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Serial child-killer will not be charged over Genette Tate's murder

Robert Black will not be charged over the disappearance and murder of Devon teenager Genette Tate. Credit: PA

Serial child-killer Robert Black will not be charged over the disappearance and murder of teenage schoolgirl Genette Tate.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has informed Devon and Cornwall Police that they will not charge dead suspects.

Child serial-killer Black died in jail in January. He was the only suspect in the murder of 13-year-old Genette Tate who disappeared while delivering newspapers one sunny afternoon in August 1978 in her home village of Alyesbeare near Exeter. Her body has never been found.

A file concerning this matter was sent to the CPS for a charging decision.

This has been a long and complex enquiry and we have kept the family of Genette Tate informed throughout.

We have now been advised by the CPS that they will not make a charging decision in respect of this case because the of suspect being deceased.

This is in line with national policy on the matter from the CPS.

This is a new policy initiated by the CPS. Until very recently this policy was not in place.

– Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman

Evidence in historic Devon schoolgirl murder case submitted to prosecutors

Robert Black Credit: PA

A file of evidence against a dead man suspected of killing schoolgirl Genette Tate nearly 40 years ago has been submitted to prosecutors.

Scottish serial child killer Robert Black died in jail in January – and he was the only suspect in the murder of the 13 year old Devon girl in 1978.

Devon and Cornwall Police have sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service.

There was some talk of it being submitted last autumn, then the CPS would have had several months to decide whether to prosecute Black.

That would have meant that Black would have died in January knowing that he was going to put on trial for Genette’s murder.

I await the result of the CPS decision with interest.

But I cannot see the CPS in these cash strapped days putting a dead man on trial. You cannot add yet another life term to a dead serial child killer.

Black was not going anywhere but he has denied us our day in court. That is hugely disappointing for the family and the police.

– John Tate, Genette's father
Genette Tate Credit: ITV News

Genette’s body has never been found. She vanished while delivering newspapers one sunny afternoon in August 1978 in her home village of Alyesbeare near Exeter.

Her case remains the longest running missing persons inquiry in British history.

Former detectives were called in to work on the cold case and were devastated that Black, 68, died in an Northern Ireland jail when they were close to charging him.

The major part of a file concerning this matter has now been sent to the CPS for a charging decision.

This has been a long and complex enquiry and we have kept the family of Genette Tate informed throughout.

We now await further direction from the CPS on how this may progress in the coming weeks.

– Devon and Cornwall police

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Exeter City's stadium redevelopment put on hold

The multi-million pound development of Exeter City's St James' Park stadium has suffered a setback, after the Communities Secretary put a temporary holding order on the scheme.

View of Exeter City's stadium, St James Park. Credit: Stephen Pond / EMPICS Sport

The development would see the ageing grandstand replaced paid for by new student accommodation on site.

The rebuild would be paid for by a new tower block for over 300 students overlooking the ground.

It has won planning permission but a neighbourhood group is concerned about the number of students in the area. The scheme can't go ahead until the Government has investigated.

How the new grandstand will look Credit: Kensington Taylor

We have been made aware that the St James Forum have approached the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) asking the Secretary of State to intervene in the planning process for our Stadium Improvements.

The effect of this action is to stop the City Council confirming our Planning Permission until it has been decided whether the DCLG will take over the responsibility for the decision. We expect to hear within approximately three weeks whether or not this is going to happen.

– Exeter City FC
Plans for Exeter Stadium Credit: Artist's impression
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