Serial killer cremated in secret service

Serial killer Robert Black who died a fortnight ago, at Maghaberry prison, was cremated at a secret service at Roselawn Cemetery, last week.

The six minute service took place outside normal operating hours just before 5pm on Friday.

Black died on January 12 at Maghaberry, where he was serving 12 life sentences for the kidnap and murder of the four little girls. None of the 68-year-old’s family were present and no flowers or memorials adorned the coffin.

The body was brought in a black Ford Mondeo and the service was conducted by the Presbyterian chaplain of Maghaberry Prison, Rev Rodney Cameron.

He read a passage from Psalm 90 - “We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. You have set our iniquities before us, our secret sins in the light of your presence. All our days pass by under your wrath, we finish our years with a moan.”

There were no reference made to Black’s past.

After the short prayer, the killer’s body was committed for cremation with the words, ‘Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust.’

It is expected the ashes will be disposed of at an undisclosed location, outside of Northern Ireland.

Black was first accused of rape at the age of 12. He went on to abduct and murder a number of young girls while working as a delivery driver.

He was jailed in 1994 for the murders of Susan Maxwell (11) from Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland, in 1982; Caroline Hogg (5), from Edinburgh, in 1983; and Sarah Harper (10) from Morley, near Leeds, in 1986. In 2011, he was also convicted of the murder of Jennifer (9), in Ballinderry, Co Antrim, in 1981.

He was convicted of a failed abduction bid on Teresa Thornhill in Nottingham in 1988, when she was 15.

Police said they were days away from charging Black with the abduction and murder of 13-year-old Genette Tate.