A police officer who shot six times at a man fleeing from a car has denied being “like some latter day Clint Eastwood”.
At the conclusion of the cross- examination at Belfast Crown Court yesterday, prosecution QC Terence Mooney suggested to Sergeant Stephen Mathieson: “You believed you were chasing a terrorist and that three weeks |before your retirement, you were going to have the catch of your life and you set off like some latter day Clint Eastwood into the Ardoyne area to catch that man, no matter what.”
Sergeant Mathieson denied the suggestion.
The PSNI officer, whose address has been given as c/o Grosvenor Road Station, is on trial charged with four counts of attempting to wound Kyle Wylie with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on March 17, 2007.
The jury of three men and nine women have already heard police were investigating a bloody double murder the weekend before the shooting when they were given information that a suspect had left a house on the Cliftonville Road in a green Rover car.
Giving evidence to the jury Mr Wylie, a convicted drug dealer with numerous driving convictions, said he sped off to avoid a police checkpoint on the road when Sergeant Mathieson chased him, claiming he was not armed.
Earlier this week the officer began giving evidence to the jury claiming that throughout the foot chase along Gracehill View, Mayfair Court and into Ballycastle Court, he had a gun pointed at him three times and that was why he shot at him.
Mr Mooney put to the sergeant that when the foot pursuit started “you believed he was a dangerous dissident terrorist”. The lawyer asked why, given he had 27 years’ experience as a police officer and was faced with an allegedly armed man, he had not called for assistance. The officer said he did not know why, “I can't explain it”.
The jury will hear closing speeches today.
The trial continues.