Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

Vicky 'suffered horrific death'

Peter Tobin
Peter Tobin denies murdering Vicky Hamilton in 1991

The murder of Vicky Hamilton was a crime of "almost unspeakable horror", jurors have been told.

Solicitor general Frank Mulholland QC, prosecuting, also claimed in his closing speech that the evidence against Peter Tobin was "damning".

However, defence QC Donald Findlay warned jurors at the High Court in Dundee that it was not a "show trial" and that they must rely on the facts.

Mr Tobin, 62, denies abducting, raping and murdering Vicky in February 1991.

He has lodged a special defence of alibi, claiming he was in Portsmouth when the 15-year-old disappeared.

Vicky was last seen in Bathgate on 10 February, 1991. Her remains were discovered in the garden of a house in Margate, Kent, in November last year.

I have searched long and hard in my lexicon to find words which can properly describe what happened to this poor girl. The best I can do is describe it as 'evil'
Frank Mulholland QC

Mr Mulholland reminded the jury of twelve women and three men about the DNA evidence found on a dagger discovered at Mr Tobin's former home in Bathgate.

He also asked them to consider how the accused's young son's DNA came to be on Vicky's purse, found 11 days after she disappeared.

He told the jury: "To abduct, drug, sexually assault and murder a 15-year-old girl who was doing nothing except going home to her mother is a crime of almost unspeakable horror."

He described the murder as "a barbaric act."

He added: "The horror of the fate that befell Vicky Hamilton cannot be over-stated.

"I have searched long and hard in my lexicon to find words which can properly describe what happened to this poor girl.

"The best I can do is describe it as 'evil'."

'Only human'

Defence QC Mr Findlay countered by telling jurors that they must rely on "facts" and "not a long series of could-bes, possibilities and, even worse 'consistent withs'".

The lawyer said: "There is no evidence where she died.

"There is not a scrap of evidence where she was bisected and that is the absolute and ultimately the difference between guess work, speculation and what the Crown wants it to be - this objectionable term 'consistent with' - and facts.

"And you and I must deal with facts."

Mr Findlay said it was "only human" to feel pity for Vicky Hamilton's family.

But, he said: "This is a court of justice, not a court of revenge. This is a trial and not a show trial."

Mr Tobin is accused of abducting Vicky and taking her to Robertson Avenue in Bathgate, West Lothian, on 10 February, 1991, which the Crown alleges was then occupied by him.

Donald Findlay QC
Donald Findlay QC warned jurors it was not a "show trial"

The charge also alleges that there or elsewhere he drugged her, struggled with her, compressed her neck, indecently assaulted her and murdered her.

He is also accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

It is alleged that he concealed Vicky's body and removed and disposed of a number of items of her clothing and footwear.

He is also accused of cutting her body in two and wrapping it in coverings and bin bags.

Then, allegedly aware that police were conducting a missing person's inquiry, Mr Tobin is said to have put Vicky's purse under a portable cabin to mislead police into believing she had run away from home.

Mr Tobin denies all the charges against him and has lodged a special defence of alibi, saying that between 1700 GMT and midnight on 10 February, 1991, he was in the Portsmouth area and was thereafter travelling to Scotland, arriving in Edinburgh at 0630 GMT the following day.

The trial, before Lord Emslie, continues.

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