Widow ‘cynical’ on pair’s appeal bid

Kate Carroll, the widow of murdered PSNI officer Stephen Carroll, has told the 'Mail' that a campaign established to free the men convicted of killing her husband, has plunged her into fresh 'hell'.
Kate Carroll, the widow of murdered PSNI officer Stephen Carroll, has told the 'Mail' that a campaign established to free the men convicted of killing her husband, has plunged her into fresh 'hell'.

THE widow of PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll, murdered by dissident republicans in Craigavon in March 2009, has reacted with “total cynicism” to the fact that killers Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton are to lodge an appeal against their convictions.

Kate Carroll said: “As far as I am concerned they were found guilty in a proper court of law (in May this year) and I am moving on with my life.

“I am in the process of setting up the Stephen Carroll Foundation, aimed at teaching young people to turn away from sectarianism. I am seeking charitable status and the full details will be available in January. I am also enjoying life with my four grandchildren – there is another one on the way – and these are the important issues in life.”

Mrs Carroll was speaking after a letter from McConville and Wootton appeared in The Irish News, in which they claimed their innocence of the Carroll killing.

“We have been convicted of something we had nothing to do with. We do not believe that we received a fair hearing at our trial under a Diplock Court,” the pair wrote.

They also dismiss the evidence of Witness M, claiming he had impaired sight and could not have seen McConville at a distance, as he claimed, adding that evidence of a coat was unsafe.

But Mrs Carroll dismisses all this, insisting that Witness M’s sight credentials had been confirmed by an optician, and that the two men “had every opportunity to have all these issues dealt with at the original court”.

“As far as I am concerned, justice was done. I sat in on the court every day, and I find it strange that they are now protesting their innocence through a letter to a newspaper.

“I am treating it all with cynicism. I am marking Stephen’s memory in the positive way he would have wanted, and enjoying my role as a grandmother. As far as I am concerned, their convictions were fully warranted.”