In the Media

Former Sinn F?in councillor's DNA 'on jacket in car allegedly used by killers'

PUBLISHED January 30, 2012

Northern Ireland court trying Brendan McConville for murder of police officer told of 'one in a billion chance' that DNA was not his

DNA from a former Sinn F?in councillor was found in the car alleged to have taken Continuity IRA gunmen from the scene of a policeman's murder, a Northern Ireland court has been told.

Ex-Sinn F?in councillor Brendan McConville is one of two men accused of murdering Constable Stephen Carroll ? the first officer from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to die at the hands of paramilitaries.

McConville, 40, and 20-year-old John Paul Wootton deny involvement in the murder on 9 March 2009, just 48 hours after two British soldiers were shot dead in a Real IRA ambush outside their barracks in Antrim town.

A forensic science expert told Belfast crown court that DNA from the cuffs and collar of the recovered jacket had a "one in a billion chance" of belonging to someone other than McConville.

Scientist Faye Southam said she uncovered McConville's DNA profile on three separate sites on a brown jacket found in the boot of Wootton's car.

Despite McConville's claim that he did not own the jacket, Southam said that in her opinion "the findings are more likely to be obtained if he was the regular wearer of the jacket".

In the crown's opening statement, the non-jury trial was told the court will hear evidence that a covert tracking device had been planted in Wootton's Citro?n Saxo car.

It is alleged that the car was parked close to the scene of the killing and was driven off within minutes of the shooting.

Wootton's mother, Sharon, faces charges of perverting the course of justice on dates between 8 March 2009 and 20 October 2009.

It is alleged that she gave false information to police and "removed a computer or computers from her home address believing her home address might be searched and the said computer or computers seized by police".

Carroll was shot dead while answering a 999 call from a house in the Craigavon area.

He was hit with rounds from an AK-47 rifle fired from high ground overlooking the cul de sac where his police vehicle was parked.

The hardline Continuity IRA later admitted responsibility for the murder. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds