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Judge in Stephen Carroll case would back guidelines change

Category: Northern Ireland

Published: 24th May 2012 10:59:49

A judge has said he would support a review of sentencing guidelines after criticism of the sentence given to one of Constable Stephen Carroll's killers.

Constable Carroll, 48, was shot dead in Craigavon in March 2009.

On Monday, Lord Justice Sir Paul Girvan sentenced John Paul Wootton, 21, to a minimum of 14 years for murder.

The judge has been explaining his reasons for the sentence, saying that he had to act within the existing sentencing guidelines.

However, he said he would support any move to reconsider them because of the need for a greater deterrent in crimes like the terrorist murder of a police officer.

He pointed out the Court of Appeal was the only place where this could be done.

The other man convicted of the Constable Carroll's murder, 41-year-old Brendan McConville, was given a 25-year minimum sentence.

On Tuesday, the chairman of the justice committee wrote to the director of public prosecutions asking him to review the tariff given to Wootton.

A Public Prosecution Service spokesperson said the DUP's Paul Givan was acting on behalf of Constable Carroll's widow Kate.

In his letter to Barra McGrory, Mr Givan said the sentence "sends a very dangerous message to those organisations seeking to kill our police officers".

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BBC News, 2012. Judge in Stephen Carroll case would back guidelines change [Online] (Updated 24th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1430615/Judge-in-Stephen-Carroll-case-would-back-guidelines-change [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

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