Computer searched, DNA found in car

PACEMAKER BELFAST  10/3/09'New collect picture of murdered PSNI officer Stephen Carroll. Shot dead in Craigavon last night
PACEMAKER BELFAST 10/3/09'New collect picture of murdered PSNI officer Stephen Carroll. Shot dead in Craigavon last night

THE trial into the murder of Banbridge policeman Stephen Carroll has heard that the DNA of one of the accused was found in the alleged getaway car.

A forensic expert told the court that DNA found on the cuffs and collar of a jacket belonging to Brendan McConville had a one in a billion chance of belonging to someone else.

Forty-year-old Mr McConville of Tullygally, along with 20-year-old John Paul Wootton of Collindale in Lurgan, denies the murder of Constable Carroll in March 2009.

Mr Wootton’s mother Sharon (39) denies perverting the course of justice by removing a compuer from her home following the killing.

Forensic scientist Faye Southam said, “The findings are more likely to be obtained if he was the regular wearer of the jacket”. Mr McConville has claimed he was not the owner of the jacket.

Ms Southam said she uncovered Mr McConville’s DNA profile on three separate sites on a brown jacket found in the boot of Mr Wootton’s car.

Yesterday (Monday) afternoon the court heard from a detective who examines electronic crime. The officer examined a computer which the prosecution claims belongs to 20-year-old Wootton.

The detective detailed how he searched the term “weaponry” on the hard drive and found a temporary Word document, under the user profile JP, called Craigavon Republican Youth New Unit.

The document said the organisation aimed to assist in the slow removal of British forces from Ireland and assist Irish republican armies.

The group’s activities included training and recruiting activtists, painting slogans and minor punishments. The document also referenced a need for money for paint, weaponry and balaclavas and detailed plans to advertise through republican slogans.

Constable Carroll, a policeman of 24 years, was shot in the head as he sat in a police patrol car at Lismore Manor. He was the first PSNI officer to be murdered since the service was formed.

The trial is expected to last at least two months.