THE ONLY MURDER TOBIN STILL DENIES
|Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Key figures in Angelika Kluk trial
A sister’s grief
Aneta Kluk, 28, described her sister as a “devout Catholic”. She quizzed Tobin as she searched for her sister and was outraged at Father Nugent’s claims of a sexual relationship.
Murderer with a past
Peter Tobin, 60, a handyman and loner and convicted sex offender. He battered, raped and repeatedly stabbed Angelika before dumping her beneath the church floor.
Det Supt David Swindle of Strathclyde Police led the Angelika rape and murder investigation. He described her killing as “a horrific and very, very violent attack”.
Father Gerry Nugent, 63, described in court as a drunk and a liar. He gave Angelika a room at the church and claimed they went on to have a sexual relationship.
Martin MacAskill, 40, a married chauffeur, was having an affair with Angelika with his wife’s knowledge. The Polish student recorded her love for him in her diary.
Sheriff Kieran McLernan, 65, befriended Angelika during visits to Glasgow from his Aberdeen home. He was with her the night before she was thought to have died.
Carol Weston, 33, a forensic scientist, who detailed to the court fingerprint and DNA evidence linking Tobin to Angelika. She said one of his prints was found on the tape used to gag her.
Matthew Spark-Egan, 37, denied any involvement in Angelika’s killing during evidence. He said he heard something being dragged then something being closed while he was at St Patrick’s Church.
Rebecca Dordi, 30, a Russian student staying at St Patrick’s, told the court that Father Gerry Nugent appeared to know where Angelika’s body was hidden.
Marie Devine, 64, a parishioner at St Patrick’s Church, said she saw Tobin and Angelika having a cup of tea together on Sunday, 24 September, at St Patrick’s Church.
Pc Alan Murray, 37, arrested Tobin at a London hospital where he had admitted himself under a false name. In a rare light moment the court heard how he dressed as a nurse to identify Tobin.
Donald Findlay QC, Tobin’s defence lawyer, said there was clear evidence that witnesses Matthew Spark Egan and Father Gerry Nugent were involved in Angelika’s death.
Dorthy Bain, advocate depute, said Tobin was guilty of “an atrocity against a defenceless young woman”. She said the case against him was “powerful, compelling and overwhelming”.
THEN WE HAVE THIS
Prior encounter of sheriff and Findlay revealed
When Sheriff Kieran McLernan clashed with QC Donald Findlay at the High Court in Edinburgh, it wasn’t the first time he made headlines, nor the only high-profile battle between the two men.
When Sheriff Kieran McLernan clashed with QC Donald Findlay at the High Court in Edinburgh, it was not the first time he had made headlines, nor was it the only high-profile battle between the two men.
In 1998, the sheriff attracted worldwide attention when he sentenced a dog to be destroyed for growling at a postman, a decision which Mr Findlay declared an “injustice”.
Two years later, Sheriff McLernan, who sits in Aberdeen, was himself at the centre of a legal wrangle over the missing will of an elderly relative.
Sheriff McLernan, now 65, was in the spotlight once again when he gave evidence in the trial of Peter Tobin.
The former pupil of St Aloysius’ College, Glasgow, who later studied at the University of Glasgow, was installed as a sheriff of Grampian, Highlands and Islands in May 1991.
Although based in Aberdeen, Sheriff McLernan regularly visits Glasgow and attended mass at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church.
When he met Angelika Kluk the pair spoke about her interest in golf before Sheriff McLernan agreed to a suggestion from his wife to show the student how to swing a golf club.
The day before Ms Kluk was last seen, Sheriff McLernan had arranged to take his “golf protege” to a driving range in Bishopbriggs.
He later drove her back to the church and it was during his evidence on this matter that Mr McLernan clashed with Mr Findlay.
In a police statement, Sheriff McLernan had said that he and Ms Kluk spoke for “a minute or two” when they were saying goodbye. CCTV shown in court showed the pair together, partly in his car and partly in the street, for around 45 minutes before he left.
The sheriff said that when he gave police his statement in September, at that stage he had no idea he had spent so long in her company and the statement was “obviously incorrect”.
Mr Findlay, defending Tobin, asked him: “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?”
Sheriff McLernan replied: “No, that is really quite an improper way to put it. You are misleading the jury.”
THEN WE HAVE
Byline: GORDON McILWRAITH
A SHERIFF was celebrating yesterday after a court ruled he is entitled to a share of his late cousin’s estate – despite having no will to prove his claim.
Sheriff Kieran McLernan, his sister and another man will share the pounds 150,000 that Julia Sinclair left when she died in 1994.
The Court of Session in Edinburgh had heard how Sheriff McLernan had visited his cousin as she lay on her hospital death bed.
The sheriff later typed up a formal version but his 82-year-old cousin died before she could sign it.
The scribbled will was never found and yesterday – after a lengthy legal battle – a judge finally ruled in the trio’s favour.
They had launched the legal action to prove that Mrs Sinclair had left them her house in Clarkston, Glasgow.
Yesterday’s decision outraged other relatives of Julia. They opposed the claim by the sheriff and the priest.
It was even claimed in court that an angry Mrs Sinclair said “the cheek of him” when Sheriff McLernan tried to get her to sign the typed will he had drafted from memory.
During evidence at the Court of Session, retired teacher Catherine McCarry, 82, a friend of Mrs Sinclair, described how a bottle of champagne was opened at Julia’s bedside when the handwritten will was revealed.
She said: “They had a bottle of champagne so we all had a glass, which I don’t like very much.”
On another occasion, she was visiting along with Frances Daly, 62, a neighbour of Mrs Sinclair, when the sheriff arrived.
Mrs McCarry said: “He came in with a paper in his hand. I thought it was something private so I went and looked out of the window. He was not there long and when I spoke to Julia she was quite upset. She was really irritated at the fact he was apparently trying to get her to sign a will and she didn’t want to.”
Mrs Daly said that after the sheriff left, the old lady said: “The cheek of him. Who does he think he is wanting my money?”
Sheriff McLernan, 59, of Peockstone Farm, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, whose father was Mrs Sinclair’s cousin, said the old lady asked him to draft a will.
He suggested she contact an independent lawyer but later discovered she had written her own will.
She had left him and the priest her house and had also bequeathed her bank and building society savings to them and the sheriff’s sister.
The night before Mrs Sinclair was admitted to hospital, he read the will and suggested she should hide it among the crockery in case anyone broke into her home.
Unfortunately, someone did and when the will vanished he typed up a fresh one from memory.
The sheriff admitted that after learning the old lady was “at death’s door” he took the new one to hospital and asked if she could sign it.
But her hand was too shaky and she had to give up.
In his written decision, Lord Eassie said that both sides in the dispute recognised there was a “clear body of evidence” which supported Sheriff McLernan’s story about the original will.