In the Media

Convicted child sex killer convicted of 1981 murder of girl in Northern Ireland

PUBLISHED October 27, 2011

Robert Black given life sentence for killing Jennifer Cardy, 9, who was abducted near her home in County Antrim 30 years ago Convicted child sex killer Robert Black has been found guilty of murdering a nine-year-old girl in Northern Ireland three decades ago. Jennifer Cardy was abducted from a road near her home in Ballinderry in County Antrim on 12 August 1981. Since his conviction for murdering three other children Black remained a prime suspected in the Cardy case. Addressing Armagh crown court the judge told Black: "There is only one sentence that can be imposed and that is a life sentence. Take him down." During the five-week trial, the jury heard that Jennifer had left her home to cycle a short distance to meet a friend. Her red bicycle, which had been a birthday present two weeks earlier, was later found thrown over a hedge close to her home. After a huge search operation, her body was found at McKee's Dam near Hillsborough, six days after she disappeared. At the time Black was working as a delivery driver for a London-based poster company and was travelling all over the UK. The prosecution said his job brought him to the Lisburn area on 12 August, the day Jennifer went missing. The jury heard that he stopped Jennifer before she reached her friend's house, abducted her, sexually assaulted her and killed her before dumping her body at McKee's Dam. He had always denied killing her. During his trial it was revealed that he was a predatory paedophile who fantasised about abducting, raping and killing young girls. In 1982, he abducted and murdered 11-year-old Susan Maxwell from the village of Cornhill-on-Tweed, close to the border between England and Scotland. A year later, Caroline Hogg, 5, disappeared from outside her home in the seaside resort of Portabello, just outside Edinburgh. Ten days later, the child's body was found in a ditch in Leicestershire. A third girl, 10-year-old Sarah Harper, was abducted as she walked from a corner shop near her home in Morley, Leeds. She was murdered by Black and her body was discovered in the river Trent in Nottingham. Black, who is originally from Scotland, was caught after abducting a six-year-old girl in Stow in the Scottish Borders in 1990, nine years after Jennifer's murder. He had been spotted and was caught a short time later with the abducted girl trussed up in a sleeping bag in the back of his van. Black was given a life sentence for abduction and in 1994 was convicted for the murders of Susan, Caroline and Sarah. Northern Ireland Crime Scotland Henry McDonald © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds