Page last updated at 18:42 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Peter Tobin is guilty of Dinah McNicol murder

Tobin's first wife tells of abuse at his hands

Serial killer Peter Tobin has been jailed for life for murdering 18-year-old Dinah McNicol.

Tobin, of Johnstone, Renfrewshire, was already serving life for killing Vicky Hamilton, 15, and Angelika Kluk, 23.

The jury took 15 minutes to find the 63-year-old guilty of killing the sixth former after a three-day trial. The judge said he should never be released.

Miss McNicol vanished in August 1991 while hitch-hiking to her home in Essex after a music festival in Hampshire.

Judge Mr Justice Calvert-Smith told Tobin: "This is the third time you have stood in the dock for murder.

"On all three occasions the evidence against you was overwhelming. Yet even now you refuse to come to terms with your guilt."

Police across the UK are investigating dozens of unsolved murders that may have been carried out by Tobin.

They have released photographs of 35 pieces of jewellery which police fear he may have kept as trophies from victims.

'Unique and inspiring'

Mr Calvert-Smith said Tobin's refusal to co-operate with police meant that Miss McNicol's family knew nothing about the circumstances of her death.

Tobin showed no emotion as the jury of nine men and three women returned its unanimous verdict.

Miss McNicol's father, Ian McNicol, was in court to hear the verdict. He also showed no emotion. He was joined in the public gallery by Miss Hamilton's father, Michael.

Outside court, Miss McNicol's half-sister Sara Tizard said: "After all these years, we at last know the truth and justice has prevailed.

Peter Tobin, 2007

"We would like to put the trial behind us and remember Dinah as the unique and inspiring daughter and sister that she was."

Miss McNicol's father did not speak but nodded when asked if his nightmare was over.

In 2007, Tobin was convicted of killing Polish student Angelika Kluk, whose remains were found hidden in a church in Glasgow where he had worked as a handyman.

Following that trial, police dug up the back garden at one of his former homes in Margate, Kent.

There they discovered the body of Vicky Hamilton, 15, who had disappeared in 1991 from a bus stop in Bathgate near Edinburgh - where Tobin was living at the time.

He was convicted of her murder in 2008 and a judge ruled he should serve at least 30 years.

Sexual assaults

Four days after the discovery of Miss Hamilton's body, Miss McNicol's remains were also found buried in the garden.

Both of the victims had been drugged and strangled. Police also discovered Tobin had stolen more than £2,000 from Miss McNicol's building society account.

Tobin was already a convicted rapist when he murdered Miss Kluk.

Dinah McNicol
Dinah McNicol never lived to receive her A-level results

In 1993, he had raped a 14-year-old girl - and indecently assaulted another - at his then home in Havant, Hampshire. He was jailed for 14 years at Winchester Crown Court in 1994.

Tobin was freed in 2004 and moved to Renfrewshire. Using the name Pat McLaughlin, he found work at St Patrick's Roman Catholic church in Glasgow.

He befriended 23-year-old Miss Kluk, who was on a working holiday, then killed her and hid her body.

Police interviewed him, but became suspicious when "Pat McLaughlin" vanished. They discovered his real name and criminal past and Tobin was arrested in London.

Nicola Downing lived in Peter Tobin's former house in Kent when police found the bodies

Tobin had denied all three murders for which he was convicted.

'Pure evil'

Det Supt Tim Wills, of Essex Police said: "Rarely matters come before courts in this country that demonstrate human behaviour that is so self-serving and evil.

"I will finish my day at work satisfied that he will never walk free again amongst the communities he committed such vile acts against."

He added: "Peter Tobin I can only describe as pure evil. He has shown no remorse for killing Dinah or any of the other women he has been convicted of killing."

No stone will be left unturned and every single piece of information gathered will be investigated
Det Supt David Swindle

One of the detectives who investigated Miss McNicol's disappearance in the early 1990s said he had never given up hope the case would be solved.

Derek Nickol, a retired detective sergeant, said: "Satisfaction is a difficult word in these circumstances, but I am delighted now this has been resolved. Many years ago the evidence was not there. But I always held out hope."

Det Supt David Swindle, of Strathclyde Police, who set up Operation Anagram to investigate Tobin's background, said the investigation would continue, even after Tobin's death.

He said: "Peter Tobin has now been found guilty for the brutal murders of three young women. Who knows if he has killed others?

"No stone will be left unturned and every single piece of information gathered will be investigated by forces throughout the UK to establish if he was responsible for any other crimes."

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Timeline: Peter Tobin
16 Dec 09 |  UK

Sky News Serial Killer Peter Tobin To Die Behind Bars - 21 hrs ago
ITN Serial killer Tobin given life for third murder - 23 hrs ago Tobin convicted of third murder - 23 hrs ago

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