Northern Ireland

Defence concern over Stephen Carroll trial key witness

Scene of shooting
Image caption Constable Carroll was shot dead after responding to a 999 call

Defence lawyers for two men accused of murdering a police officer have given the judge a list of 33 concerns about a key prosecution witness.

They want Lord Justice Girvan to throw out the man, Witness M's, evidence.

Constable Stephen Carroll was shot dead in Craigavon in March 2009, after responding to a 999 call.

John Paul Wootton, 20, of Collindale, Lurgan, and Brendan McConville, 40, of Glenholme Avenue, Craigavon, deny murder.

At Belfast Crown Court on Monday, the defence argued Witness M's evidence was unfair.

Lawyers gave a written statement to the judge outlining their concerns.

Witness M puts one of the accused at the scene half an hour before the police officer was shot dead.

But the defence team has argued that Witness M has lied to the court, has eyesight problems and only reported what he claims to have seen a year after the killing.

However, the prosecution said it was a clear case of recognition.

Lawyers argued that Witness M knew Mr McConville, recognised him at the scene and even said "Hello" to him.

Lord Justice Girvan has indicated he will make a decision on the matter on Tuesday.

Depending on the outcome, the defence could make an application to have the entire trial aborted due to a lack of evidence.

The trial continues

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