Men fail to overturn convictions for policeman’s murder

Two dissident republicans had been convicted of 2009 killing of Constable Stephen Carroll in Armagh

Two dissident republicans have failed to overturn their convictions for murdering police constable Stephen Carroll in Northern Ireland in 2009.

Constable Carroll was shot dead by the Continuity IRA in Craigavon, County Armagh, in March 2009.

Three years later, Brendan McConville (43), from Craigavon, and John Paul Wootton (23), from Lurgan, were found guilty at Belfast Crown Court of murdering the 48-year-old officer from Banbridge, Co Down.

The appeal was heard in Belfast High Court last year by Northern Ireland's Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, Lord Justice Coghlin and Lord Justice Higgins. Their reserved judgment was delivered today.


McConville was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for the murder. Wootton was handed a minimum 14-year term.

Constable Carroll was shot dead in a dissident ambush two days after two British soldiers were murdered in a Real IRA gun attack outside their barracks in Antrim town.

He died of a single gunshot wound to the head sustained as he sat in an unmarked police car while colleagues attended a 999 call in the Lismore Manor area.

A brick had been thrown through the window of a house in the private development an hour earlier, prompting the occupants to call the police.

Constable Carroll was the first policeman killed by republican paramilitaries since the peace process reforms which saw the Royal Ulster Constabulary replaced by the new-look Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in 2001.