Belfast Telegraph

Predator Robert Black 'a lost cause to humanity'

By Allan Preston

When Black was convicted of the murder of Jennifer in 2011, the judge at Armagh Crown Court called him an "aggressive predatory paedophile" who was "a lost cause to humanity".

Jennifer was just nine when she became Black's first known victim in 1981. She was the last he faced justice for three decades later.

The lorry driver from Scotland was also convicted of murdering Susan Maxwell (11), Caroline Hogg (5) and Sarah Harper (10).

On August 11, 1981 Jennifer was enjoying her summer holidays at home with her parents in Ballinderry near Lisburn. She had arranged to meet a friend and had set off on a red bicycle that had been a birthday gift. She never turned up and the bike was found a mile from her home.

Six days later the worst fears of her parents Andrew and Pat were confirmed when her body was found at McKee's dam near Hillsborough. She had been in the water for days.

Black was caught after he abducted a six-year-old girl in Stow in the Scottish Borders in 1990. The girl was found tied up in a sleeping bag in his van, and Black was jailed for life.

In 1994 he was convicted of the murder of Susan, Caroline and Sarah. He remained a prime suspect in Jennifer's killing but was not convicted until 2011.

When Jennifer went missing, SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly was one of the hundreds of people who took part in searches for her.

"The horrific murders committed by Robert Black are scorched in the memories of people from that time," she said.

"I remember vividly being in the search party that looked in vain for Jennifer Cardy.

"While I didn't know her family, I have never forgotten them. Once again tonight my thoughts and prayers are with them as the painful scars of Jennifer's death undoubtedly resurface."

Ms Kelly also told how she still almost daily drives past the spot were Jennifer's red bicycle was discovered.

"I am reminded of the evil that touched this place that day," she said.

"The entire community was frightened and shocked by what had happened, and we were not alone. I remember all the children he murdered over the years: Sarah, Susan and Caroline."

She recalled clearly that when Black was finally convicted in 2011, he was described as "a lost cause to humanity".

"There is no doubt in my mind that that is true and (tonight)Black faces the ultimate judge," Ms Kelly added.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph