Robert Black
Mugshot of Robert Black Wikipedia

Child killer Robert Black, 68, has died in prison. Black was serving 12 life sentences after he was convicted of the murders of four children from across the UK in the 1980s.

Black from Scotland, had abducted and abused young girls before murdering them. The former delivery driver is believed to have died from natural causes in the Maghaberry prison in Northern Ireland.

A Northern Ireland Prison Service confirmed on 12 January that a 68-year-old prisoner had died at the jail. "While this is not being treated as suspicious, the Prison Service has informed the Police Service of Northern Ireland Coroner, and Prisoner Ombudsman," it said. "It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time," it added.

In 1994, he was found guilty of killing 11-year-old Susan Maxwell from Cornhill on Tweed in Scotland in July 1982; five-year-old Caroline Hogg from Portobello in Edinburgh in July 1983; and Sarah Harper, 10 from Morley in Leeds in March 1986. In 2013, he was convicted of killing nine--year-old Jennifer Cardy from Northern Ireland, 30 years after her death.

Robert Black has been found guilty of the murder of Jennifer Cardy in August 1981
Robert Black found guilty of the murder of Jennifer Cardy in August 1981 PA

Although Cardy was Black's first victim, her case was the last to be solved by police. She was cycling to a friend's house near her home in Ballinderry, Antrim when Black abducted and then murdered her.

Black's killing came to an end after he was caught red-handed with a barely alive six-year-old girl who was found 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.

Local media claimed that Black was linked to several other missing girls. The Guardian said Black had long been the prime suspect in the case of missing 13-year-old Genette Tate, who was last seen in a rural lane in Aylesbeare, Devon in 1978.

The Daily Mail claims that as many as 40 different cases examined by police in the 1990s were linked to him and that 12 further killings are understood to remain potentially linked to Black.