Son of murder victim Stephen Carson: I cried when I saw my daddy covered in blood

Stephen Carson
Stephen Carson

A schoolboy told police that he “started to cry” when he found his daddy lying on his back and his hand covered in blood seconds after he was shot in their home.

The nine-year-old’s video recorded interview with PSNI detectives was played on Friday to the jury sitting on the trial at Belfast Crown Court of three men accused of the murder of his dad Stephen Carson.

David James Francis Smith (35) and Michael Lawrence Smith (39), of Monagh Drive, and Francis Gerard Patrick Smith (42), of Glenmurray Court, all in west Belfast, deny murdering Mr Carson.

Francis Smith further denies possession of a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances while Michael Smith has pleaded not guilty to carrying a firearm with intent to commit murder.

The 28-year-old was killed with a shotgun as he hid in the bathroom of his home in Walmer Street off the Ormeau Road on February 25, 2016.

Mr Carson’s son told police that on the day of the murder, he and his dad’s fiancée had been out shopping and she had bought him a game.

He said that he was sitting in the living room with her when his dad came home. “I was playing with my game when my daddy came home. He bought me two Easter eggs, two Square bars, a bottle of water and two Kinder eggs.

“My daddy went into the bathroom. I heard people banging on the door. Then they came in and the man with the gun pointed it at us and told us to ‘sit down and don’t move’.’’

The young boy said that three men came into the house while a fourth male, who he said had “dark hair, brown or black I don’t know...he was outside looking.”

He told detectives that one of the men “sprayed us with pepper spray.” He said his dad’s fiancée “couldn’t see and I got some in my throat”.

The schoolboy described the gunman as a “bit taller” than the other two males, He said he had his mouth and nose covered and was wearing a dark green rain coat and boots. He said a third man was armed with a hammer which had a “red handle”.

The jury heard the boy, now aged 11, told detectives that the gunman was shouting about “the wee tout” .

The witness said the gunman then went to the bathroom and “shot my daddy”.

He said after the shooting, the gunman shouted: “Come on quick, get into the car, the cops are coming” and the three men left the house.

Asked to describe the firearm, the boy said it was a “shotgun with two circles at the top”.

The witness said he then went to the bathroom.

“The door was open a wee bit. I was trying to push the door but I couldn’t get in. I saw my daddy and started to cry.

“We had a dog box in the bathroom and he was lying on the dog box...my daddy was lying on his back on the dog box.

“I saw a lot of blood and his eyes were open. He was lying there with his hand on his chest.”

He added that his dad’s fiancée then came to the bathroom, and “she was crying”.

The trial continues.