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Jennifer Cardy's killer Robert Black spent final days playing cards with fellow paedophiles

By Claire McNeilly

Published 18/01/2016

Child killer Robert Black
Child killer Robert Black

Child killer Robert Black spent the final days before his death in jail playing poker with fellow paedophiles, it has emerged.

Black, who died in the high-security Maghaberry Prison last Tuesday, is understood to have been friends with Gerry Adams' child molester brother Liam Adams and convicted rapist and pensioner killer Trevor Hamilton. He was also friendly with child murderer Barry McCarney, who killed and sexually assaulted 18-month-old Millie Martin.

The 68-year-old serial killer was serving life sentences for the murders of four young girls.

There has been controversy over where the Scotsman should be buried and how his funeral should be paid for.

A Northern Ireland Prison Service spokesman last night said he could not confirm if Black's body has been claimed by any of his family - or anyone else.

"As this relates to an individual case it would not be appropriate for us to comment," he said.

Jennifer Cardy (9), from Ballinderry, outside Lisburn, was one of the Scottish van driver's victims. He murdered the schoolgirl in 1981 after abducting her while on a job delivering posters.

A suspect in up to 16 UK-wide child killings, Black had been imprisoned in Northern Ireland since being convicted of Jennifer's murder in 2011.

Pat Cardy, Jennifer's mother, said the body of her daughter's killer should be treated with respect - but not buried here.

"This is a man that we have to treat with respect - we have to treat his body with respect," she said. "My personal view is I would prefer him not to be buried here."

Maghaberry sources told Sunday Life about the comfortable lifestyles enjoyed by the four hated inmates in the prison.

"Robert Black, Liam Adams, Trevor Hamilton and Barry McCarney would spend all day playing poker," an insider said.

The source also said Black often hinted about committing more murders than the four for which he was convicted.

The DUP's Edwin Poots agreed that Black should not be buried in Northern Ireland. He said he was concerned that any potential grave could become a target for desecration and a reminder to the Cardy family of the pain Black had caused them.

"Robert Black is the manifestation of evil and wickedness," Mr Poots said. "Black's only connection to Northern Ireland is that he came here and murdered a child. So, therefore, I don't believe there is any reason for his body to remain in Northern Ireland. The authorities need to find a reasonable and sensitive way of dealing with this issue."

Justice Minister David Ford said: "There are protocols which will apply when somebody in circumstances like Black's dies in custody. What happens then is there is a dignified and appropriate disposal of the burial."

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