Killer may have no fam­ily at his in­quest

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

SE­RIAL KILLER Robert Black may see his in­quest pro­ceed with­out fam­ily participation, a coroner has said.

Nine months of ef­forts by the Coroner Ser­vice for North­ern Ire­land to find re­la­tions of the late Scot­tish pae­dophile have come to noth­ing, cor­ner Pa­trick McGurgan was told yes­ter­day.

Black, con­victed of four child mur­ders in­clud­ing Mor­ley school­girl Sarah Harper but sus­pected of many more, died of heart dis­ease in a North­ern Ire­land prison in 2016, aged 68.

The pae­dophile from Grange­mouth, near Falkirk, was a de­liv­ery driver who stalked the roads search­ing for vic­tims. He was cre­mated and his ashes scat­tered at sea be­cause no one wanted his re­mains. An in­quest is be­ing held into his death to es­tab­lish if there were any is­sues with the med­i­cal care he re­ceived while in­car­cer­ated. At a hear­ing in Belfast, a lawyer for the Coroners Ser­vice spoke about ef­forts to find re­la­tions to par­tic­i­pate in the in­quest.

“Ef­forts are be­ing made by an in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer but they can’t be traced,” he said.

In 1994, Black was found guilty of three child mur­ders in the 1980s, those of Su­san Maxwell, 11, from the Scot­tish Bor­ders, Caro­line Hogg, five, from Ed­in­burgh, and Sarah Harper, 10, from Mor­ley, near Leeds. In 2011, he was found guilty of the 1981 mur­der of nine-year-old Jen­nifer Cardy, from Ballinderry, Co Antrim.

His full in­quest is sched­uled to start in the week com­menc­ing Mon­day De­cem­ber 3 in Ar­magh.

VW bee­tles be­ing as­sem­bled at the Volk­wa­gen auto works plant in Wolfs­burg, West Ger­many; a clas­sic Volk­swa­gen Bee­tle dat­ing from 1953 on the road.

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