Category Archives: Free the Craigavon Two
A SOLICITOR for one of two men convicted of the murder of PSNI/RUC officer Stephen Carroll has raised fresh concerns about the case.
John Finucane was speaking at an event organised by the Justice for the Craigavon Two campaign as part of Féile an Phobail on Friday 07/8/2015. Mr Carroll (48), was shot dead by a Continuity IRA (CIRA) sniper as he answered an emergency call in Craigavon March 2009. Two Craigavon men Brendan McConville (Yandy) and John Paul Wootton (JP) are both serving lengthy prison sentences after being convicted of his murder under joint enterprise laws. Prosecutors have never been able to attribute a role to either man, wrongly convicted, who both deny they played any part in the attack. Other speakers at the event included members of English based campaign group Jengba - Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association - and Kevin Hearty who spoke about policing in the North. During the event Mr Finucane, who represents John Paul Wootton (JP) said that "if the judge isn't sure what John Paul (JP) did then I don't think he can be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty of a plan to murder a police officer. "The role has never been described," he said. "The judge made reference at the trial that it was some sort of logistical support after the event. "At the appeal that changed to some type of logistical support either before or after. "I don't think you need to be a lawyer to have concerns that is exceptionally vague. "Again it ties John Paul (JP) into an act, a conspiracy which really there is very little evidence for." Mr Finucane is a son of Human Rights solicitor Pat Finucane who was murdered by loyalists and security force collusion in February 1989.
With many thanks to Connla YoungThe Irish Newsfor the origionial story.
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THE mother of an English man jailed under joint enterprise laws spoke on Thursday night August 6th 2015 at an event organised by supporters of two men wrongly convicted of killing RUC/PSNI constable Stephen Carroll.
Jan Cunliffe traveled from England to Belfast to speak at the annual event organised by Justice for the Craigavon Two. Her son Jordan was given a life sentence after he was convicted under joint enterprise laws of murdering a man in Wigan in 2007. Ms Cunliffe is a member of the campaign group Jengba – Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association – and her story inspired award-wining filmmaker Jimmy McGovern to make the acclaimed film Common,
‘I couldn’t care less whether it’s number one of number 90 because at the end of the day nothing will bring home Steve – Kate Carroll.
THE widow of Constable Stephen Carroll has said she is shocked that a song calling for the release of two men convicted of his murder is to be released.
Mr Carroll was shot dead by the (CIRA) Continuity IRA in March 2009 as he answered an emergency call in Crigavon, Co Armagh. Two men the (Craigavon Two) from the area, Brendan (Yandy) McConville and John Paul (JP) Wootton were subsequently convicted of killing the policeman and wrongly convicted and given lengthy prison terms. Both men deny any part in the attack maintain their innocence. A group established to campaign for the men, Justice for the Craigavon Two, are set to release a song to highligt the case next month. The officer’s widow Kate Carroll does not accept claims of innocence made by McConville and Wotton “I couldn’t care less whether it’s number one of number 90 because at the end of the day nothing will bring home Steve,” she said. Angela Nelson from the Justice for the Craigavon Two said: “In the past we have had some protest songs to highlight injustices and we feel there is a powerful message in the lyrics of this song.”
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News, for the orgional story.
A HIGH profile lawyer who represented the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six has said he believes that two Co Armagh men convicted wrongly for the killing of PSNI constable Stephen Carroll are victims of a miscarriage of justice.
Michael Mansfield QC made the remarks after speaking at a memorial lecture for Gerry Conlon, who was wrongly convicted of the 1974 Guildford Pub Bombings. The case of the Craigavon Two was raised during a discussion chaired by the SDLP’s Alex Attwood in West Belfast last week. Brendan (Yandy) McConville was wrongly sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was convicted of murder. His co-accused John Paul Wootton was told he will have to serve a minimum of 14 years behind bars (for a crime he didn’t committ) but this was later raised to 18 years. Both men deny any part in the (CIRA) Continuity IRA sniper attack which claimed Mr Carroll’s life as he answered an emergency call in Craigavon in March 2009. Gerry Conlon was the chairman of a committee (Justice For The Criagavon Two) set up to campaign on their behalf before his death. He spent 15 years in prison before his conviction was quashed in 1989. He died last June aged 60 after battling ill-health. As well as being involved in high-profile miscarriage of justice of cases, Mr Mansfield has represented the families of black teenager Stephen Lawrence and families involved in the Hillsborough inquest which is ongoing. Mr Mansfield said he has concerns about the case. “There is nothing more particular about it than any of the other miscarriages and the same features appear in all these things,” he said. “I think the problem is there are so many of them. There should be a general enquiry about more than Crigavon.” The Birmingham Six’s Paddy Hill, who also spoke at the memorial lecture, has backed the case of the Craigavon Two campaign. “The last thing they [the British government] want to do is admit they have it wrong,” he said.
