Belfast Telegraph

Cardy jury 'must be dispassionate'

The jury in serial killer Robert Black's latest murder trial must not let their opinion of him cloud their judgment, his defence lawyer has urged.

Natural sympathy for the family of his alleged victim Jennifer Cardy cannot be a factor in their deliberations either, David Spens QC told Armagh Crown Court.

Delivering his closing statement, Mr Spens said the case must be judged on the facts alone and insisted the Crown had completely failed to prove Black's guilt.

The 64-year-old convicted triple child killer from Scotland is accused of kidnapping and murdering nine-year-old Jennifer in Northern Ireland 30 years ago while on a day-long work trip to the region.

Mr Spens insisted there was no conclusive evidence Black was even in Northern Ireland and claimed the circumstances of the little girl's abduction and death had "striking dissimilarities" with his client's other crimes.

"It must be very difficult for Jennifer Cardy's parents to relive all of this," he said.

The schoolgirl's father, Andy, her mother Patricia and her brother Mark watched from the public gallery as the lawyer opened his address while Black listened from the dock behind his defence advocate.

Mr Spens stressed that the nine women and three men of the jury must assess the evidence "coolly, calmly and dispassionately".

Jennifer disappeared as she cycled to a friend's house in the quiet Co Antrim village of Ballinderry on August 12 1981.

Her body was found six days later floating in a dam behind a roadside lay-by 18 miles away at Hillsborough, Co Down.

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