Belfast Telegraph

Duo deny murder of police officer

A former Sinn Fein councillor, a teenager and his mother have been formally brought before the Crown Court on charges connected to the murder of 48-year-old Constable Stephen Carroll two years ago.

The trio - who are expected to go on trial before a Diplock judge sitting without a jury in November - pleaded not guilty as the charges were put to them.

Former councillor Brendan McConville (39), of Aldervale, Tullygally, and 19-year-old John Paul Wooton of Collindale, Lurgan, both deny the murder of the policeman, who was shot through the head on March 9, 2009.

They also deny possessing an AK47 assault rifle and ammunition allegedly used in the shooting at Lismore Manor, Craigavon.

The teenager also denies attempting to collect information on "a certain police constable" and his home address likely to be of use to terrorists between January and March 2009.

His 38-year-old mother, Sharon Wooton, of the same address, denied perverting the course of justice between March and October 2009 by giving police information which she knew to be false and by "removing a computer or computers from her home believing that the address might be searched and the same computer or computers seized by the police".

While the Belfast court released Mrs Wooton on continuing bail, her son and McConville were remanded back into custody.

Carroll, a grandfather with over 24 years' service in the police, was the first officer to be murdered since the changeover from the RUC to the PSNI.

His shooting - as he was responding to a 999 call near the end of a 12-hour shift - came just two days after dissident republicans murdered two soldiers outside Massereene Barracks in Antrim.

Background

Constable Carroll's widow Kate made an impassioned plea for peace following his murder.

Speaking of politicians, she said: "They need to make it work this time because there is no going back.

"There is no need for tit-for-tat."

On the anniversary of his death, she said: "I talk to him every morning and I kiss his picture goodnight."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph