Meeting with killer’s parents would be ‘futile’

A MEETING with the parents of one of the killers of Constable Stephen Carroll would be futile as long as they maintain their son’s innocence, the officer’s wife has said.

Kate Carroll had initally agreed to meet with Brendan McConville’s parents, Eileen and William, after they expressed their sympathy for her following her husband’s murder.

McConville - who is understood to be planning to appeal his sentence - was given a minimum term of 25 years in prison.

Co-defendant John Paul Wootton was sentenced to 14 years but that term has since been referred to the Court of Appeal for review after being criticised for being “too lenient”.

Constable Carroll was shot dead while sitting in a police car during an emergency call-out to a housing estate in Craigavon in March 2009.

Eileen McConville last week said she felt sorry for Kate and added that she wanted to sympathise with her on the loss of her husband - but maintained her son’s innocence saying “he didn’t do it”.

Having thought over the prospect of meeting not only McConville’s parents, but also the convicted killer himself in prison, Kate said she had decided it would be “futile” to do so unless he gave some information about who killed her husband.

She said: “If Eileen McConville could guarantee that her son would give all the information he has to police, and reveal who killed my husband - if he didn’t do it - then I would meet them.

“But he has been convicted in a court of law and found guilty of Steve’s murder. If he is innocent why did he never speak to police or to the court?

“He has had plenty of opportunity but he remained silent throughout and I never saw a glimmer of remorse from him.”

At the end of March Kate said she felt sorry for McConville’s parents, who acknowledged her on a few occasions in the public gallery during the trial.

She said: “They seemed like decent people to me. They acknowledged me twice with a nod and a slight smile and I did the same back.

“I feel sorry for them that, through no fault of their own, they have now lost a son.”

And while she initally thought a meeting “could be the start of the healing process in this country” the widow said she now feels that McConville’s mother is being “naively optimistic” about her son’s innocence

“If he (McConville) tells police everything he knows and brings an end to all of this then I will meet him and his family to say thank-you.

“But until then I just feel it is futile.”