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Suspect in 1973 Daniel Carson shooting was at work on day of killing - inquest

A suspect in the sectarian loyalist shooting of a young father in Northern Ireland was a Housing Executive plumber who was working on the day of the killing, a witness said.

Daniel Carson, 28, from Dunmurry, was gunned down as he left work at a hardware merchant in the Shankill area of Belfast in November 1973. He was the only Catholic still employed at the company as the Troubles deepened.

A colleague named a man known as S1 as firing several shots from a Webley revolver at a T-junction close to the victim's workplace.

A neighbour of S1, Richard Morrison, told a new inquest into the death: "I remember the wee lad coming out to fix the toilet bowl."

He added: "It was the toilet bowl that I think he broke and he got annoyed, the wee fella, and I told him I would get it fixed."

In a statement Mr Morrison said S1 left his home, returning 20 minutes later. He finally left Mr Morrison's house at about 5pm.

Two soldiers visited S1's house shortly after the death of Mr Carson and he told them he had been asleep at the time of the shooting, records from the time discussed during the inquest showed.

S1 was interviewed by police but released without charge after a woman known as witness A withdrew her evidence, an earlier hearing was told.

Witness A had claimed the suspect vowed to clear all Catholic "taigs" from the area.

A person was seen with arms outstretched and holding a gun as the cheerful and non-political family man was shot in the head through a car window and the vehicle he was driving careered off the road.

Papers before the inquest did not say which loyalist group was responsible for the killing.

A coroner has opened a fresh investigation in Belfast into Mr Carson's death after a direction from Northern Ireland's attorney general following representations from the dead man's family.

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