the mouth by gagging’.

She said there was no sign of ‘rigor mortis’, and:

‘She had 16 stab wounds to her chest.
‘The fact that there was no “rigor” — this means she had definitely been dead over 36 hours.
‘However, given the condition she was in and given other findings of decomposition I would estimate she had been dead for at least several days.’

The Consultant Pathologist told The Prosecuting Advocate Depute that her findings were in keeping with her being dead six days earlier — on Sunday, 2006-09-24 at about 1800 BST.

Detectives were sent to look for a weapon with ‘angles’ after pathologists found distinctive wounds during a post mortem.

Crime Scene Evidence

Crime Scene Expert PC David Thurley, 49, said four table legs were found around the outside of the church. One of the blood-stained table legs was shown to the court; it was found at the church, propped up against an outside wall near the vestry window.

The Crime Scene Expert said that small pieces of protruding wood on the legs matched a piece found in a blood-stained and paint-splattered plastic sheet which was under the church floor with Ms Kluk.

A computer generated video was shown to the jury to illustrate how Ms Kluk could have been dropped down below the church floor. It showed legs dangling through the floor, then a body slumping onto the ground beneath — ending with legs buckled under the body and the bound hands falling over to the right.

The Crime Scene Expert said he thought the plastic had been used as ‘a funnel.’ He said:

‘There was no evidence to suggest she came from anywhere else but down the hole.’

The Crime Scene Expert said police also believed it was likely Angelika had been attacked in a garage which was part of the church complex even though no trace of blood could be found along the likely route between garage and the hole in the floor, by the priest’s confessional.

English Hospital Evidence

Consultant Neurologist Mr.Nick Losseff MD, 43, described hospital tests on Mr Tobin. He said that he handed the man over to police because he thought his symptoms were ‘fictitious’ and said Mr Tobin made ‘very poor eye contact’ — which was unusual for a patient.

Tests failed to reveal any cause for the chest pains and weakness down the left side of his body, which Mr Tobin claimed to be suffering.

The Consultant Neurologist added:

‘I formed an opinion … including the fact that the patient had been admitted under a fictitious identity that the medical complaint was fictitious as well.’

The court heard that police in Scotland contacted The Metropolitan Police to say that they were looking for Mr Tobin after Ms Kluk was reported missing.

Arresting Officer, PC Alan Murray, 37, said he was sent to a ward in ‘The National Neurology and Neurosurgery Hospital’ in Queen Square, London, on 2006-09-30 — the day Ms Kluk’s body was removed from the church.

A patient, who had told doctors he was a pipe fitter called James Kelly, was taken to a side room and The Arresting Officer went to speak to him there.

Questioned by Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC, The Arresting Officer told the court how he had first taken a look at Mr Tobin.

‘I had nurse’s stuff on as there were no civilian jackets I could put on.’

The sombre proceedings were lightened by laughter as the policeman added:

‘Just the top half.’

The trial heard that The Arresting Officer – – in police uniform — then went back to Mr Tobin who said:

‘I knew you were police. I am relieved you are here.’

When the policeman asked:

‘Are you …’ the accused interrupted and said: ‘Peter Tobin, you have been looking for me.’

When he was cautioned by the The Arresting Officer, he replied:

‘Kent Police and Met Police are looking for me for murder. I am surrendering myself to you PC 227EK by name of Alan.’

The Sheriff Testifies

A sheriff from Aberdeen befriended Angelika Kluk during visits to St.Patrick’s. Sheriff Kieran Mclernan, 65, told the court that he had introduced Ms Kluk to golf and taken her to a driving range on the weekend she was killed.

The Sheriff, said he had hugged the Polish student and given her a present on the night before she was murdered.

The Sheriff said he met Ms Kluk after he started attending St Patrick’s Church in Glasgow, with his wife and found the Polish student to be ‘very lively and bright.’

He described how he and Ms Kluk had travelled to Bishopbriggs in the sheriff’s car to visit a driving range shortly before she disappeared.

