Man (37) and youth charged with murder of constable in Craigavon

 

TWO PEOPLE have been charged with the murder of PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll.

A 37-year-old man was charged with the murder and will appear in court today, police said yesterday. The man was also charged with possession of a firearm.

Earlier yesterday, Lisburn Magistrates Court heard that a 17-year-old youth charged with the murder of Constable Carroll refused to speak during well over a dozen interviews with detectives.

The youth, who cannot be named because of his age, was also charged with having an assault rifle and 26 rounds of ammunition. The defendant, tall with red hair and dressed in a grey T-shirt and blue jeans, made no comment during the brief hearing in front of District Judge Rosie Watters at Lisburn Court yesterday morning.

Solicitor Paddy Moriarty said his client would be denying the charges. He made no bail application. Only people relevant to the case, including the media, were allowed in the court. His mother was also present. The judge said no information should be released that could identify the defendant because he was a juvenile.

The youth is also charged with membership of the Continuity IRA and of collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists.

He was arrested on Tuesday March 10th, the day after the murder of 48-year-old Constable Carroll in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

The police officer from Banbridge, Co Down, was shot in the back of the head as he sat in the back seat of a police car while providing backup for colleagues checking out a report of vandalism in the Lismore Manor area of Craigavon. The Continuity IRA said it carried out the killing.

He was murdered just 48 hours after the Real IRA shot dead two British soldiers in the Massereene British army base in Antrim, Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar.

PSNI Det Insp John Caldwell said he believed he could connect the youth to the murder of Constable Carroll and to the other charges. Asked how many times he was interviewed while in custody, Det Insp Caldwell said it was in the “late teens”.

Mr Moriarty asked did his client make any admission during interview. The detective said the defendant “refused to speak during the interviews”.

The judge remanded the youth in custody until April 3rd to appear by video link at Craigavon Court from Maghaberry Prison.