Dinah McNicol: Murder trial halted

THE wait goes on for the family of murdered student Dinah McNicol after the trial of her alleged killer was delayed for six months.

Annie Davidson

THE wait goes on for the family of murdered student Dinah McNicol after the trial of her alleged killer was delayed for six months.

Peter Tobin, who is accused of killing the 18-year-old and burying her remains in the garden of a house in Kent, has been taken ill and needs surgery.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard yesterday that the defendant had developed shingles with complications and would need surgery.


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Tobin's trial began on June 23 and he had denied the murder of Miss McNicol, from Tillingham, near Maldon, who disappeared in 1991 as she hitch-hiked home from a festival in Hampshire.

Her remains were found in a shallow grave in the garden of a house in Margate in 2007. Tobin had lived at the property in 1991.

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Miss McNicol, who was awaiting the results of A-levels she had sat at Chelmsford County High School for Girls, was found along with a missing 15-year-old from Scotland, Vicky Hamilton.

She had also disappeared in 1991 but from the Bathgate area, near Edinburgh.

Tobin was convicted of her murder in December last year and jailed for life.

However, shortly after the trial concerning Miss McNicol's death began it was adjourned because Tobin was unwell.

Yesterday all parties involved in the case were told that the trial had been put off until Tobin had recovered.

The jury was discharged and a new one will be sworn in for Tobin's second trial which is due to begin on December 14.

Miss McNicol's father, Ian McNicol, was in court yesterday to hear Mr Justice Calvert-Smith explain that the case was being put off.

He said after the hearing: “After waiting 18 years what is another six months?

“We had obviously hoped it would be finished this week but there is not a lot we can do about it.”

Shingles is a painful skin rash which is caused by the same virus which is responsible for chicken pox.

The rash, which tends to be in a single area on one side of the body, can also be accompanied by severe pain in the affected area.

annie.davidson@eadt.co.uk

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