Northern Ireland

Key figures respond to Carroll murder verdict

Key figures have been responding to news that two men have been found guilty of murdering PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll in 2009.

Brendan McConville, 40, of Glenholme Avenue, Craigavon, and John Paul Wootton, 20, of Collindale, Lurgan, were convicted on Friday of the 48-year-old constable's murder.

Secretary of State Owen Paterson

Image caption Secretary of State Owen Paterson

"I welcome this verdict which sees justice for the Carroll family and those responsible for this cowardly and senseless murder convicted of their terrible crime.

"I congratulate the determination and professionalism of all those who worked so hard on this case and pay tribute to the courage of the men and women of the police service as they continue to serve their community every day."

Shadow Secretary of State Vernon Coaker

Image caption Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Vernon Coaker

"The murder of Constable Stephen Carroll was an appalling crime.

"His killers have been brought to justice and now face a long period in prison.

"It is a very difficult one for Stephen Carroll's family. His widow Kate and all those who loved and cared for him are in my thoughts.

"I also think about the family of Constable Ronan Kerr, whose anniversary is approaching and whose murderers have not yet been apprehended.

"I met with the chief constable earlier this week, and I know that the most fitting tribute to Stephen Carroll and Ronan Kerr is the continuing work and dedication of their colleagues PSNI to serve and protect the entire community in Northern Ireland."

Public Prosecution Service

Image caption Public Prosecution Service

"The PPS hopes that this verdict will bring a measure of comfort to Kate Carroll, the widow of Constable Stephen Carroll.

"She has demonstrated such courage and dignity in the aftermath of her husband's cowardly murder and throughout the trial process.

"The verdict in this case serves to put other prosecutions such as Massereene in context.

"Like Massereene, this was a complex case which involved difficult issues of forensic and circumstantial evidence.

"In both cases, the court rejected a defence submission at the half-way stage that there was insufficient evidence to allow the trial to continue.

"The difference here is that the court was satisfied of the guilt of both accused to the high standard required, namely proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

"The important point is that the people of Northern Ireland should be reassured that, in this case and in other cases such as Massereene, the prosecution was properly brought."