Robert Black – Notorious serial child killer DEAD
The child killer Robert Black, who was convicted of the murders of four children from across the UK in the 1980s, has died in prison.
Black had a history of abducting, abusing and murdering young girls.
His victims were nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy from Northern Ireland; Sarah Harper, 10, from England, and 11-year-old Susan Maxwell and five-year-old Caroline Hogg both from Scotland.
Black died of natural causes in Maghaberry prison.
In a statement, the Northern Ireland Prison Service confirmed that a 68-year-old prisoner had died at the high-security jail.
“While this is not being treated as suspicious, the Prison Service has informed the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Coroner, and Prisoner Ombudsman,” the statement added.
“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”
Serial child killer Robert Black has failed in a bid to overturn his conviction for kidnapping and murdering a Co Antrim schoolgirl
The Court of Appeal rejected claims that the Scotsman’s criminal past should not have been revealed to a jury who found Black guilty of abducting Jennifer Cardy 32 years ago.
Arguments that his trial should have been halted due to a lack of opportunity and identification evidence against him were also dismissed on Thursday.
Jennifer was snatched as she cycled to a friend’s house in Ballinderry in August 1981. The nine-year-old’s body, suspected of being sexually abused, was discovered nearly a week later at a dam near Hillsborough, Co Antrim.
Black, a 66-year-old former delivery driver from Grangemouth in Scotland, was said to have been in Northern Ireland at the time on a work trip for a London-based poster dispatch firm.
In 2011 the paedophile was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering Jennifer and ordered to serve at least 25 years in prison
Black pictured last year
During the six-week trial at Armagh Crown Court, it emerged he had already been convicted of killing three other girls, abducting a fourth, and attempting to snatch another.
Jurors were told how Black was jailed at Newcastle Upon Tyne Crown Court in 1994 for three unsolved murders from the 1980s – those of 11-year-old Susan Maxwell, from the Scottish Borders, five-year-old Caroline Hogg, from Edinburgh, and Sarah Harper, 10, from Morley, near Leeds.
Black’s criminal history was introduced in an attempt to show striking similarities with Jennifer’s killing and prove his guilt.
His barrister argued that the trial judge erred in admitting the bad character evidence. Black’s sexual fantasies about abducting young girls, recorded in 2005 during his interviews with detectives investigating Jennifer’s case, were played to the jury.
It was claimed these were not a reflection of what he had done to Jennifer, as the prosecution suggested. But judges were also told Black’s fantasies led him to hunt for young victims on whom he could live them out.
Prosecutors argued that the jury had a right to know about “distasteful” material found during the investigation. Searches of the convicted killer’s van and home uncovered tape, child pornography and sexual objects.
He told police that he would have worn the children’s clothing, including a swimsuit for a girl aged eight to ten, for his own sexual gratification. It was further contended that Black used his signature method in dumping Jennifer’s body.
There were striking similarities between her killing and the three other young girls whose lives he took, according to the prosecution. Black appeared by a video-link with Maghaberry Prison for the verdict.
Jennifer’s parents, Andrew and Patricia Cardy, were in court to hear Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan throw out all grounds of appeal. The judge said the approach taken at trial was, if anything, more beneficial to the killer.
Dealing with the issue of opportunity, Sir Declan detailed “a formidable case supporting the conclusion that the appellant was in Northern Ireland on the day of the abduction”. He held that the trial judge carefully review evidence of the so-called signature method deployed by Black.
“It is, however, important to remember that the prosecution case did not depend on the scientific evidence alone as there was also evidence of alleged admissions by way of the fantasy evidence,” he added. Sir Declan confirmed: “We do not consider that any of the grounds of appeal have been made out.”
Robert Black jailed for life
A SERIAL child killer was handed a fresh life sentence today for the murder of the fourth child he callously slaughtered.
Evil paedophile Robert Black was already serving multiple life sentences when he was convicted in October over the death of nine-year-old schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy.
His lawyer did not plea for mercy and the prosecution said it wanted him to serve a whole life term given his previous crimes.
But Mr Justice Ronald Weatherup stopped short of that and gave Black — already serving TEN life sentences — another life sentence with a minimum term of 25 years. That means he will be 89 before he can be considered for release.
Jennifer’s parents were in court to see Black, 64, sentenced for snatching her as she cycled to a friend’s house in County Antrim in 1981.
Victim … Jennifer Cardy