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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 18:13 GMT 19:13 UK
Clash over Angelika meeting time
Kieran McLernan
The sheriff accused Mr Findlay of misleading the jury
The defence lawyer in the Angelika Kluk murder trial has accused a sheriff called as a witness of giving "imprecise" evidence.

Donald Findlay QC clashed with Aberdeen Sheriff Kieran McLernan, who had told police he spent a few minutes with Angelika the night before she vanished.

The jury was shown video of the pair spending 45 minutes outside the Glasgow church where she had been staying.

Peter Tobin, 60, denies murdering and raping Angelika and other charges.

The jury at the High Court in Edinburgh watched a recording from CCTV cameras which showed the sheriff's Rover arriving outside the St Patrick's Church complex in Anderston, Glasgow, at 2047 BST on Saturday 23 September last year.

Sheriff McLernan, 65, and Angelika, 23, were returning after visiting a golf driving range in Bishopbriggs earlier in the day.

Drove away

The court heard that Sheriff McLernan 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 Sheriff McLernan's car, before a figure headed back into the drive of the chapel house 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 27 September last year the investigation was still a missing person inquiry and the important fact was that he had taken Angelika back to the chapel house and delivered her to the garage.

Mr Findlay, defending, 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?"

Donald Findlay - copyright Press Association
Mr Findlay is defending Peter Tobin during the trial

Sheriff McLernan 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."

The sheriff had been describing to the court how he said goodbye to the Polish student the night before she is thought to have died. He told how they had hugged and he had given her a small gift of a dream catcher before they parted.

Angelika disappeared the next day and was found under the floor of the church several days later.

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

Bag and sheeting

Fingerprint expert 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.

Mrs Boyle said: "It certainly shows he has touched the sheet. I would say more than casual handling."

Handyman Mr Tobin denies murder, attempting to defeat the ends of justice, attempting to pervert the course of justice and breach of the peace.

He also denies rape, claiming he had sex with Angelika with her consent.

Angelika had been staying at the chapel house attached to St Patrick's Church in Anderston, Glasgow, and working as a cleaner to help finance her language studies in Gdansk.

Mr Tobin was helping out there as an odd job man.

Knife injuries

He is accused of attacking Angelika between September 24 and September 29 in St Patrick's Church, or elsewhere, gagging her with cloth and tape, binding her hands with cable ties, raping her, smashing her skull with a piece of wood or something similar, stabbing her 16 times in the chest and inflicting other knife injuries.

It is alleged that he then hid the body under the floor of the church.

A further charge alleges that he told Glasgow police his name was Patrick McLaughlin, gave a false date of birth and address, and that he travelled to London and gave staff at the National Neurology and Neurosurgery Hospital in Queen's Square, London, another false name.

Mr Tobin also denies a breach of the peace between July and September last year by threatening Russian student Rebecca Dordi at St Patrick's Church.

The trial continues.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Defence lawyer and witness arrive at the High Court



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