Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Stephen Carroll trial: defence bid over evidence

Constable Stephen Carroll was shot as he sat in a police car in March 2009

Defence lawyers for a former Sinn Fein councillor accused of murdering a PSNI officer have called for the evidence of a key Crown witness known only as ‘M’ to be thrown out.

Brendan Kelly QC said the evidence of M — who claims to have seen Brendan McConville the night Constable Stephen Carroll was shot — was unfair and should be excluded.

But prosectors told trial judge Lord Justice Girvan that even if he did deem it unfair, he still had the discretion to judge M's evidence as admissible. The judge is expected to give his ruling this morning.

The case will then be adjourned if the defence decides to apply to have the trial aborted.

In one of his 33 listed concerns, Mr Kelly said the police had failed to test witness M’s identification evidence by holding an identification parade. He claimed this was called for by law under the code of practice, in particular where the evidence was in dispute.

This was “an inexplicable breach”, said Mr Kelly.

He said the investigating officer had also failed to establish how witness M knew his client.

McConville and his co-accused John Paul Wootton deny murder.

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