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News, for the orgional story.
TWO men wrongly convicted of killing Constable Stephen Carroll have called on the director of public prosecutions to investigate the disapperance of information from a security force tracking device in their case.
The calls comes days after director of public prosecution Barra McGrory asked the RUC/PSNI to carry out a full investigation into the destruction of evidence connected to the RUC killing of Co Armagh teenager Michael Tighe in 1982. The 17-year-old was shot dead in a hayshed by the SAS which was under security force surveillance near Lurgan in Co Armagh in an (so-called) shoot-to-kill operation. It later emerged that a senior RUC officer had ordered the desruction of an audio recording of the incident. A second recording of the incident held by MI5 was subsequently destroyed. Co Armagh man Martin McCauley, who was with Michael Tighe in the hayshed, was later convicted of the possession of three rifles found in the building but was acquitted (found innocent) on appeal last year. Details of the tape recordings were not revealed to the court at the original trial. Concerns raised by the judge about the concealment and destruction of potential evidence prompted (director of public prosecution) Mr Barra McGrory’s recent intervention. Both the RUC/PSNI and Police Ombudsman investigating the case. In a letter to The Irish News on Friday The Craigavon Two Brendan (Yandy) McConville and John Paul Wootton claim their case has “glaring parallels” with that of Michael Tighe. Both men are serving lengthy prison terms after they were wrongly convicted of killing Constable Carroll (48) in a (CIRA) Continuity IRA sniper attack in Craigavon in March 2009. During the trial it emerged that data recorded on a tracking device placed on Wootton’s car by the British army was later wiped. They write: “Mr McGroy’s express concern that the case of Michael Tighe could potentially undermine the credibility of the Public Prosecution Service could equally apply to our case,” they said. “How can Mr McGrory attach such significance to the wiping of evidence in the Tighe case while at the same time ignoring similar misconduct in our our case.” And they ask: “Is Mr McGrory prepared to accept that justice in our case was similarly perverted?” Co Wexford independent TD Mick Wallace raised the issue in the Dail earlier this week saying “questions must be asked in regard to what data was deleted from the device and why.” One can assume that if the evidence corroborated the apparent guilt of Wootton, it would be produced in court rather than deleted,” he said. A spokeswoman for the PPS said: “It is entirely wrong to claim that there any legal similarites relating to survillance evidence in these cases.” She said in the McConville/Wootton case the “deletion of material” from a tracking device was heard in court and the defence were able to challenge its “admissibility and evidential value.” “This contrasts with the quashing of the conviction of Martin McCauley by the Court of Appeal after the uncovering of information that relevant recordings [had] been withheld from the courts and the director of prosecutions and then later destroyed. “In his judgement the lord chief justice said it was “at least arguable that the destruction amounted to a perversion of the course of justice”.
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News, for the orgional story.
The origional letter which appeared in The Irish News on Friday January 23 2015
WE ACKNOWLEDGE with interest the Decision by the the Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the murder of Michael Tighe by the RUC in 1982.
This was clearly a case of injustice in which vital evidence (a recording device) was destroyed. It be difficult to ignore the glaring paralles that exist between this case and our own with the regard to the destruction of key evidence. This is especially so given the conclusion of the company responsible for manufacturing the device which contributed to our wrongful convictions. At the trial he stated that the wiping of data “would not have been something that could have happened accidentally”. Mr McGrory’s express concern that the case of Michael Tighe could potentially undermine the credibility of the Public Prosecution Service could equally apply to our case. How can Mr McGrory attach such signiificance to the wiping of evidence in the Tighe case while at the same time ignoring similar misconduct in our case? In denying the truth Mr McGory’s predecessors withheld justice from the family of Michael Tighe for more than 30 years. Is Mr McGrory prepared to accept that justice was similarly perverted?
Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton (The Craigavon Two) Maghaberry Prison, Co Antrim.
The state is supposed to be the servent of it’s citizens, not the master – Monsignor Raymond Murry.
Veteran human rights campaigner Monsignor Raymond Murry has criticised the Justice System in the North of Ireland.
