At least two bullets fired, court hears

PACEMAKER PRESS 10-03-2009. A forensic officer in the unmarked police car in Lismore Manor after the overnight attack which saw an officer lose his life. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
PACEMAKER PRESS 10-03-2009. A forensic officer in the unmarked police car in Lismore Manor after the overnight attack which saw an officer lose his life. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.

AT least two bullets were fired from the gun used in the murder of Banbridge policeman Constable Stephen Carroll.

On day four of the trial at Belfast Crown Court a forensic scientist gave evidence about the examination he had done on two bullets found in the car Constable Carroll sat in when he was shot in Craigavon almost three years ago.

Brendan McConville, 40, and John Paul Wootton, 20, deny murdering the policeman in March 2009. Mr Wootton’s 39-year-old mother Sharon denies perverting the course of justice by removing a computer from her home following the shooting.

The scientist said the bullets had been made in 1982 and were of Yugoslavian origin. They had both been fired from the same gun, and he said at least two bullets were fired from that same gun.

The weapon, which was said to have had a Romanian foregrip and was slightly rusted on the inside, was test-fired a number of times to establish the position from which it may have been fired.

The calculations indicated the gun was fired from a path at the back of the Lismore Manor estate, around 50 metres from the car.

When cross-examined by the defence QC, the forensic scientist agreed that if any of the bullets had struck the chain-linked fencing, it “could have deflected the flight of the bullet”.

But the expert added that he had found no damage when the fencing was examined. He said in his opinion “the bullet had passed through the fencing”.

A day earlier the court heard details of a number of house searched in the days following the murder. During one of those searches an AK47 was found underneath an oil tank.

The prosecution claims that was the weapon used to kill Constable Carroll.

The trial continues.