Police subverted and manipulated appeal proceedings brought by two men jailed for murdering Constable Stephen Carroll, a court heard yesterday.
Senior counsel for one of the pair seeking to overturn their convictions claimed detectives’ bias had undermined confidence in the prosecutions. As senior judges reserved their decision on the joint challenge by Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton, they were urged to find an abuse of process had occurred.
McConville’s barrister also argued that the case against him has been “destroyed” by new evidence branding a key prosecution witness a compulsive liar.
Const Carroll was shot dead as he responded to a 999 call at Lismore Manor, Craigavon in March 2009.
McConville, 42, of Glenholme Avenue in the town, is serving at least a 25-year sentence for the murder. Wootton, 22, from Lurgan, received a minimum 14-year term.
Three judges heard the eight-day appeal – Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, Lord Justice Higgins and Lord Justice Coghlin. Following closing submissions Sir Declan said all material will be considered before a verdict is reached.
He confirmed: “We will reserve our judgment but we will give it as soon as we can.”