When they returned to St.Patrick’s, Ms Kluk gave The Sheriff her e-mail address on a yellow post-it note.

The Sheriff said:

‘Then it was: “I’m off”. So at that point she gave me a hug, a short hug.’

The Sheriff said he had recently returned from a trip to Canada and gave Ms. Kluk a “dream catcher” he had bought as a souvenir, adding:

‘She was touched by the story, I think; keep the bad dreams away and only allow the good dreams to come in.’

The jury was shown a CCTV video recording of the pair spending 45 minutes outside St.Patrick’s — with The Sheriff’s Rover arriving at 2047 BST on Saturday 2006-09-23. The court heard that The Sheriff later told police officers:

‘We spoke for a minute or two then I left.’

But the video appeared to show them together for 45 minutes, partly in the street and partly in The Sheriff’s car, before a figure headed back into the driveway, and the car drove away.

The Sheriff admitted he had given information to the police that was ‘obviously incorrect’ and said that at that stage he had no idea he had spent so long in her company.

But he said that when he spoke to police on 2006-09-27 the investigation was still a missing person inquiry and the important fact was that he had taken Angelika back to St.Patrick’s and delivered her to the garage. Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC asked:

‘You — as a lawyer, as a professional judge — may not have thought it relevant to tell the police precisely where she was the last time you saw her?’

The Sheriff responded:

‘No, that is really quite an improper way to put it. You are misleading the jury.

‘If I had been asked by police where did I last see her I would have thought about that and the very precise detail would have been the back of her disappearing in.’

After The Sheriff finished his evidence, the court was told that Mr.Tobin’s prints were found on items dumped with Angelika’s body.

Forensic Evidence

Fingerprint Expert Ms. Catherine Boyle said the impressions from fingers and palms were found on plastic sheeting and on a black plastic bag.

The bag and sheeting were discovered on top of the bound, gagged and blood-stained student.

The Fingerprint Expert said:

‘It certainly shows he has touched the sheet. I would say more than casual handling.’

Forensic Scientist Ms. Carol Weston, 33, testified:

‘I was under the floor about, I think, for just under three hours.’

She said the woman’s bound and blood-stained body could be seen through a small hatch near the priest’s confessional.

There was no blood in the area of the hatch but blood-stains were found in the church’s garage — on the floor, almost 2 metres up a concrete pillar and even on the ceiling.

DNA from the blood matched that of Angelika, the court heard.

The Forensic Scientist went on to say that semen found on Angelika’s clothing was tested in Strathclyde Police’s laboratory.

The Prosecuting Advocate Depute said:

‘The sperm cells were found to match the DNA profile of Peter Tobin.’

The Forensic Scientist said her examination suggested that Angelika had sex ‘near to the time of her death.’

The student had not had time to move about or take a shower or a bath. The court heard that as the post-mortem examination on Angelika began, an insulating tape gag was removed and a kitchen cloth was taken from the dead student’s mouth.

Forensic tests revealed a fingerprint on the tape, which was sampled for DNA.

The Prosecuting Advocate Depute asked:

‘The DNA taken by swabbing the fingerprint matched the DNA of who?’

‘Peter Tobin,’ said The Forensic Scientist.

The scientist said that again it was ‘a complete match.’ She added:

‘The probability of the DNA profile originating from another male, unrelated to Peter Tobin, are estimated to be in the order of one in one billion.’

The Forensic Scientist said the blood-stained kitchen cloth was examined and a single sperm cell was found. It too matched Mr Tobin’s profile, with a one in 210 million chance of it coming from another unrelated man.

The court also heard that microscopic blood-stains were found on the wristwatch Mr Tobin was wearing when he turned up at a London hospital, three days after Angelika’s body was found. The Forensic Scientist said:

‘They were consistent with the watch being more heavily blood-stained and the blood being wiped off.’

Further DNA evidence was found on Mr Tobin’s T-shirt and the court also heard that a pair of blood-stained jeans were found in a wheelie bin at St.Patrick’s.

