So-called dissident republican framed for the murder of Stephen Carroll studying crimionlogy in Maghaberry Gaol, court told

Brendan ‘Yandy’ McConville

A dissident republican jailed for the murder of PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll has launched legal action over an alleged denial of access to online resources for his degree studies.

Brendan McConville claims the Prison Service failed to ensure he can safely use computer facilities to complete an Open University course in criminology and psychology.

The 48-year-old is among 40 republican and loyalist inmates being held within a separated regime at the high security HMP Maghaberry.

His lawyers told the High Court today he is being unlawfully treated differently from integrated prisoners who can access the learning and skills unit.

But counsel for the Prison Service rejected assertions that he was never offered use of the education suite, stressing it is open to all within the jail.

McConville, from Craigavon, Co Armagh, is serving at least 25 years behind bars for the murder of Constable Carroll ten years ago.

A second man, 28-year-old John Paul Wootton, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, was handed a minimum 18-year term for his part in the assassination.

Stephen and Kate Carroll – Constable Carroll, 48, was the first police officer to be killed in the North of Ireland after the formation of the PSNI.

He was ambushed and shot dead by dissident republicans as he responded to a 999 call at Lismore Manor, Craigavon in March 2009.

A circumstantial case involving DNA evidence helped to secure the murder convictions, including gun residue on a coat linked to McConville recovered from a car said to have been used by the killers.

He is now in the final stages of a Bachelor of Science honours degree in criminology and psychology studies.

Seeking to judicially review the Prison Service, McConville’s barrister claimed a failure to provide access to the necessary internet resources.

Counsel told Mr Justice McCloskey his client was in segregation at Maghaberry for safety reasons.

He argued that it was irrational for the authorities to say McConville can use the facilities by simply leaving the separate regime.

“That highlights a lack of logic at the heart of the difference in treatment,” the barrister said.

Laura McMahon, for the Prison Service, responded that the online resources are located in a special unit rather than any accommodation block.

“That’s a facility available to all prisoners,” she added.

Deferring the legal challenge to October, Mr Justice McCloskey said it would allow time to consider a report into learning opportunities for separated inmates and any potential complaint to the Prisoner Ombudsman.

Outside court McConville’s lawyer, Gavin Booth, said: “Prisoners should be entitled to access to education and online resources. Our client is completing a degree and needs access to online articles in order to obtain the best possible mark.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Alan Ewing for the original story

Author: seachranaidhe1

About Me I studied for six months training and became certified in Exam 070-271 in May 2010 and shortly after that became certifed in Exam 070-272. I scored highly in both Exams and hope to upgrade my path to M.C.S.A. ( Server Administrator ) in the near future.I also hold Level 2 Qualifications in three subjects Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Spreedsheets. I have also expereance with Web Design using Microsoft Front-Page.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.