Friday 24 November 2017

Details of probe key to action on fifth missing girl

David Young

The red bike Jennifer Cardy was riding when Robert Black snatched her from a country road could be key to prosecuting the serial killer over another child disappearance, a senior detective has said.

The predatory paedophile, who was found guilty this week of nine-year-old Jennifer's murder in Northern Ireland in 1981, has long been the prime suspect in the case of missing 13-year-old Genette Tate, who was last seen in a rural lane in Aylesbeare, Devon, in 1978.

No trace of the newspaper delivery girl has ever been found. All that remained at the scene was her bike and scattered papers.

Black (64) has already been questioned by Devon and Cornwall police about Genette's case, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to charge him. The investigation into her suspected murder could have been given a boost by Thursday's verdict at Armagh Crown Court.

Officers in Devon are now set to review in fine detail all the evidence presented to court during the six-week trial. Police believe the circumstances of both cases bear remarkable resemblances and such "similar fact" evidence may convince the CPS there is the chance of a conviction.

Both girls were riding bikes when they went missing and both were last seen on rural roads flanked by high hedges.

During Jennifer's case, the court heard police tapes of Black -- who has never admitted to any of his four murder convictions, including his convictions in 1994 for the murders of three young girls -- describing a recurring sexual fantasy where he abducted a pre-pubescent girl in his work van while driving along just such a road.

Irish Independent

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