The Forensic Scientist said that when she examined the jeans the left knee was heavily blood-stained — as if someone had knelt in a pool of blood.

She said that there was a one in a billion chance that the blood came from someone other than Angelika.

The court heard cells found in the waistband of the jeans were tested for DNA and the profile matched that of Peter Tobin.

The Forensic Scientist confirmed that the more someone wore an article of clothing the more likely it was that DNA would be transferred.

The Forensic Scientist told the court that Fr. Nugent and a number of other people had been asked to give DNA samples ‘for elimination purposes’, they included Angelika’s married lover Martin Macaskill and his wife Anne. The Forensic Scientist said there was no evidence to link any of them, in terms of DNA profiles, to Angelika’s dead body.

The Forensic Scientist had earlier described how a fleece jacket and a tarpaulin sheet with Angelika’s blood on them had been found.

The Forensic Scientist said the blood smears would be consistent with a body being wrapped in a sheet and then slid under the church floor.

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC Mr. Donald Finlay asked if she had taken a swab from the tape background in the area of the ridges supposedly left by Mr Tobin’s finger.

‘No I didn’t. I am not sure why I didn’t,’ said The Forensic Scientist.

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC asked:

‘So the DNA may have been on the tape and you have not been successful in profiling the ridges?’

The Forensic Scientist replied:

‘It is a possibility, yes.’

The court heard that a weapon which may have been used to attack Angelika contained no DNA from Mr Tobin.

A blood-stained table leg was found against an outside wall of the church and a bloody knife was found in a bag dumped on top of Angelika’s body, under the floor of the church.

Under cross examination from Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC, The Forensic Scientist said:

‘I don’t believe we found Mr Tobin’s DNA on the knife. We only found Angelika Kluk’s DNA on the table leg.’

Fellow forensic scientist Martin Fairley, 45, who has 24 years experience, told the court that he had found DNA matching Mr Tobin‘s on a gag that had been wound tightly round Angelika’s head.

The Prosecuting Advocate Depute asked him:

‘Is it a reasonable conclusion to make that he (Mr Tobin) touched the tape.
‘I think it is a reasonable conclusion,’ Mr Fairley replied.

Parishioner Testifies

Parishioner Ms. Sarah Howie, 45, mother-of-two,of Shaftsbury Street, Shawlands, Glasgow, was called as a witness, but when The Prosecuting Advocate Depute told her that The Priest said he had a sexual relationship with her she responded angrily.

‘No he didn’t, no he didn’t.
‘No sexual relationship with me whatsoever.
‘He chased me, if you like — he harassed me– but we never had any sexual relationship whatsoever.’

Ms.Howie also claimed that The Priest knew seven or eight years ago (just after his arrival at St.Patrick’s), about the trapdoor in the then bare floor. She said:

‘The trapdoor was quite visible. There was no carpet on the floor then. It was very visible. It did not take Einstein to work out where it was.’

Ms. Howie, who has been a regular worshipper at St.Patrick’s for 14 or 15 years (and was married there), described how she and a friend went exploring.

They had heard tales of a possible crypt under the church, where former priests or bishops might be buried, and tunnels leading underground to the Charing Cross area of Glasgow.

The Priest gave them permission to look under the floor near the confessional, she said. They took a torch and went into the void but found nothing of interest.

Ms Howie also described how she and the other woman were kneeling at the trap door when The Priest approached them, she said:

‘He says to me in a joking manner “Oh, did you find any bodies?” and we laughed, and said “Oh, no, nothing like that”.’

Earlier in the trial, Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC repeatedly asked The Priest if he had known about the trapdoor at the time of Miss Kluk’s violent death. The Priest denied it and told the lawyer over and over again:

‘I know nothing about her death or the circumstances of her death.’

When told that The Priest had denied knowing about the hatch Ms Howie said:

‘Most definitely he did.’

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC asked her:

That priest — that man of God lied, not only to this court; he lied before his own God, if what you say is true?.’

Ms Howie said:

‘Yes.’

Advice to Jury

Mr.Tobin was taken before a Glasgow sheriff and asked if he had any alibi, explanation, or thought anyone else might have murdered Angelika, and hidden her body under the floor of a church.

The recording of the first formal proceedings — which lasted nine minutes last October — showed Mr.Tobin repeating in answer to the questions put to him:

‘On the advice of my solicitor, no comment.’

The Judge Lord Menzies told the jury:

‘There is absolutely no obligation on any accused in any trial to lead evidence or give evidence on their own behalf.’

Mr.Tobin, like any other accused was presumed innocent until proved guilty, added The Judge saying that Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC would probably want to consider his position overnight.

Crown Prosecution’s Case

The Prosecuting Advocate Depute for The Crown said a careful analysis of fingerprint, forensic, circumstantial and eye-witness evidence demonstrated that Mr Tobin had raped and murdered Ms Kluk.

She added that he was the last person to see the student alive, and he had run away as well as giving false names.

In her speech to the jury, The Prosecuting Advocate Depute said that Mr Tobin’s semen was found inside Ms Kluk and on jeans he wore. Sexual intercourse had happened close to the time she died.

The Prosecuting Advocate Depute also said Mr Tobin’s DNA had been found on the tape used to gag Ms Kluk and that her blood was on his watch.

‘The evidence shows that Angelika Kluk was a victim of a terrible and sustained attack,’

The Prosecuting Advocate Depute told the jury.

‘The death she must have endured is beyond description.’

The Prosecuting Advocate Depute reminded the eight women and seven men of the jury about the oath they took at the start of the trial, to give a true verdict, according to the evidence.

Mr. Tobin’s Defence Case

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC asked jurors to find the courage to believe that The Priest was involved in the Polish student’s death.

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC said The Crown had failed to prove who had killed Ms Kluk and urged jurors to avoid a ‘catastrophic miscarriage of justice’.

During a four and a half hour closing address, Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC said that there had not been a microscopic fragment of evidence linking his client with the murder weapons — a knife and a table leg.

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC also argued that prosecutors had failed to demonstrate exactly when Angelika Kluk had been killed or when her body had been hidden.

Earlier Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC had appealed to the 15 jurors to consider all the evidence, not just bits of it as presented, he said, by the advocate depute.

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC suggested it had been a strange and bizarre tale involving extraordinary characters less believable than an episode of the television drama series ‘Taggart’.

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC made his closing speech to the jury on the 24th day of the trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC said the prosecution’s closing speech, asking the jury to convict Tobin, had been short and concise.

The Crown chose to pick bits of evidence and present them to you.
The Crown are entitled to ignore vast swathes of evidence — as they did.’

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC told the jury that Mr.Tobin had denied murdering Angelika, 23, by his plea of not guilty. After that he had nothing to prove. He said:

‘Is it my job to prove to you “If it wasn’t Peter Tobin who was it?”. The answer to that is “Certainly no”.

‘I do not intend to make any attempt to prove to you who did kill and murder Angelika.’

The lawyer reminded jurors of evidence about St.Patrick’s priest, Fr. Gerry Nugent, 63, who told the court he had a sexual relationship with Angelika.

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC said sometimes it was necessary to reach down deeply and find the courage to face the truth.

He said that Father Gerry and alcoholic Matthew Spark-Egan seemed to know a lot about where and how the student’s body was hidden, when he claimed they could not have learned it from any external source. He added:

‘The fact is, there is now clear evidence to entitle you to conclude that a man with an obsession for murder and a parish priest in the city of Glasgow were involved in the death of Angelika Kluk.

‘We are asking you to do justice to two people — Angelika Kluk and Peter Tobin. In these courts we do try to do justice, to the dead and to the living.

‘It is no justice for Angelika Kluk to convict somebody who should not be convicted.’

Mr. Tobin’s Defence QC said:

‘You are not here as amateur detectives. You are here to look at the evidence the law has allowed to be presented to you.

  • CLIPPED FROM various sources, including BBC News, 2007-05-04

Previously:

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