Peter Tobin and the whole life tariff

Serial killer Peter Tobin has been jailed for life for murdering 18-year-old Dinah McNicol. The whole life tariff has been imposed. Tobin is expected to die in prison.

Those of you who may be studying criminal law in your second year of Law at A-level will need to know about the law relating to murder which carries a mandatory life sentence.  Some of you may embark upon heated debates about the rights and wrongs of the tariff system of imposing minimum sentences.  Should life mean life? - well for some the law certainly thinks so and has the ability to impose what is known as the whole life tariff.  

As a result some of you may be seeking an example of a case where a mandatory life sentence has been imposed and accompanied by a whole life order.  This article is about providing you with such an example.

Peter Tobin of Johnstone, Renfrewshire, already serving life for killing Vicky Hamilton, 15, and Angelika Kluk, 23, has been jailed for life for a third time following his conviction for murdering 18-year-old Dinah McNicol.  Tobin has now been labelled a serial killer and told that the whole life tariff has been imposed.  It only took the jury 15 minutes to return a guilty verdict of killing the sixth former after a three-day trial. The judge has made it clear that he should never be released.

Dinah McNicol vanished in August 1991 while hitch-hiking to her home in Essex after a music festival in Hampshire.

Judge Mr Justice Calvert-Smith told Tobin: "This is the third time you have stood in the dock for murder. On all three occasions the evidence against you was overwhelming. Yet even now you refuse to come to terms with your guilt."

Det Supt David Swindle, of Strathclyde Police, who set up Operation Anagram to investigate Tobin's background, said the investigation would continue, even after Tobin's death.

Police across the UK are investigating dozens of unsolved murders that may have been carried out by Tobin.

They have released photographs of 35 pieces of jewellery which police fear he may have kept as trophies from victims.

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