Northern Ireland

Stephen Carroll murder: Gun particles 'found on McConville jacket'

Constable Stephen Carroll
Image caption Constable Stephen Carroll was shot dead in March 2009

The Stephen Carroll murder trial has heard "a very high level of gunshot particles" were on a jacket alleged to belong to one of the accused.

Constable Carroll was the first PSNI officer to be murdered when he was shot dead in Craigavon in March 2009.

A forensic scientist told the court that it was likely the jacket had been in close contact with an AK47 assault rifle when it was fired at the officer.

The prosecution say the jacket belongs to 40-year-old Brendan McConville.

Mr McConville, of Glenholme Avenue, Craigavon and 20-year-old John Paul Wootton of Colindale in Lurgan deny murder.

The jacket was recovered from the boot of the alleged getaway car - which belonged to Mr Wootton - along with seat covers and other clothing.

The scientist said she discovered gun residues on these as well.

In the final conclusion of her report, she said those found on the jacket may have originated from the carrying of the gun, or any gun containing similar ammunition and the similar particles found on the covers could have been transferred from the jacket when placed in the car.

However, later under cross-examination by the defence, she was reminded that in an earlier court hearing she conceded she could not be certain as to the source of the particles.

She said that while in her opinion the particles came from a firearm, she could not exclude they came from another source.

When later asked what percentage of certainty she was talking about, she replied: "95%".

On trial with Mr McConville and Mr Wootton is Mr Wootton's 48-year-old mother Sharon, of the same address.

She is accused of perverting justice.

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