Tobin Investigation In Brighton & Hove

15 July 2010, 14:58 | Updated: 16 July 2010, 13:35

Keep up to date with the operations in Brighton and Portslade by investigators working on the Peter Tobin case. We have day by day reports and all the background to the searches


Thur July 15th

Police searching the former homes of serial killer Peter Tobin have ruled out an old well found in one of the gardens.

Experts say tests on the Victorian well at Portslade in East Sussex have revealed nothing suspicious.

Officers are continuing to dig trenches at another address in Marine Parade in Brighton.

Wed July 14th

This morning an officer attached to a harness was lowered into a well in the garden of the address in Station Road, Portslade, where Tobin owned a tea shop in the late 1980s.

A trench has also been dug through the centre of the lawn and top layers of grass have been removed from other areas of the garden by officers.

Searches at a second property where 63-year-old Tobin used to live at Marine Parade, Brighton, have not gone ahead today, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

Yesterday police announced that their inquiries would also focus on the interiors of the two properties. The teams descended on the addresses armed with ground-penetrating radar and shovels on Monday morning.

The move marked a dramatic escalation in a nationwide behind-the-scenes inquiry, dubbed Anagram, focusing on Tobin's lifetime of crime and violence.

The background

Police are convinced Tobin claimed more victims as he lived across Britain under different names and trawled the motorways for vulnerable female hitch-hikers.

Tobin was told last December that he would die in jail after he was convicted of strangling 18-year-old Dinah McNicol.The former church handyman was already serving life terms for the murders of
15-year-old Vicky Hamilton and Angelika Kluk, 23.

Police discovered the remains of Vicky and Miss McNicol buried in the garden of a house in Margate, Kent, which Tobin had moved to in March 1991.Police said the searches behind flats in Marine Parade and a hairdressing salon in Station Road, Portslade, could continue for a month.

The Station Road hairdressing salons were once a cafe, Ye Olde Tea-room, run by Tobin in 1988 with his future wife, Cathy Wilson, with whom he had a son. Neighbours recall Tobin doing a substantial amount of DIY on the property as he converted it from a junk shop and cleared the garden.

Marine Parade is a large housing association block of flats which backs on to a small area of grass and concrete paving.
Investigators have refused to go into detail about why police were targeting the two properties or what cases they may be linked to.

Police responsible for the Anagram inquiry 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, who disappeared in Eastbourne in 1989. Her body has never been found.

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.

Detectives attempted to speak to Tobin in prison about the latest developments but he refused to talk to them and they remain keen to unravel further details of his life, particularly where he lived in 1977 and 1978.

Police said Tobin used several aliases, mostly variations of the same name, during around two decades in Brighton from 1969 when he lived at homes in Dyke Road, Regency Square, Eastern Street and Chadborn Close.