VIDEO Child killer Robert Black to serve 25 year minimum for murder of Antrim schoolgirl
Published 08/12/2011 | 12:50
SERIAL child killer Robert Black is to serve a minimum of 25 years in jail for murdering a schoolgirl 30 years ago.
Black, 64, was sentenced at Belfast Crown Court after he was found guilty last month of snatching nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy as she cycled to a friend's house in Ballinderry, County Antrim, in 1981.
The former delivery driver abducted Jennifer while on a work trip to Northern Ireland and dumped her body in water close to the main Belfast-Dublin road near Hillsborough, Co Antrim, before catching a ferry home.
Black, who is already serving multiple life terms in Wakefield prison, was sentenced by Mr Justice Ronald Weatherup, who had earlier heard the killer's own lawyer offer no plea for mercy.
David Spens QC told the judge: "This is one of those rare cases in which there is no mitigation and so I propose to say nothing in that regard."
Prosecution barrister Toby Hedworth QC argued that Black should face a whole life term, given his other killings.
Around 40 killers including Moors Murderer Ian Brady and Rose West have formally been told they will never be released.
But the judge gave him another life sentence with a minimum of 25 years instead.
Jennifer's murder was the fourth for which Black has been convicted.
In 1994, he was found guilty of three unsolved child murders in the 1980s - those of 11-year-old Susan Maxwell, from the Scottish Borders, five-year-old Caroline Hogg, from Edinburgh, and Sarah Harper, 10, from Morley, near Leeds.
Detectives in England are reviewing the evidence against Black in connection with another schoolgirl's disappearance.
Jennifer's family were in court today to see the killer sentenced.