Kate Carroll rejects Conlon’s claim her husband’s killing was ‘accident’

PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll's widow Kate
PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll's widow Kate

The widow of murdered PSNI constable Stephen Carroll has dismissed claims her husband was killed “by accident”.

Kate Carroll was commenting after one of the Guildford Four, Gerard Conlon, said the two men convicted of the 2009 killing in Craigavon were innocent.

Speaking at the University of Limerick, Mr Conlon said two “innocent men” (Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton) had stood trial for the murder, and added: “It looked like MI5 had run an operation that had gone badly wrong. I think that Stephen Carroll was killed by accident, although people were out with guns that should never have been out with guns.”

Mrs Carroll said: “I heard every piece of evidence that was given [at the court hearings] and I am not going to challenge Justice Girvan. There were two shots fired that night and it was brutal. I haven’t heard anything about it being an accident and I’m sure I would have.”

Mr Conlon – one of four men wrongly convicted for the 1974 Guildford bomb blasts – was reacting to a new law passed at Westminster he says will prevent miscarriage of justice victims from claiming compensation.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill was due to receive Royal assent and become law on Friday.

Home Secretary Theresa May had advocated a stricter test whereby, under the new legislation, compensation would be paid only “if the new or newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that the person was innocent of the offence”.