Police interview Peter Tobin over 'serious sexual crimes'

SERIAL killer Peter Tobin has been questioned by police in Edinburgh, it emerged today.

Tobin was interviewed yesterday in relation to his suspected involvement in "serious sexual crimes".

He was taken from Saughton Prison and questioned as part of Operation Anagram, a national exercise by police forces across the UK set up to identify issues of concern relating to the killer.

A Strathclyde Police spokesman said: "As a result of the continuing inquiries surrounding Operation Anagram, Strathclyde officers detained Peter Tobin from HMP Edinburgh and took him to St Leonards police office, Edinburgh, where he was interviewed with a legal representative for most of the day.

"This was in relation to his suspected involvement in serious sexual crimes in Scotland and also in an effort to establish the truth about the possible criminal activities of Peter Tobin which have been the subject of continued media speculation.

"The outcome of yesterday's interview conducted under Scottish powers is being reported to the Crown Office in Scotland.

"A Sussex officer attached to the UK-wide Operation Anagram was present throughout the interview. This joint working between UK forces has been a significant feature of Operation Anagram which still continues to examine the life of the serial killer Peter Tobin."

Confirmation that police in Scotland had questioned Tobin came as officers in Sussex ruled out any crimes linked to the serial killer at a seaside property where he used to live.

Search teams and forensic archaeologists spent 15 days excavating a large rear garden and forensically examining the basement areas of the house in Brighton.

But Sussex Police said the search revealed no evidence linking the property in Marine Parade to crimes by Tobin, who lived there in the late 1980s.

A similar search at nearby Station Road, Portslade, ended last week after nine days of excavations which also ruled out any criminality by the 63-year-old Scottish handyman.

Tobin is serving three life sentences for killing Angelika Kluk, Vicky Hamilton and Dinah McNicol.

Due to illness, he missed another appearance at the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh last week to challenge his sentence for killing Vicky.

He was told last December he would die in jail after he was convicted of strangling 18-year-old Miss McNicol.

Tobin was already serving life terms for the murders of 15-year-old Vicky and Ms Kluk, 23.

Police discovered the remains of Vicky and Miss McNicol buried in the garden of a house in Margate, Kent, to which Tobin moved in March 1991.

Officers involved in Operation Anagram are believed to have narrowed down their review of unsolved murders and disappearances linked to Tobin to nine cases.

These may include the murders of art student Jessie Earl, 22, whose body was found in 1989, and Louise Kay, 18, whose body was never found after she vanished following a night out in Eastbourne in 1988.

There are several other possible cases, including law student Pamela Exall, 22, who vanished in Norfolk in 1974, schoolgirl Patricia Morris, 14, who went missing in Essex in 1980, and Suzanne Lawrence, 14, last seen in Essex in 1979.

Other cases include the murders of three women in Glasgow in 1968 and 1969 by a figure nicknamed "Bible John", and the deaths of schoolgirls Karen Hadaway, 10, and Nicola Fellows, nine, in Brighton in October 1986.

Detectives have long wanted to speak to Tobin in prison about the latest developments but he has refused to talk to them.

They remain keen to unravel further details of his life, particularly where he lived in 1977 and 1978.

mfl 291235 JUL 10