Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

Widow 'numb' at policeman murder

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Kate Carroll, whose policeman husband Stephen was murdered, speaks emotionally about her loss

The widow of a policeman murdered by dissident republicans in County Armagh has said she feels "dead inside".

Constable Stephen Carroll, 48, was shot dead as he answered a call for help in Craigavon on Monday evening.

His widow, Kate, said part of her life had gone after being robbed of a man she described as "kind, loving, caring and romantic".

"I am devastated," she said. "He had made plans for our future. We were going to grow old together."

She said there was always a fear in the back of her mind every time her husband left the house.

Before he left for work on Monday, he had talked about the increasing level of violence, after the murder of two soldiers on Saturday.

"He said to me just as he was going out: 'Wouldn't it be ironic, just with my last year-and-a-half, that something would happen?'

"He said: 'Love you, see you tonight'. We kissed each other at the door. He smiled and away he went. That was the last I saw of him."

When her husband failed to ring her, as usual, later that evening, she thought he was working late.

But her world fell apart with a knock at the door some time later.

The couple would have been married 25 years next year
The couple would have been married 25 years next year
"A car stopped outside the door and I thought it was him," she said.

"As usual I went in to make him a cup of tea. I wondered why he wasn't coming in. When I opened the door a policewoman and a policeman stood at the door.

"I just couldn't believe it, I still don't believe it how somebody as good as him could be taken away. I just felt numb. I don't know night from day."

Kate said she was very proud of the man she married almost 25 years ago, and would remember him with a "big cheesy grin on his face".

"He was always smiling. He was a good person. There was never anybody like him that I ever knew," she said.

"I can't comprehend why people do things like this. It's hard to explain."

She said the murderers were "sick".

"They have robbed my son of his father, my grandkids of their grandfather, my mum of her son. And me of my life," she said.

"Part of my life has gone. I feel now that I'm dead inside."

On Thursday, police were granted a further five days to question two men, aged 17 and 37, about the murder.

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