The British authorities paid almost $10,000 on a private jet – to ferry a serial child killer to court in Belfast.
Newspaper reports on Tuesday have caused outrage after they revealed that paedophile Robert Black was transported to court from England on a corporate jet.
The 64-year-old received ‘Rolls Royce’ treatment according to one report as he was transported from Wakefield Prison to Belfast.
Black has been convicted of the murder of four young girls and is under investigation over a fifth disappearance. He is currently serving 12 life sentences.
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Belfast Crown Court sentenced him to another seven years in jail last month for the murder of nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy whom he abducted in 1981 while on a work trip to Northern Ireland.
Now it has emerged that the British court authorities hired a private jet to ferry Black to the trial in Belfast, at a cost of almost $10,000.
Democratic Unionist peer Lord Maurice Morrow said: “I am utterly appalled at the overt expenditure in this case. It is simply outside the realms of reasoning to have the taxpayer shell out this amount of money.
“The legal aid bill for the Northern Ireland case is £350,000 and is set to climb further when counsel submit their full accounts.
“The legal aid fund and the defence of criminals should not be used as an open cheque-book under the guise of human rights legislation.
“I am satisfied Robert Black’s rights would have been adequately served under the usual precedents and by routine prisoner transfer.
“I am demanding a full explanation for the sanctioning of such Rolls-Royce treatment.”
Lord Morrow added: “I never cease to be astounded at the continual high level outlay for offenders which is in stark contrast to victims and their families, but this case has surpassed all others to date.”
A British Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “The Ministry of Justice does not comment on individual cases.
“We have long-standing arrangements in place for transferring prisoners for judicial purposes and public protection is always our priority.”