Northern Ireland

Jennifer Cardy murder: Black was in NI on day of kidnap

Robert Black at a previous hearing
Image caption Robert Black at a previous hearing

A Scottish van driver accused of murdering a schoolgirl while delivering to Northern Ireland told police he accepted he was in the region the day she vanished.

Robert Black, 64, denies kidnapping and killing nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy.

She disappeared as she cycled to a friend's house in Ballinderry, County Anrtim 12 August, 1981.

Armagh Crown Court heard transcripts of police interviews from 1996 when he was first questioned about Jennifer.

Crown lawyer Donna McColgan and police detective Patrick McAnespie read the exchanges.

Black initially claimed he did not know if he was in Northern Ireland on the day in question. Police then presented him with evidence they claimed showed he was there.

This included his salary docket for that week noting a bonus payment, apparently for the Ireland trip.

'In touch'

The court heard that in 1996 the interviewing detective put the various strands of evidence to Black and asked did he now accept he was in Northern Ireland on the day Jennifer was abducted.

He replied: "Yes I would accept that, yeah."

"If I think of anything that might clear it up I will get in touch with Mr Saunders (his solicitor in 1996) and let him know," Black added.

The defendant worked for now defunct London-based firm Poster Dispatch and Storage (PDS) around the time of the murder.

The Crown claim he was in Northern Ireland the day Jennifer disappeared, dropping off orders in Belfast and Newry.

The schoolgirl's body was found six days after she went missing. floating in a dam behind a lay-by on the main Newry to Belfast road.

Jennifer's parents Andy and Patricia and her younger sister Victoria watched from the public gallery as the interview transcripts were acted out before court.

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