The Catholic priest told an event in Co Derry that there is currently “no adequate peocedure for undoing miscarriaiges of justice” in the North of Ireland. Friday’s event was organised by supporters of the Craigavon Two men Brendan (Yandy) McConville (43) and John Paul Wootton (23), who are both serving lengthy sentences in Maghaberry Gaol for the murder of RUC/PSNI officer Stephen Carrol. The pair deny any part in the (CIRA) Continuity IRA sniper attack but lost an appeal case earlier this year. McConville (Yandy) has been ordered to serve a minimun of 25 years for a crime he didn’t commit while Wotton’s minimum sentence was increased from 14 to 18 years last month. Constable Carroll was shot dead as he and colleagues answered an emergenceny call in Lismore Manor area in 2009.
Monsignor Murry, who has campaigned for the Birmingham Six and other miscarriages of justice in the past, offered sympathy to the family of Constable Carroll. But he said he was concerned about the case. “How can we fail to be anxious and concerned when we hear of injustice inflicted on individuals?” he said. “The state is supposed to be servent of its citizens, not the master. It always comes down to the indvidual with a name, a human being. “Names, Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wootton and their tormented families. They deserve our special attention. We must not seek excuses for ourselves in the matter of injustice by just proclaiming the abstract.” Monsigray also criticised the judicial system in the North of Ireland. “We still have special courts,” he said. “During the 30 years, conflict Diplock Courts were not acceptable by people seeking truth and justice and present tracings of its workings in the Justice and Security (NI) Act 2007 in non-jury courts with their aura of injustice are not acceptable. “The rule of law in the North of Ireland was corrupted by the use of illegal methods of interrogation and by the official efforts to cover up the use of these methods. The end can never justify the mean. Justice, not expediency is always the principle.”
With many thanks to: Connla Young,The Irish News, for the origional story
JUST SOME OF THE FACTS THAT THE PUBLIC MAY NOT BE AWARE OF IN THE CASE OF “THE CRAIGAVON TWO” PLEASE READ AND SHARE!!!!!
Justice For The Craigavon Two
• WITNESS M DID NOT COME FORWARD FOR 11 MONTHS
• WITNESS M WAS INTOXICATED WHEN HE CONTACTED THE RUC/PSNI
• WITNESS M WAS FOUND TO HAVE CONTINUOUSLY LIED UNDER OATH
• WITNESS M’s TESTIMONY WAS MEDICALLY IMPOSSIBLE
• WITNESS M’s IDENITIY WAS HIDDEN TO STOP PROPER CROSS EXAMINATION
• WITNESS M WAS ACCOMPANIED BY HIS PARTNER ON THE NIGHT IN QUESTION, YET SHE IS UNABLE TO CONFIRM HIS VERSION OF EVENTS
• WIITNESS M BENEFITED FINANCIALLY FROM HIS INVOLVEMENT
• A COVERT BRITISH ARMY/MI5 UNIT WAS INVOLVED INVOLVED IN EVIDENCE TAMPERING
• A TRACKING DEVICE FITTED TO JOHN PAUL WOTTON’S CARE SHOW’S THE VEHICLE AT NO TIME WENT ANYWHERE NEAR THE HOUSING ESTATE WHERE THE AK47 USED IN T SHOOTING WAS LATER DISCOVERED
• WHEN THE AK47 THAT WAS USED IN THE SHOOTING WAS DISCOVERED, A PARTIAL FINGERPRINT WAS FOUND ON THE INTERNAL SPRING MECHANISM OF THE MAGAZINE. THIS FINGERPRINT WAS CHECKED AGAINST THE FINGERPRINTS OF BRENDAN (YANDY) McCONVILLE AND JOHN PAUL WOOTON. AND NO MATCHES WERE FOUND!!!!
WITH MANY THANKS TO: HELEN DEERY, FOR THE ORIGIONAL STORY.
JUSTICE FOR THE CRAIGAVON TWO
John Paul Wooton’s sentence review is on Tuesday morning, 14th October at 10.00am, at the appeal court in Belfast.
It is bad enough that JP (John Paul), faces 14 years in jail because of a Miscarrige of Justice, but the prosecution want to increase it! The decision will be delivered this Tuesday morning.
The Justice for the Craigavon Two Committee calls on everyone who can make it, to join us in protesting against this miscarriage of justice outside the appeal court on Tuesday morning, assemble 9.30am.
Let us raise our voices togeather and have our calls for justice reverberate through the ivory towers of injustice!!!!
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.