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Man denies brutal murder of schoolgirl nearly 30 years ago

A man accused of murdering a nine-year-old girl in Northern Ireland 28 years ago is innocent, his lawyer said yesterday.

Robert Black (62) is charged with kidnapping and killing Jennifer Cardy near Lisburn, Co Down.

His solicitor Gabriel Ingram told Lisburn Magistrates' Court his Scottish-born client would be denying the allegations.

"He is an innocent man and he will be contesting the charges," he said.

Jennifer was cycling to a friend's house near her home in Ballinderry, Co Antrim, when she was abducted on August 12 1981.

Her red bike was discovered in a field beside a hedge near her home. Her body was found six days later by anglers at McKee's Dam near Hillsborough.

Black, who is living in England, spoke only to confirm that he understood the charges during the five-minute preliminary inquiry.

With grey receding hair, wearing glasses and a bright blue pullover, he arrived before 10am in a white prison van protected by police in an unmarked car.

He sat expressionless, surrounded by prison officers, as the two charges were read out.

The charges were taking and carrying away Jennifer against her will and murdering her.

Resident magistrate Rosemary Watters referred the case to Craigavon Crown Court, where he will be arraigned on March 1.

Irish Independent