Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keep This Man in Prison until He Dies, Plea

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keep This Man in Prison until He Dies, Plea

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Warburton

AMURDERED schoolgirl's family last night branded child killer Robert Black "one of the most dangerous men in Britain" and said they believed he should be sentenced to die in prison.

Black was yesterday handed a minimum jail term of 25 years for the brutal murder of nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy in Ballinderry, County Antrim, in 1981.

It came more than 17 years after Black's conviction for murdering Susan Maxwell in Cornhill-on-Tweed, in Northumberland.

The 11-year-old was abducted on July 30, 1982, after she left her home in Cornhill-on-Tweed to play a game of tennis in Coldstream. Black raped and strangled her, and dumped her body by the side of a road near Uttoxeter, about 250 miles away in the Midlands.

Last night Susan's mother, Liz Maxwell, who lives in Berwick, Northumberland, with her husband Fordyce, said: "Although 25 years sounds a lot, we are disappointed that no judge has yet said that Black should stay in prison until he dies.

"I know he will be a very old man if he survives - we've worked out he will be 89 - but he must be one of the most dangerous men in Britain and we can't see why they can't make a ruling where he is never released.

"This latest trial has been very hard for the family and even though we thought we were braced for this court case, there has been a lot of distressing detail which has been very upsetting. We still miss our daughter every day, as the parents of Jennifer will miss her."

Yesterday Black, 64, received the sentence after being found guilty last month of snatching nine-year-old Jennifer as she cycled to a friend's house.

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, County 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. …

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