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Peter Tobin: One of Britain’s worst serial killers and how he buried bodies in Margate

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Original article from Kent Live

It has been almost fifteen years since the horrific discovery of the bodies of two girls, bound, gagged and murdered in Margate.

Their murderer was Peter Tobin, who will go down as one of the UK's most infamous serial killers, such was his callous brutality.

A troubled child, Tobin was one of eight children born to a family in Johnstone, Scotland, and was sent to a school for youths deemed uncontrollable by parents aged just seven.

Read more: The horrific murder of a Dover DJ that shocked the whole county

He spent much of his youth going in and out of institutional confinement, being placed in a Borstal, or youth prison at a young age, moving to Brighton in 1969, and then being imprisoned in 1970 on charges of burglary and forgery.

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He married three times – all three describing him as a charming, well-dressed psychopath who, as their marriage progressed, became increasingly violent and sadistic.

Tobin's links to Kent are both grim and surprisingly fleeting.

His series of failed marriages saw him live across the UK – in Sussex, West Lothian, and Portsmouth, before moving to Irvine Drive in Margate in 1991.

He stayed in Thanet for only two years, before moving to Havant in Hampshire in 1993 to be closer to his youngest son, who lived in Portsmouth with his third ex-wife.

However, this short time in Kent would prove to be a horrific spell, though this fact would not be revealed until over a decade later.

How Tobin brought his murders to Margate

Police were investigating the murder of Dinah McNicol, an 18-year-old girl from Essex who went missing in August 1991, never to be seen again.

Tobin was identified as a suspect, but when police started digging in the garden of his Irvine Drive home in Margate, something unexpected – and harrowing – was found.

Police found 15-year-old Vicky Hamilton's body while searching for that of 18-year-old Dinah McNicol

Forensic teams made the shocking discovery of not just young Dinah's body, but also that of 15-year-old Vicky Hamilton.

The Scottish teenager had gone missing just months before Dinah – in February 1991.

She had last been seen in Bathgate, lost and asking people for directions, as she made her way home after spending the weekend with her sister.

But the mystery of her disappearance became clear when forensic teams who had been digging came across two bin bags containing her body.

The youngster had been abducted from her West Lothian hometown and later raped and murdered.

Just a few feet away from her body, they also found that of Dinah, who had been bound and gagged.

Dinah, who had just finished her A-Levels when she was murdered, had last been seen in August 1991 hitchhiking home with a male companion she met at a music festival in Hampshire.

The pair had been picked up by a man who promised to take her to Brentwood and after her companion was dropped off on the M25, she was never seen again.

Both bodies had been covered by a thin layer of cement before being re-covered with soil.

Tobin had initially moved to the Irvine Drive address when he took part in a house swap with a Margate couple in March 1991 – five weeks after Vicky had gone missing and five months before Dinah disappeared.

'He seemed so normal'

David Martin, who lived next door to the serial killer, remarked how normal he had seemed and how he and his wife had advised their teenage daughter to go to Tobin’s house if they were not home.

Tobin had once told the unsuspecting Mr Martin that he was creating a sandpit for his son – he was actually digging the graves.

Forensics experts found the two bodies buried in bin bags under thin layers of concrete

On December 2, 2008, Tobin was convicted of Vicky’s murder and on December 16, 2009, he was found guilty of kidnapping, drugging, raping and murdering Dinah.

In Dinah’s case, it took the jury just 13 minutes to find him guilty.

In 2010, Dinah’s father criticised Thanet District Council’s decision to allow the council house where his daughter had been buried to be let to new tenants.

The new family who moved in said that while they felt sympathetic, they insisted they were not going to let the house’s history ruin their enjoyment of it.

The 1991 murders of the two teenage girls remained unsolved until 2007

Tobin had a long history of being in trouble with the law.

In August 1993, long before his first murder conviction, Tobin raped one 14-year-old girl and sexually assaulted another, forcing one of them at knifepoint to drink large quantities of alcohol, before turning on the gas taps in his home and leaving them for dead.

He attempted to hide out in Coventry among a group of evangelical Christians but was caught and in May 1994 and was given a 14 year prison sentence.

2004 release and reoffending

Following his release in 2004, he went on to work as a handyman at St Patrick’s Church in Glasgow where he met 23-year-old Polish student Angelika Kluk.

Sometime between September 24 and 29, 2006, Tobin attacked Angelika, gagging and binding her hands, before raping and battering her.

He then stabbed her and buried her body under the floor of the church.

In May 2007, he was sentenced to 21 years for the murder.

Peter Tobin was already serving a prison sentence for the murder of Angelika Kluk when the bodies were found in his Margate home

In 2010, Professor David Wilson wrote a book in which he asserted that Tobin was Bible John, the nickname given to a serial killer believed to have killed three women in Scotland in the 1960s.

Tobin proved remorseless when it came to his crimes and refused to cooperate with the police’s enquiries into other potential murder victims of his.

In a recording of a police interview, when asked about whether he cared about helping the families of missed ones he might have information about, he responded ‘I couldn’t give a ****’.

Time Line

Timeline of Peter Tobin's crimes and punishment

  1. February 1991

    Tobin murders 15-year-old Vicky Hamilton, who he picks up in Bathgate, Scotland, as she returns home after visiting her sister.

  2. March 1991

    Tobin moves to Irvine Drive, Margate, as part of a house swap.

  3. August 1991

    Tobin picks up 18-year-old Dinah McNicol and a male companion as they hitchhike home from a festival. After dropping off the other man, he rapes and murders Dinah.
    He buries her body, along with that of Vicky, in his back garden and tells his neighbour he is creating a sandpit for his son.

  4. August 1993

    In his Hampshire flat, Tobin sexually abused two 14-year-old girls having drugged them, raping one of them after threatening her with a knife. He attempts to hide out among a group of evangelical Christians in Coventry.

  5. May 1994

    Tobin is convicted for rape and sexual assault and is sentenced to 14 years in prison.

  6. 2004

    Tobin is released from prison and gets a job as a caretaker at St. Patrick's Church in Glasgow.

  7. September 2006

    Tobin rapes, batters and murders 23-year-old Polish student Angelika Kluk, and buries her body underneath the church.

  8. May 2007

    Tobin is sentenced to 21 years in prison for Angelika's murder

  9. November 2007

    Detectives investigating the disappearance of Dinah McNicol find her body and that of Vicky Hamilton, in the garden of Tobin's Margate home.

  10. December 2, 2008

    Tobin is convicted of murdering Vicky Hamilton.

  11. December 2009

    Tobin is convicted of murdering Dinah McNicol.

When pushed for information about any other victims he may have had, he refused to offer any help and merely told them to ‘go waste your money’ looking.

Tobin currently resides in HM Prison Edinburgh where he will spend the rest of his life.

He has suffered multiple health issues, including a heart attack in 2012, and a stroke in 2016, later reportedly being diagnosed with cancer in 2019.

His prognosis was said to be poor, though he is still alive in 2021, aged 75.

Original Article