TV newsman: The day evil Tobin fixed his gaze on me

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A VETERAN news reporter has told how evil serial killer Peter Tobin tried to “psych him out” during the trial that transfixed Scotland a decade ago.

Mike Edwards recalled the moment Tobin, convicted of the murders of three women between 1991 and 2006, “fixed his gaze” on the reporter when he entered the High Court in Edinburgh in 2007.

Edwards said he knew “instantly” the former church handyman was guilty, revealing he sat inches away from the killer as the verdict for the murder of Polish student Angelika Kluk was read out following a trial.

The broadcaster was speaking after the release of his autobiography, The Road Home: My American Journey in Search of Inverness, in which he travels across the United States to explore the towns and cities named after his Highland home.

The memoir also covers some of his most memorable moments in a 25-year career as a reporter for the channel, as well as his time on tour in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the Territorial Army.

Exclusive interviews with the likes of former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and murderer Ian Brady are revisited in the book – released 12 years after his debut novel Friendly Fire in 2006. However Edwards, 53, admitted he still remembers the chilling effect of being near Tobin in the courtroom 11 years later.

“I remember day one of the trial, he walked into the courtroom and just fixed me with his gaze,” he said.

“In the press gallery we are only inches away and I just couldn’t face looking at him. I knew he was trying to psych me out, that’s what these guys do, they try to beat you psychologically.”

He continued: “But I wasn’t going to let him do that, I wasn’t going to let him win. I made a point of staring him down every day to show him he wasn’t going to get away with it.”

Edwards has previously covered some of the biggest stories in Scotland over the past three decades, including reporting from the scene of violent clashes between police and anarchist protesters on Princes Street following the Make Poverty History March.

He recalled “complete chaos” on Princes Street as masked protesters “hijacked” the event.

In the book, he visited five towns across the US which share the name Inverness, including those in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.

However it was in the 
California version he felt most at home: “It is surrounded by pine forests, fresh water and salt water – the terrain was similar.”

He added: “I don’t think they have any prehistoric monsters in their lakes though.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com