Belfast Telegraph

Secret funeral of Robert Black

The top ten news stories of 2016

By Sophie Inge

In January, the Department of Justice was slammed for imposing a "shroud of secrecy" over the funeral of serial child killer Robert Black.

Black, who was serving 12 life sentences for the kidnap and murder of four little girls, died at Maghaberry Prison earlier that month at the age of 68.

But prison chiefs refused to reveal if the notorious paedophile's funeral had taken place, if his remains had been removed from Northern Ireland and to provide details of the cost to the public purse.

Under prison rules, the State has a duty to cover the burial costs of every convict who dies behind bars.

Following his death, demands were made that his remains not be kept in Northern Ireland, where he abducted and murdered Ballinderry schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy in 1981.

It later emerged that he had been cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.

In February, the Northern Ireland Prison Service said: "No one claimed Robert Black's ashes, which have now been scattered at sea without formal ceremony beyond these shores."

Black 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 Cardy (9), from Co Antrim, in 1981.

Belfast Telegraph


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