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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Witnesses who helped cage killer
Stephen Stewart
Glasgow and West reporter, BBC Scotland news website

They were a trusting and dedicated couple who worked as volunteers with Glasgow's homeless.

Denis Curran
Mr Curran worked alongside Tobin at the Loaves and Fishes charity

Denis and Cathy Curran endeavoured to help the vulnerable and the needy in their roles with a Christian charity group.

But their voluntary work with Loaves and Fishes meant that they unsuspectingly opened their home and hearts to the killer of Polish student Angelika Kluk.

Mr and Mrs Curran first met Peter Tobin on a stormy May night last year when he turned up unexpectedly at St Patrick's Church in Anderston.

The church, at the centre of a small community on the fringe of the city centre, was where Angelika's body was found, bound and gagged and hidden under the floor, in September.

Mr Curran, 63, was a key witness at Tobin's trial and was instrumental in helping the police to locate him after he fled to London.

Sleeping rough

Working alongside him, Mr Curran got a small sense of the man who would eventually be found guilty of stabbing and bludgeoning Angelika to death.

He described the moment when he realised that there may have been more to Tobin than met the eye.

He said: "He was a chirpy enough guy but there were a lot of times he slept in the van. I put that down to him sleeping rough.
Cathy Curran
Mrs Curran had doubts about Tobin and his murky background

"I did not want to ask him too many questions because I found that if you push people then they tend not to be too forthcoming in future.

"I saw (Tobin) on the Sunday night and he was very subdued. He looked very ill. He had signed himself out of a hospital.

"The reason he gave was that he had been abused by a male nurse. I asked if he had gone to the doctor. He said the doctor did not want to do anything.

"I said I would take him to a lawyer but he said he had already been to one. The alarm bells were ringing in my head.

"I now know that he signed himself out of the hospital before they became aware that he was using the wrong name."

Through the charity, he had met "Pat McLaughlin", the name used by Tobin, and "Pat" had started to lend a hand at meetings, by helping to unload a van, serving food and drink, and clearing up.

Gut instinct

Once the hunt for Tobin began in earnest, Mr and Mrs Curran provided police with his picture. The photograph would eventually lead to him being identified and captured in a London hospital.

One could call it female intuition or sheer gut instinct, but Tobin had raised suspicions in Mrs Curran from their first meeting.

She had worked with the charity for 14 years and had rubbed shoulders with some of Scotland's poorest and most desperate people.

But no-one unsettled her quite like Tobin. She said: "The first thing I wanted to know was where he had come from.

"There were too many questions and too many elements (from his background) missing. He appeared from nowhere.

"I felt very uneasy around him. To me, there was something wrong."

A few months later and Mrs Curran's misgivings would be proved right.


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