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Could this photo be the key to solving the April Fabb disappearance case?

PUBLISHED: 09:08 01 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:08 01 April 2018

Photographs of Robert Black, taken seven months before April Fabb's disappearance in April, 1969. Picture: Courtesy of Chris Clark

Photographs of Robert Black, taken seven months before April Fabb's disappearance in April, 1969. Picture: Courtesy of Chris Clark

Archant

Almost half a century has passed since the abduction of 13-year-old schoolgirl April Fabb.

April Fabb. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYApril Fabb. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

And now a former Norfolk police officer hopes a photograph, not yet widely circulated, could help finally solidify a long-held theory serial child-killer Robert Black was responsible.

Chris Clark, who now lives in County Durham, said the photographs of Black, sourced from the Scottish Records Office, were taken just seven months before the April’s abduction in Metton, near Cromer, on April 8, 1969.

She was last seen riding her bike along Roughton Road, Metton, in the direction of Roughton, just after 2pm that day.

Mr Clark, who last year published a book about Black called The Face of Evil along with co-author Robert Giles, said: “It’s vital that people see this photograph as there are quite possibly other escapees from him in the Norfolk area.

Chris Clark, a former Norfolk PC and intelligence officer, who investigates cold cases, including that of Metton teenager April Fabb. Picture: SUBMITTEDChris Clark, a former Norfolk PC and intelligence officer, who investigates cold cases, including that of Metton teenager April Fabb. Picture: SUBMITTED

“He looks much different to the better-known photos of him from the 1980s and 1990s.

“It would just take one aged person to say: ‘yes, I saw someone like that.’. The thing that gave him away were his staring eyes.”

Black, from Scotland, was convicted of the kidnap, rape and murder of four girls aged five to 11 between 1981 and 1986. He died in prison in 2016.

Mr Clark believes Black was also behind April’s disappearance as well as a number of others which have not been proven.

April Fabb's bicyle was found in a field on the Metton to Roughton Road.April Fabb's bicyle was found in a field on the Metton to Roughton Road.

Mr Clark said he had further learned Black had been driving a battered, pale green Ford Consol Zephyr in the area at the time.

He said: “His route would have been in from the main A140 along Parrow Lane up to Pillar Box Corner and along Back Lane.

“After the abduction it is believed that he drove along Tom Tit Lane turning right onto the Cromer Road towards Felbrigg.”

Mr Clark said Black lived in London at the time and was 22 years old.

Metton, view from Back Lane towards Metton, April Fabb's bicycle was discovered in the edge of the field, to the right of the grass bank at the centre of the picture.; 2 of 3.                   30 3 99.Metton, view from Back Lane towards Metton, April Fabb's bicycle was discovered in the edge of the field, to the right of the grass bank at the centre of the picture.; 2 of 3. 30 3 99.

He said Black’s involvement had previously been doubted because he did not have a driver’s licence then, but his research has shown Black had already driven vans in Scotland, London and other locations.

Mr Clark can be contacted by email sirhcclark@btinternet.com

Information that could help should be reported to the Norfolk Constabulary Cold Case Team on 101.

MORE: Former Norfolk intelligence officer calls for fresh probe into serial killer’s links with April Fabb disappearance





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