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No mercy plea made for serial child killer Robert Black

By Steven McCaffery

Published 08/12/2011

Robert Black must serve a minimum of 25 years for murdering schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy in 1981
Robert Black must serve a minimum of 25 years for murdering schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy in 1981
Collect picture of Jennifer Cardy provided by the PSNI.
Jennifer Cardy
Andrew Cardy father of murdered school girl Jennifer Cardy leaves Armagh Court House yesterday as convicted Scottish killer Robert Black was found guilty of the young girl
Robert Black
Jennifer Cardy was snatched as she cycled to a friend's house in the quiet Co Antrim village of Ballinderry on August 12, 1981
Jennifer's father Andy and mother Pat comfort each other outside the court.
A petrol receipt belonging to serial killer Robert Black which was used as evidence in his trial for the murder of Jennifer Cardy.
Eleven year old Susan Maxwell who disappeared and was murdered in 1982 by Robert Black Serial killer Robert Black
Undated handout photo of ten year old Sarah Harper who vanished from Morley, near Leeds on March 26th 1986, and was murdered by Robert Black
UK PROVINCIAL USE ONLY. ALL TV, FOREIGNS, NATIONALS (INC REGIONAL EDITIONS) OUT. BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE: Undated handout photo of murdered schoolgirl Caroline Hogg as her murderer Robert Black has today been found guilty at Armagh Crown Court of kidnapping and murdering schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy in August 1981. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 27, 2011. See PA story ULSTER Cardy. Photo credit should read: PA WireNOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Victoria Cardy, sister of murdered schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy, leaves Armagh court house. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday October 26, 2011. The jury in serial killer Robert Black's latest murder trial has been sent home for the day after failing to reach a verdict after almost three hours of deliberations. See PA story ULSTER Cardy. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire
Detectives examining bike which was found thrown over hedge on roadside (on Crumlin Rd, Ballinderry) . 13/8/81
Robert Black appears at Lisburn Magistrates Court charged with the murder of nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy in August 1981
Parents Andrew and Patricia Cardy leave Armagh Courthouse

Serial child killer Robert Black's defence lawyer today told a court that no plea for mercy could be offered over his sentencing.

The comment was made as Mr Justice Ronald Weatherup prepared to set a minimum jail term at Belfast Crown Court for the murder of a schoolgirl 30 years ago.

Black, 64, was found guilty last month of snatching Jennifer Cardy as she cycled to a friend's house in Ballinderry, County Antrim, in 1981.

He then dumped her body in water close to the main Belfast-Dublin road near Hillsborough, Co Antrim.

As lawyers offered arguments around the length of prison term, defence barrister David Spens said: "This is one of those rare cases in which there is no mitigation and so I propose to say nothing in that regard."

Prosecution barrister Toby Hedworth QC argued that killings subsequently carried out by the former delivery driver should be taken into consideration.

"This is a man who has committed four murders rather than three murders or one murder," he said.

Black was in Northern Ireland on a work trip from London and caught a ferry home after killing his nine-year-old victim.

He is already serving multiple life sentences in Wakefield prison.

Jennifer's murder was the fourth for which he has been convicted.

In 1994, he was found guilty of three unsolved child murders in 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.

Mr Hedworth argued that Black should face a whole life term, given his other killings.

He said jail terms set in 1994 would have been higher had his other crimes been known.

Jennifer's family were in court today to see the killer sentenced.

Defence lawyer David Spens QC argued in favour of a discretionary sentence for the murder of the Northern Ireland schoolgirl.

Following a six-week trial, the jury at Armagh Crown Court delivered unanimous guilty verdicts on the counts of kidnap and murder after deliberating for four hours and 15 minutes.

Detectives in England are reviewing the evidence against Black in connection with another schoolgirl's disappearance.

Belfast Telegraph

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