Concern about convictions

Brendan McConville.
Brendan McConville.

A solicitor for one of the two men convicted of the murder of PSNI officer Stephen Carroll has raised fresh concerns about the case.

John Finucane was speaking at an event organised by the Justice for the Craigavon Two campaign as part of Feile an Phobail last Friday.

Constable Carroll (48) was shot dead by a Continuity IRA gunman as he answered a 999 call in Craigavon on March 2009.

Two local men, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton are both serving prison sentences after being convicted of his murder under joint enterprise laws.

Other speakers at the event included members of England-based campaign group, JENGBA - Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association - and academic Kevin Hearty, who spoke about policing.

Mr Finucane, who represents John Paul Wootton said,

“If the judge isn’t sure what John Paul did, then I don’t think he can be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty of a plan to murder a police officer. The role has never been described. The judge made reference at the trial that it was some sort of logistical support either before or after. I don’t think you need to be a lawyer to have concerns that is exceptionally vague.”

“Again it ties John Paul into an act, a conspiracy which really there is very little evidence for,” said Mr Finucane, who is the son of solictor Pat Finucane who was murdered in 1989.