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Child killer Robert Black's ashes to be scattered at sea

By Deborah McAleese

A prison officer will secretly scatter serial child killer Robert's Black's ashes at sea, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

The Prison Service is expected to take charge of a private cremation at Roselawn on the outskirts of Belfast after nobody came forward to claim Black's body.

His ashes will be disposed of outside of the province.

No further details of the cremation will be revealed.

The Prison Service came to a decision after the public voiced furious opposition to the 68-year-old being buried here.

"Black will be cremated and his ashes disposed of outside Northern Ireland, probably at sea," a prison source told this newspaper.

"Only a few people are privy to the full information."

Since Black's death in the high-security Maghaberry Prison last Tuesday there has been huge concern about his funeral arrangements, with members of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council refusing to allow him to be buried in the area, where he abducted and murdered little Jennifer Cardy in 1981.

Chairman of Stormont's justice committee Alastair Ross said he did not think "that a marked grave for this man anywhere in Northern Ireland would be appropriate".

The DUP MLA added: "In these unusual circumstances, and given the abhorrent actions of this man during his life, the remains of Robert Black should be disposed of in a way that causes the least distress to the Cardy family and that comes at minimal cost to the taxpayer."

The Prison Service said yesterday it had no new information about funeral arrangements.

Black was first accused of rape aged 12. He then went on to abduct and murder a number of young girls while working as a delivery driver.

He was jailed in 1994 for the murders of Susan Maxwell (11) from Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland, in 1982; Caroline Hogg (5), from Edinburgh, in 1983; and Sarah Harper (10) from Morley, near Leeds, in 1986. In 2011, he was also convicted of the murder of Jennifer (9), in Ballinderry, Co Antrim, in 1981.

He was further convicted of a failed abduction bid on Teresa Thornhill in Nottingham in 1988, when she was 15.

Following his death, detectives said they were days away from charging him with the abduction and murder of 13-year-old Genette Tate, who went missing in Devon in 1978 and has never been found.

New information has now emerged that murderer Black could have killed up to 15 more young girls, making him the country's most prolific serial killer of children.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph