Archbishop of Glasgow Apologises Over Angelika Kluk Case

|PIC1|The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, the Most Rev Mario Conti, has apologised after a convicted sex offender was jailed for life on Friday for the murder and rape of Polish student Angelika Kluk.

The jury at the High Court in Edinburgh took just three-and-a-half hours to convict handyman Peter Tobin, 60, of killing the 23-year-old student and hiding her body in St Patrick's Catholic Church in Glasgow last September.

Tobin, a handyman at the church, savagely beat, raped and stabbed Ms Kluk to death before dumping her body beneath the church floorboards. Ms Kluk had been living in the chapel house and working as a cleaner to save money for her studies in Gdansk, Poland, when the attack happened.

Kluk's sister, Aneta, shouted "thank you" to the jury after the verdict was read out and later said in a statement that the family were relieved that "the man responsible for Angelika's death is now likely to spend the rest of his days behind bars".

Tobin, who denied all charges, will serve a minimum 21 years in jail. He was described by Judge Lord Menzies as "an evil man".

During the trial, the jury also heard evidence from the now disgraced priest at St Patrick's, Fr Gerry Nugent, an alcoholic who claimed he had sex with Kluk.

Archbishop Conti said in a statement released Friday, "Fr Nugent's own admissions reveal conduct which has fallen well short of that which is expected of every priest and he has betrayed the trust placed in him by reason of his office."

He added, "It is my duty, on behalf of the whole archdiocese, to apologise to all who have been hurt or scandalised by what has been revealed to have taken place."

Prior to the trial, Archbishop Conti asked for and accepted Fr Nugent's resignation. He reaffirmed in his statement that Fr Nugent would not longer exercise any ministry within the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

The Archbishop of Glasgow is expected to lead a formal ceremony at St Patrick's in the autumn in which he will acknowledge the "awful circumstances" of Kluk's death. Preparations are also being made for the appointment of a new parish priest for St Patrick's.

He appealed to the Scottish public to pray for everyone who had suffered as a result of the case and "especially for Angelika whose bright life was so cruelly extinguished in its early shining".