Leeds child killer convicted of fourth murder

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SERIAL killer Robert Black - who murdered ten-year-old Leeds girl Sarah Harper – has been convicted for murdering a child from Northern Ireland 30 years ago.

The notorious Scottish paedophile was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy.

The jury returned its verdict at Armagh Crown Court on the second day of deliberation at the end of a high-profile five-week trial.

The schoolgirl was snatched as she cycled to a friend’s house in the quiet Co Antrim village of Ballinderry on August 12 1981.

Her body was found six days later in a dam behind a roadside layby 15 miles away at Hillsborough, Co Down.

In 1994, Black was convicted of three unsolved child murders in the 1980s - 11-year-old Susan Maxwell, from the Scottish Borders, five-year-old Caroline Hogg, from Edinburgh, and Sarah Harper, ten, from Morley, near Leeds - and a failed abduction bid in Nottingham in 1988.

Black’s killing was finally ended in 1990 when he was caught red-handed by police with a barely alive six-year-old girl hooded, bound, gagged and stuffed in a sleeping bag in the back of his van in the Scottish village of Stow. He had sexually assaulted her moments earlier.

The jury took four hours and 15 minutes over two days to reach its verdicts.

Black showed no emotion when the verdicts were read out.

Jennifer’s mother Patricia sobbed quietly in the public gallery and was comforted by her husband Andy.

Judge Mr Justice Ronald Weatherup told Black: “You have been convicted by a jury of murder. There is only one sentence that will be imposed by law.

“That’s the sentence of life imprisonment. Accordingly, I sentence you to life imprisonment.”

He then turned to the guards and said: “Take him down please.”