Belfast Telegraph

Lawyer for suspected child killer Robert Black challenges paper trail linking him to the Jennifer Cardy murder

By Deborah McAleese

A lawyer for suspected child killer Robert Black has questioned a paper trail allegedly placing him in Northern Ireland at the time a nine-year-old girl was murdered.

It has been claimed that fuel receipts and work records provide proof that north London van driver Black (64) had been in the region delivering advertising posters on August 12, 1981 — the day Jennifer Cardy was abducted and murdered while cycling to a friend’s house.

During day two of his trial at Armagh Crown Court yesterday, however, Black’s defence barrister David Speers QC said that the paperwork did not determine the day a driver had been in Northern Ireland delivering the posters.

It is the prosecution case that on the morning of Jennifer’s murder, Black, who worked for the now defunct delivery company Poster Dispatch and Storage Ltd (PDS), delivering all over Britain and Northern Ireland, arrived at Belfast docks off the Liverpool ferry.

The prosecution claims he delivered posters in Belfast, Dunmurry and Newry before returning to Belfast to catch the evening ferry back to England.

It is claimed that before he caught the ferry he had several hours of free time, during which he abducted Jennifer, sexually assaulted her, murdered her and dumped her body in a dam.

Alan Simmons, the boss of a company called Concorde and Poster Link that acted as an agent for advertisers, told the court that he would have arranged for the company that Black worked for to deliver advertising posters.

Mr Simmons also told the court that a number of advertising campaigns for which PDS’s services were employed to deliver posters were due to start in September 1981 — meaning that the delivery should have been made midway through August 1981, around the time that Jennifer was murdered.

However, under cross-examination by Black’s legal team, Mr Simmons admitted there were many incidents where posters were delivered late.

Mr Speers also told the court that a driver for PDS said the delivery to Ireland would normally have been done “a couple of days” before the campaign start date.

The lawyer also said that the fuel records obtained by police were “incomplete”.

Black denies murder.

The trial continues.

Background

Nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy disappeared shortly after lunchtime on August 12, 1981 as she cycled to a friend’s house 1.5 miles away from her family home in Ballinderry. Her body was found by two duck hunters floating in a nearby pond six days later. London-based van driver Robert Black is on trial for her murder.

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