12th January 2016

Serial killer Robert Black dies

Grangemouth-born Robert black died in Northern Ireland’s Maghaberry prison where he was serving a life sentence for murder, kidnap, and sexual assault.

He had grown up in foster care and children’s homes. The Herald reported in October 2011 that “As a 12-year-old, he was accused of trying to rape a young girl. No charges came of it, but as a result Black was moved to an all-boys home in Musselburgh, where he claims he was sexually abused by male staff.”

First court appearance

He first appeared in court in 1963, accused of abusing and almost killing a seven-year-old girl. This resulted only in a caution. Three years later, according to the BBC, “he was convicted of indecently assaulting the young daughter of the family he had been lodging with.”

In 1981, he murdered Jennifer Cardy in Ballinderry, County Antrim. Reporting Black’s trial 30 years later, the Belfast Telegraph reported that Cardy had been missing for six days before her body was discovered floating close to a dam. Black was convicted of the killing but was already in prison following previous convictions for the murder of three other girls – Susan Maxwell, Caroline Hogg and Sarah Harper.

Reporting his 1994 conviction for the three killings, the Newcastle Evening Chronicle of 19 May wrote that “after being sentenced, Black turned to the police officers as he was being led down from the court and said: ‘Well done boys’.”

Black’s death in 2016 was the result of a heart attack. He was 68.



Other events that occured in January

FREE Scotland history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Scotland's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want.