Monster who killed Morley child dies in jail

Child serial killer Robert Black.

Child serial killer Robert Black.

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Serial child killer Robert Black, whose victims included a 10-year-old girl from Morley, has died in prison at the age of 68.

Scottish-born paedophile Black was serving 12 life sentences for the murders of four schoolgirls during the 1980s, including Morley girl Sarah Harper.

Sarah Harper

Sarah Harper

Ten-year-old Sarah, of Brunswick Place, was on her way back from a nearby corner shop when she was snatched and murdered in 1986.

Four weeks later, a dog walker found her body floating in the River Trent at Wilford near Nottingham.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had been violently sexually assaulted before drowning.

In 1994, Black was found guilty of Sarah’s murder along with two other unsolved child murders in the 1980s – those of 11-year-old Susan Maxwell, from the Scottish Borders and five-year-old Caroline Hogg from Edinburgh – as well as a failed abduction bid in Nottingham in 1988.

His reign of terror 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.

In 2012, Black was found guilty of the 1981 murder of nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy, from Ballinderry, Co Antrim.

He was also suspected of involvement in other killings.

He had long been the prime suspect in the case of missing 13-year-old Genette Tate, who was last seen in Devon in 1978.

No trace of the newspaper delivery girl was ever found.

Speaking about the news of Black’s death, a Northern Ireland Prison Service spokeswoman said: “The Prison Service has confirmed that a 68-year-old prisoner has died at Maghaberry Prison.

“While this is not being treated as suspicious, the Prison Service has informed the PSNI, Coroner, and Prisoner Ombudsman.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”