The brother of murdered Ballinderry schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy greeted news of her killer’s death in prison with the hope that people would remember the victims.
Philip Cardy, whose nine-year-old sister was abducted by Scotsman Robert Black as she cycled to a friend’s house in August 1981, said he couldn’t muster any hate for the notorious serial killer who, after a six-week trial at Armagh Crown Court in 2011, was convicted of Jennifer’s murder.
It was a shame though, he said, “that victims and their families are not remembered as much as the murderer”.
Black died on Tuesday in Maghaberry prison, where he was serving a five-year sentence for Jennifer’s murder; the circumstances of his death were described as “not suspicious”.
When convicted, he was already serving multiple life sentences for the murders of three other schoolgirls - Susan Maxwell (11), from the Scottish Borders, Caroline Hogg (5) from Edinburgh, and Sarah Harper (10) from Morley, near Leeds.
The paedophile’s reign of terror ended in 1990 when he was caught by police with a six-year-old girl hooded and gagged in the back of his van.
The delivery driver, who stalked the roads of the UK searching for victims, was also suspected of involvement in other killings and unexplained disappearances.
Philip Cardy said they and their families should be remembered as well.
“Everybody knows Robert Black,” he said, “but not everybody knows Susan Maxwell and Sarah Harper and Caroline Hogg and Jennifer. People forget very quickly.
“It should be about the victims. All those wee girls never got a chance to live a life; it’s sad.”
Mr Cardy said too that Black had been prayed for many times.“He was held up in prayer on numerous occasions,” he said.
“That is the genuine truth; there were people in our church praying that he would at least, somewhere along the line, find forgiveness.”
Also commenting on news of Black’s death, Jennifer’s mother Pat told the BBC: “We have mixed feelings about it, we certainly have no pleasure.”