18 June 2012

The DPP wants the sentences of both men convicted of murdering Constable Stephen Carroll referred to the Court of Appeal for being unduly lenient.

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

Brendan McConville, 40, of Glenholme Avenue, Craigavon, and John Paul Wootton, 20, of Collindale, Lurgan, were found guilty of the murder.

McConville was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years, while Wootton was told he must serve at least 14.

At the end of May it was revealed that Wootton’s sentence would be referred to the Court of Appeal, but there was no mention of McConville’s.

However, in a statement on Monday the Public Prosecution Service said: “The Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory QC, today confirmed that he has sought leave to refer the sentences imposed on both John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville to the Court of Appeal on the ground that the sentences are unduly lenient.

“The director has exercised his powers under section 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (as amended by section 41 of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002).”