Man to face court next month over 1981 schoolgirl murder

A man accused of murdering a schoolgirl almost 30 years ago is set to appear before court next month.

Robert Black, 61, is to face the charge of killing nine year-old Jennifer Cardy, from Ballinderry, Co Antrim, in Northern Ireland, in August 1981.

She was cycling to a friend’s house when she was snatched. Her red bike was later found in a field close to her home.

The youngster’s disappearance triggered a major search operation, with local people helping police comb the countryside.

At a time when violence cut deep divisions through the North, the effort to find Jennifer united communities in a way seldom seen during the Troubles.

Her body was eventually found six days later by two fishermen at McKee’s Dam near the village of Hillsborough, which is around 10 miles from where she vanished.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had been drowned and had been in the water for days.

Black, who is originally from Scotland but now resides in England, was working as a van driver in the North at the time of Jennifer’s disappearance.

He was served with summons papers yesterday and his hearing is expected to be held in the North at the end of January.

Jennifer’s family today released a statement saying they did not wish to comment on the latest development in the case.


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