Jury is Told Defendant is Serial Killer


ARMAGH, Northern Ireland, Oct. 8 (UPI) — The jury in the trial of a truck driver accused of killing a girl in Northern Ireland in 1981 was told Friday he has been convicted of three murders.

Prosecutor Toby Hedworth warned jurors that Robert Black’s criminal record does not automatically mean he is guilty of the murder of 9-year-old Jennifer Cardy, the Belfast Telegraph reported. But he said they can consider the similarities between the abduction and killing in County Antrim and other crimes in England and Scotland.

“What you certainly must not do is say: ‘Well, he’s done those other ones, he’s a thoroughly bad man, so we’ll find him guilty in this case as well,'” Hedworth said.

Black, 64, is on trial in Crown Court in Armagh, charged with killing Jennifer while he was making a delivery in Northern Ireland. Jennifer’s body was found at McKee’s Dam, 10 miles from her home in Ballinderry, six days after she disappeared.

A native of Grangemouth, Scotland, Black was brought up by foster parents. Investigators say he may have killed many more girls in Britain and other European countries, the newspaper reported.

Black pleaded guilty to kidnapping a 6-year-old girl who was found tied up in the back of his van in Scotland in 1990. He was later convicted in Newcastle Crown Court of killing three girls in the 1980s in Scotland and northern England and attempting to kidnap a fourth, and was sentenced to life with a minimum of 35 years before release.

From

From Wikipedia.

Police suspected Black of the murders of Susan Maxwell, Caroline Hogg and Sarah Harper. They checked his petrol receipts and eventually charged Black with all three murders, in addition to the attempted kidnapping of a 15-year-old girl who had escaped when a man who had tried to drag her into a van in 1988.

Black stood trial at Newcastle upon Tyne Moot Hall on Wednesday 13 April 1994 and denied the charges. Having sifted through many thousands of petrol-station receipts, the prosecution was able to place him at all the scenes and show the similarities between the three killings and the kidnap of the six-year-old girl who had been rescued. Juries are not usually allowed to know of a defendant’s current or past convictions, but in this case the judge allowed it.

On 19 May, the jury found Black guilty on all counts, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment and told that he should serve at least 35 years. This would keep him behind bars until at least 2029, when he would be 82.

I hope that by letting the jury know he is a convicted serial killer the prosecution did not mess up. I would hate for this trial to be a waste of tax payer money due to that.

  1. In Australia the jury can’t be told of priors. I remember a friend of mine on jury duty was quite satisfied when they found a rapist not guilty. That was until he was told by a police officer after the trial the man was facing several other rape charges against other women!!! Urgh! If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…..

  2. Makes my head hurt. Why do the predators get so much more protection that the victims and the public?
    I do not understand at all why the law does that.

    • Yes, especially when they aren’t accountable. Courts can’t get sued.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: