A newly-appointed Perth sheriff helped prosecute two of Scotland’s most notorious killers, Peter Tobin and World’s End murderer, Angus Sinclair.
Sheriff Keith O’Mahony was installed on Monday at Perth Sheriff Court following a period working for the Crown Office during which he was involved in a series of high profile legal cases.
These included carrying out precognition from witnesses in the case against serial killer Peter Tobin for the murder of Angelika Kluk and also the double jeopardy retrial of Angus Sinclair for the World’s End murders.
In addition, Mr O’Mahony took statements for, and was junior counsel for, the Crown during the case against Ronnie Coulter for the murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar.
Tobin was found guilty of raping and murdering Miss Kluk in May 2007, with Judge Lord Menzies describing him as “an evil man.” The body of the 23-year-old Polish woman had been hidden by Tobin under the floorboards of St Patrick’s RC Church in Glasgow.
Painstaking forensics work led to Tobin’s DNA matching the scene and the legal case later led to him being convicted of the murders of Vicky Hamilton, 15, and 18-year-old Dinah McNicol. Tobin was also linked to a series of unsolved deaths of women across the UK.
The trial of Sinclair was the first to take place in Scotland following the ending of the double jeopardy rule. This had prevented a person standing trial at court for a second time on the same charge after being acquitted.
Sinclair had been tried for the murder and rape of Helen Scott and Christine Eadie in 2007 but he was acquitted after the judge ruled there was no case to answer. In November 2014, Sinclair was convicted of the girls’ murders.
The teenage friends had last been seen in the World’s End pub in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Coulter was also jailed under double jeopardy rules for the 1998 murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar.
Mr O’Mahony began his career in criminal defence practice and then joined the Crown Office in 2001. Following spells working in Dundee and Edinburgh as a fiscal depute, he was appointed a senior procurator fiscal depute in 2008 and made an advocate depute in 2014.