Child murder reviewed after NI ruling

Published Monday, 02 June 2014
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Police and prosecutors in England are in fresh talks about the prime suspect in the 1978 murder of a Devon schoolgirl - Robert Black - after he failed to overturn his conviction for murdering a Co Antrim schoolgirl.

Child murder reviewed after NI ruling
Robert Black at a previous court appearance, (© Pacemaker)

The convicted child killer is long suspected of murdering 13-year-old Genette Tate, who was last seen in a rural lane in Aylesbeare, and whose body was never found.

Police believe there is new hope for prosecution in the case, after Black lost an appeal last year against his latest conviction for the murder of nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy in Northern Ireland.

Jennifer was snatched as she cycled to a friend's house in Ballinderry in August 1981.

Her body was discovered nearly a week later at a dam near Hillsborough, Co Antrim.

Black, who is now in his late 60s, from Grangemouth in Scotland, was in Northern Ireland at the time on a work trip.

During Black's bid to overturn the 2011 conviction, he argued his trial was prejudiced because the jury was told he had already been convicted of killing three other girls, abducting a fourth, and attempting to snatch another.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: "Devon and Cornwall Police are liaising with the Complex Case Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service, to ascertain if the 2013 Court of Appeal judgment following the murder of Jennifer Cardy in Northern Ireland, has any bearing on the Genette Tate case.

"This liaison is still at a very early stage and will take some time to complete."

Black was found guilty in 1994 of murdering three girls in the 1980s - 11-year-old Susan Maxwell from the Scottish Borders, Caroline Hogg, 5, from Edinburgh, Sarah Harper, 10, from Morley, near Leeds.

He is serving 12 life sentences for murder and kidnap.

© UTV News
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