Triple murderer Peter Tobin was in reform school by age of seven and had three marriages, all marked by terrifying violence.
Though he would not receive his first life sentence until the age of 60, there are some conspicuous clues in Peter Tobin’s early life of the violent killer he would become.
He was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire in 1946, the second of eight children born to a council worker and housewife. He was, in the words of his younger brother Robert, “a bit wild”, and was in reform school by the age of seven.
He met his first wife, Margaret Mountney, when he was 22 and she 17; she has described a relationship that began with great charm but quickly degenerated into terrifying violence, in which she was frequently beaten and locked up by her husband.
On one occasion, she returned from an errand to find he had decapitated her pet puppy, after which she was raped and brutally sexually assaulted with a knife.
A neighbour raised the alarm when he saw her blood dripping through her ceiling, but though hospitalised for weeks, she was too scared to report her husband to the police. It was not until he was jailed for five years for theft, of which he served three, that she was able to escape the marriage.