Child killer Black gets another 25 years

A serial child killer was jailed for a minimum of 25 years for murdering a schoolgirl 30 years ago, as police investigate whether he killed a fifth child.

Robert Black, who is already serving multiple life sentences for three other killings, was found guilty last month of snatching nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy as she cycled to a friend's house in Ballinderry, Co Antrim, in 1981. The former delivery driver, 64, dumped her body in water close to the main Belfast-Dublin road near Hillsborough, before catching a ferry home.

At his sentencing at Belfast Crown Court yesterday, with Jennifer's family present, Black's own lawyer said there was no mitigation he could offer.

In 1994, Black was found guilty of three child murders in England and Scotland the 1980s. Detectives in England are reviewing the evidence against Black in the case of another schoolgirl.

Toby Hedworth QC, for the prosecution, said Black should face a whole-life term for Jennifer's murder, but Mr Justice Ronald Weatherup instead gave him another life sentence, with a minimum 25 years in jail, meaning that Black will be at least 89 when he is released.