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Child killer Robert Black guilty of Jennifer Cardy murder

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Robert Black

Robert Black

Jennifer Cardy

Jennifer Cardy

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 Cardy was snatched as she cycled to a friend's house in the quiet Co Antrim village of Ballinderry on August 12, 1981

A petrol receipt belonging to serial killer Robert Black which was used as evidence in his trial for the murder of Jennifer Cardy.

A petrol receipt belonging to serial killer Robert Black which was used as evidence in his trial for the murder of Jennifer Cardy.

PSNI

Eleven year old Susan Maxwell who disappeared and was murdered in 1982 by Robert Black Serial killer Robert Black

Eleven year old Susan Maxwell who disappeared and was murdered in 1982 by Robert Black Serial killer Robert Black

PA

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

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

PA

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.

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.

PA

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

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

Paul Faith

Detectives examining bike which was found thrown over hedge on roadside (on Crumlin Rd, Ballinderry) . 13/8/81

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

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

Parents Andrew and Patricia Cardy leave Armagh Courthouse

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Robert Black

Notorious paedophile, Robert Black, already serving life imprisonment for the killings of three young girls was convicted in a Northern Ireland court yesterday of murdering a fourth thirty years ago.

A jury found Black, who has been in prison since 1990, guilty of kidnapping and murdering Jennifer Cardy, who was nine years old when she disappeared in 1981.

Black was, as he has been for years, uncommunicative and impassive as the verdict was announced and a further life sentence was imposed on him. He denied the charges and did not give evidence during his trial.

The serial child killer gave the authorities no help over the years with the Cardy murder or with other unsolved cases around the UK. This, and his previous convictions for a number of other non-lethal incidents, means suspicions remain that he may have been responsible for other attacks.

According to court reporter David Young: "Black never betrayed one flicker of emotion. Arms often folded, sometimes yawning, occasionally raising his eyes to the ceiling, the killer was an unwavering picture of cold indifference."

Black, a Scotsman, snatched Jennifer Cardy as she cycled to the home of a friend in the County Antrim village of Ballinderry. A full-scale hunt failed to locate her until her body was found in a local dam six years later.

The court heard graphic and distressing details relating to the Cardy abduction and to his three other murders. The prosecution argued that many of the details amounted to Black's "signature" of a "deviant and gross" pattern of behaviour.

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In police interviews Black made no admissions but outlined a "fantasy" of abducting and abusing young girls in the back of his van. At one point he described a scene closely resembling the location of Jennifer Cardy's death.

A prosecution lawyer declared: "We say this was no fantasy - this was a retelling of what he had done."

In poignant statements outside the court Jennifer's father Andy said: "For six weeks we have had to endure and listen to how Robert Black kidnapped, sexually abused and murdered our daughter. It has been absolutely horrendous.

"We heard things that, in all honesty, were not even in our imagination.

"We had a faith, and particularly throughout the trial we had a promise from God that he would never forsake us. He has given us a peace that surpasses all understanding. We have been able to live without bitterness. The wonderful thing is that one day we will be reunited with Jennifer."

His wife Pat, who burst into tears as Black was led away, described their daughter as "the happiest little girl that I have ever known." She added: "Robert Black has done this awful deed but he will not destroy us. I don't think we will ever have closure because our daughter is gone."

The court heard that at the time of Jennifer's disappearance Black was working as a van driver, occasionally making deliveries to Northern Ireland. His past crimes were only disclosed to the jury after a credit card receipt for petrol signed by him was taken as evidence that he had been in Northern Ireland.

Detectives investigating the Cardy case had discovered this while sifting through 22 tons of documentation amassed during previous investigations of Black.

Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray said of the Cardy family: "None of us can imagine what they have suffered over the past 30 years or, more recently, during the past weeks of this trial when the horrific events were re-visited.

"Robert Black preyed on the most vulnerable, most innocent and most cherished members of society, our children, devastating families and communities along the way. Today's conviction will ensure he remains behind bars for a long time to come."

His first lengthy sentence came after a six-year-old girl was found in his van in 1990, hooded and stuffed into a sleeping bag after he abducted her in a Scottish village. It was said she might have died within fifteen minutes had he not been stopped by police trying to find the child.

Black is already serving life sentences for the 1982 murder of eleven-year-old Susan Maxwell in Cornhill-on-Tweed, the killing of five-year-old Caroline Hogg near Edinburgh the following year, and the death in 1986 of ten-year-old Sarah Harper at Morley, Leeds.


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