Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Killer Tobin will serve 30 years

Peter Tobin and Vicky Hamilton
Peter Tobin was convicted of killing schoolgirl Vicky Hamilton

Convicted killer and sex offender Peter Tobin has been found guilty of the murder of Falkirk schoolgirl Vicky Hamilton, who disappeared 17 years ago.

Tobin, 62, was convicted of abducting, raping and killing the 15-year-old, who was last seen alive in Bathgate, West Lothian, on 10 February 1991.

Her remains were found buried in bin bags at his former home in Margate, Kent, in November last year.

Tobin was given a life sentence and ordered to serve at least 30 years.

The jury of 12 women and three men took less than two-and-a-half hours to reach their verdict.

As it was read out, there were cries of "Yes" from members of Vicky's family and friends.

Abducting and killing a child on her way home from a happy weekend and then desecrating her body must rank among the most evil and horrific acts that any human being could commit
Judge Lord Emslie

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Tobin is already serving a life sentence for raping and murdering Polish student Angelika Kluk and hiding her body in a Glasgow church in 2006.

Sentencing the killer, Judge Lord Emslie told Tobin: "Abducting and killing a child on her way home from a happy weekend with her sister and then desecrating her body must rank among the most evil and horrific acts that any human being could commit."

During the four-week trial at the High Court in Dundee, the court heard that Tobin had taken Vicky to his former home in Bathgate's Robertson Avenue.

It was there that he drugged, raped and murdered the schoolgirl before dissecting her body.

A post-mortem examination carried out on Vicky's remains found evidence of Tobin's DNA.

'Modern technology'

Police searchers also discovered a dagger hidden in the loft of the Bathgate address, which contained traces of Vicky's skin.

DNA evidence belonging to Tobin's young son Daniel was also discovered on her purse, which was found at St Andrew Square in Edinburgh 11 days after she went missing.

Tobin claimed that he had been in the Portsmouth area when Vicky disappeared, but witnesses reported seeing him in Bathgate.

Peter Tobin denies meeting Vicky Hamilton in a police interview

In a statement, Vicky's father Michael Hamilton paid tribute to those involved in the case.

He said: "I want to thank all concerned for bringing my daughter Vicky's murderer to justice.

"And I would also like to thank Solicitor General Frank Mulholland and his team for all the hard work involved.

"Furthermore, I want to thank Lothian and Borders Police and CID for their hard work in finding my daughter, Vicky."

Vicky's sister Lindsay Brown said that following the verdict, her family's thoughts had turned to their mother Janette, who died in 1993 not knowing what had happened to Vicky.

'Cruelly taken'

She said: "We are glad this 17-year nightmare has finally come to an end. There were many times when we thought this day wouldn't come.

"We are hoping we can now move on as a family and start to remember Vicky as the loving sister she was before she was so tragically and cruelly taken from us.

DNA from Vicky was found on a knife hidden in Tobin's loft
"Vicky's abduction also robbed us of our mum, Janette, who never came to terms with the fact Vicky never came home that night and who died of a broken heart two years later, never knowing what happened to her daughter.

"We take comfort in the knowledge that mum and Vicky have been looking over us and giving us the strength needed to cope during these difficult times."

Ms Brown also said her family's thoughts were with relatives of Angelika Kluk.

She added: "They are in our thoughts today, as it was only after her death that we eventually found out what happened to our sister. We know only too well the hurt and grief they will have suffered."

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