Serial child-killer dies after two decades in jail

Robert Black pictured in May 1994.
Robert Black pictured in May 1994.

Child-killer Robert Black, who kidnapped and murdered Cornhill schoolgirl Susan Maxwell in 1982, has died in prison in Northern Ireland.

Black ‘will be mourned by no one’, said Susan’s mother Liz this week.

Eleven-year-old Susan had been playing tennis in Coldstream and was on her way back home to the family farm at Cramond Hill, but never arrived home.

Her worried mother called the police immediately, but it was to be two agonising weeks later that Susan’s body was found in Staffordshire.

Memories of that terrible time will stay with many people in Coldstream and Cornhill forever, particularly those who helped in the search for Susan.

For Susan’s family and the families of his other victims, Black’s appalling actions have brought them ‘a lifetime of misery’.

Liz, who lives in Berwick, said: “It’s a great relief that he will never be released from prison. He has been fortunate enough to die of natural causes which is more than he deserved.

“Tragically, his innocent victims, including our beloved daughter Susan, died in horrific and terrifying circumstances.

“He brought us and the parents of the other children a lifetime’s misery and will be mourned by no one.”

Black was 68. The Northern Ireland Prison Service confirmed an inmate had died, and there were no suspicious circumstances.

In 1994, he was found guilty of three unsolved child murders dating from the 1980s – Susan Maxwell, 11, from the Borders, Caroline Hogg, five, from Edinburgh, and Sarah Harper, 10, from Morley, near Leeds – as well as a failed abduction attempt in Nottingham in 1988.