TWO Co Armagh men (known as the Craigavon Two) convicted of murdering Constable Stephen Carroll have spoken for the first time since their appeal was rejected by the High Court earlier this year.
Brendan (Yandy) McConville and John Paul Wooton were both given life sentences for killing the 48-year-old officer in 2012. McConville was told he would serve at least 25 years in prison while Wooton was told he will have to spend a minimum of 14 years behind bars. Both men have denied involvement in the Continuity IRA (CIRA) attack that claimed Mr Carroll’s life as he answered an emergency call in Craigavon in March 2009. In a joint letter to The Irish News today both men deny any involvement. “Following what we can only describe as the politically expedient and unjustifiable dismissal of our appeal against our wrongful convictions, we would like to take this opportunity to once again state publicly that we (Brendan Yandy McConville and John Paul Wootton) had no part or role whatsoever in any activity connected in any way to the death of Stephen Carroll,” the letter reads. The men say the court’s ruling was “deeply disappointing for not only ourselves and our families but also the organisations and individuals who have continually found the strength and courage to stand firm against this injustice”. They add: “We place our faith in the jury that really matters and that is the jury of public opinion. “We ask that you demand justice for the Craigavon Two and justice for all.”
With many thanks to: Connla Young,
The Irish News, for the origional story.
Below is a copy of a letter pinted in the Irish News on Thursday September 18 2014 in full
Craigavon Two place their faith in the jury of public opinion
FOLLOWING what we can only desscribe as the politically expedient and unjustifable dismissal of our appeal against our wongful convictions we would like to take this opportunity to once again state publicly that we had no part or role whatsoever in any activity connected in any way to the death of Constable Stephen Carroll. While the decision of the Court of Appeal was deeply disappointing for not only ourselves and our families but also the numerous organisations and individuals who have continually found the strength and courage to stand firm against this injustice, we regrettably concede that our experience of this seriously flawed system has led us to conclude that our only realistic hope for achieving justice lies with you the public and your continued support, both at an individual level and also in collaboration with the Justice for the Craigavon Two campaign committee. All those who have followed our case will be only too well aware of the extensive catalogue of improprieties and negligence that characterised the Crown’s case against us. At every opportunity the courts have either excused or even endorsed this behaviour and still we must return to these very same courts in our pursuit of justice. While we must acknowledge that this partial court system is the only mechanism available to us to obtain our eventual release, we also acknowledge that the only real momentum for the realisation of that eventuality will come from you, the public, and not from a system where the presumption of innocence has been replaced by a single judge who along with his traditional role also fulfiles the role of the entire jury single-handedly. We place our faith in the jury that really matters and that is the jury of public opinion. We ask that you demand justice for the Craigavon Two and justice for all.
BRENDAN McCONVILLE and JOHN PAUL WOOTTON. Maghaberry Prison, Lisburn, Co Antrim.