A man appeared in court today charged with one of Northern Ireland’s most infamous child murders.
Robert Black was flown into the province from England to appear before Lisburn’s Magistrates Court charged with kidnapping and murdering schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy almost three decades ago.
Standing behind a glass wall in the dock Black, who was dressed in a blue jumper, spoke only to confirm his name and to say he understood the charges.
He was not handcuffed inside the court but was flanked by four prison-officers inside the dock while four more stood outside the box.
A defence barrister told the court Black has said he is innocent and will be contesting the charges. He has been remanded in custody to appear before Craigavon Magistrates for arraignment in March.
Black (62) was born in Scotland but is now a resident in England.
He was served with a summons charging him with the murder of nine-year-old Jennifer in December last year. Black was working as a van driver in Northern Ireland at the time of Jennifer’s disappearance.
The schoolgirl vanished from Ballinderry village in August 1981 while cycling to a friend’s house.
After her disappearance her red bike was discovered in a field beside a hedge, near her Ballinderry home.
Her body was later discovered by fishermen at McKee’s Dam near Hillsborough in Co Down.