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Tobin / Kluk Murder Trial Verdict 2007-05-06

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Glasgow, Intolerance, Scotland.
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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 2006-09 at St Patrick’s Church, Anderston, Glasgow.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Mr. Tobin concealed the 23-year-old’s body in the church and then absconded to London, sparking a nationwide search.

The Judge (Lord Menzies) said that Mr. Tobin should serve a minimum of 21 years. He described him as ‘an evil man’.

As Mr. Tobin was led from the court, he attacked and threw a press photographer to the ground before police intervened to assist Reliance prison officers. The Judge 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..

The jury of eight women and seven men took just under four hours to convict Mr. 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, Mr.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 alcoholic Priest Fr Gerry Nugent and cheating husband Chauffeur Mr. 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, prosecuting advocate depute Dorothy Bain, told jurors there was a ‘powerful, compelling and overwhelming case against Peter Tobin‘.

Ms 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.’

Detective Superintendent Mr. 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.’

He also paid tribute to police and forensics officers involved in the case, and 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’.

Mr. 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

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 2004-12, 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.

Mr.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, Mr. 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.

Mr.Tobin fled to Coventry where he sought refuge among an Evangelical Christian community using a false name to cover his tracks.

[Picture of Mr. Peter Tobin on BBC’s ‘Crimewatch’ TV show]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, Mr.Tobin pleaded ‘guilty’ to the attack.

The judge described it as ‘an appalling incident, I think the worst I have ever come across’.

Mr.Anthony Davies, prosecuting, told the court:

‘Tobin treated the girls as cruelly as a cat would treat a mouse.’

After his release, Mr.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 2006-05, 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 Mr. 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.

Mr. 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 Mr. 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?’

‘What murder jury wasn’t told: Rapist Tobin attacked two teen victims then tried to gas them’

The transformation of Peter Tobin from divorced father to rapist and murderer began more than a decade ago in a first-floor council flat in Portsmouth.

It was here that his long-held passion for young girls turned from the prurient to the violent and criminal.

Mr.Tobin was 40 when he got his second wife, Kathy, pregnant. She was just 17. When the couple separated about five years later, the former merchant seaman moved to a one-bedroomed flat in the rundown, drug-plagued Leigh Park council estate.

It was here that Mr.Tobin brought his six-year-old son, Daniel, though his motives extended beyond the paternal: Daniel was bait for his father’s prey.

Mr. Tobin cultivated the friendship of two girls, aged 14 and 15. Presenting himself as a single dad struggling to entertain an active little boy, he invited the girls to his flat to play. A couple of occasions passed without incident.

But on the evening of 1993-08-04, Daniel was sent to his room, while the girls were plied with alcohol, which he presented in elaborate silver goblets.

When the youngest passed out, Mr. Tobin pounced on the 15-year-old, held a kitchen knife to her throat and forced her to consume a cocktail of crushed pills, prescribed for his angina, which he had ground to powder using the butt of the knife. As she slipped into semi-consciousness, Mr. Tobin stripped her, then raped and sodomised her on the living room floor. The 14-year-old heard her friend cry:

‘No Pete … don’t hurt me.’

He then turned his attention to the younger girl, partially stripping and sexually assaulting her.

When the 15-year-old later awoke in the darkness, she moved towards the front door, but was grabbed by Mr.Tobin. He then strangled her. She survived by snatching the kitchen knife and plunging it into his leg. She then fainted. When she fell limp, Mr. Tobin released the girl and turned to tend to his wound — and saw that the entire scene had been witnessed by Daniel, who had been woken by the noise.

Mr.Tobin called his wife, said he had suffered an angina attack and needed to go to hospital. She arrived to collect Daniel, who was sent downstairs to the car alone. Before fleeing, Mr. Tobin locked the windows and turned on the cooker’s gas taps, in the hope of poisoning the unconscious girls. He then drove off to the home of a friend in Brighton.

But the 14-year-old awoke the next morning and alerted the police, who took the 15-year-old to hospital, where she was placed in the intensive care unit. In an echo of what he would do 13 years later, Tobin then sought sanctuary in a religious community.

Turfed out by his friend, Mr. Tobin met a member of the Jesus Fellowship who regularly patrolled the beachfront at Brighton and who invited him to visit the Evangelical Christian community’s base at King’s House, near Coventry. While a manhunt was under way, Mr. Tobin put his handyman skills to good use, renovating stables on the property, living under the name Peter Wilson.

Mr. Tobin slipped away four weeks later, days before his picture appeared on ‘Crimewatch’. He was recognised by Mr. John Campbell, the church’s communications officer, and the police were informed. Mr. Tobin was arrested in Brighton and taken to Portsmouth police headquarters, where he was interrogated by Mr. Guy Robyns, then a detective constable.

‘All he would say during questioning was, “no comment”, and when we came to take his fingerprint he complained of having a bad hand, which meant he would have been unable to strangle her,’ said Mr Robyns, now a detective inspector.

‘We knew we had a bad man here, but there was no prior record, just a few incidents of fraud and dishonesty.’

Originally charged with ‘Attempted Murder’, ‘Rape’, ‘Buggery’, ‘Indecent Assault’ and ‘Unlawful Imprisonment’, Mr. Tobin later agreed to plead ‘Guilty’ to ‘Rape’, ‘Buggery’ and ‘Indecent Assault’, in part to save his son the ordeal of testifying.

In 1994-05, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Anthony Davies, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court that Mr.Tobin had treated the girls as ‘cruelly as a cat would treat a mouse’.

By the time of his release in 2003, laws were in place requiring sex offenders to register their location with the police.

But on his release, Mr. Tobin failed to register and so was re-arrested and sentenced to another year in prison. Re- released in 2004, he travelled to Glasgow, where his mother had just died. Theirs had been a problematic relationship — Mr. Tobin had been a difficult child and had been sent to an approved school at the age of seven. His criminal record dates back to 1965.

In his new home in Paisley, he once again began to track and befriend young girls. But neighbours soon grew suspicious about the teenage girls who visited his ground floor flat on Brown Street. One 14-year-old girl, who he insisted was homeless, stayed for weeks.

At first Mr. Tobin was personable, even friendly towards his neighbours. Mr. Stewart Callaghan said:

‘Peter was pleasant and helpful and always spoke politely.
‘We began to suspect that something was wrong when young women began appearing in Peter’s company.
‘He always told everyone that they were nieces or family members, but … they were vulnerable young women. Several looked at times to be intoxicated.’

Mr.Tobin’s first two victims continue to deal with the consequences of his crimes. The most badly abused girl, now 27, has tried to ease the pain with drink and drugs.

Contacted by ‘The Scotsman Newspaper’, through an intermediary, she said only:

‘When he was strangling me I could see it in his eyes, I knew that one day he would kill someone.’

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