The legal team of Jessie Earl’s family has said they believe the 22-year-old Eastbourne student’s death was an unlawful killing.The new inquest heard that Jessie was 22 when she went missing in 1980. Her remains were found in dense shrubland at Beachy Head nine years later.During the inquest Stephen Kamlish QC, representing the Earl family, said, “This was undoubtedly an unlawful killing.“The evidence doesn’t show that she perhaps banged her head.”The family’s legal team has also suggested that the most likely cause of death is strangulation or asphyxiation while it is ‘possible’ that Jessie was sexually assaulted.Investigating officer Pauline Sweeney said a bra, found by Jessie’s remains, should have been retained by Essex Police.The inquest heard experts compared the DNA from Jessie’s remains with Tobin who was living in the area at the time.
Jessie had spoken about meeting a ‘Scottish’ man who worked in a church, as Tobin did, while she was out walking.
Tobin, now gravely ill in Edinburgh's Saughton Prison, has never spoken to detectives about any other potential victims.
He is known to have killed at least three young women and has been linked to a number of other murders.
Tobin, 75, is serving life for raping and murdering Polish student Angelika Kluk, 23, and hiding her body in an underfloor storage the floor of a Glasgow church in 2006.
Tobin was also handed life terms for the murders of 15-year-old schoolgirl Vicky Hamilton, of Redding, near Falkirk, in 1991, and 18-year-old Dinah McNicol, from Chelmsford, the same year. He picked the student up as she hitchhiked home from a music festival.
Their bodies were found 17 years later, buried in the garden of his former home in Margate, Kent. Vicky Hamilton’s remains had been stored in Tobin’s former home in Bathgate – where he had abducted her as she waited for a bus home – and were cut in half.
The coroner is expected to announce the inquest findings on Thursday.