Page last updated at 08:14 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Youth charged with officer murder

Stephen Carroll
Constable Carroll was from Banbridge in County Down

A 17-year-old youth has been charged with the murder of Constable Stephen Carroll in County Armagh earlier this month.

Constable Carroll, 48, was shot dead as he answered a call for help in Craigavon on Monday 9 March.

The youth is also charged with having a firearm with intent to endanger life and membership of a proscribed organisation, the Continuity IRA.

He is to appear at Lisburn Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning.

The 17-year-old also faces a further charge of collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists.

Earlier on Monday, two men, aged 27 and 31, who were arrested last week in connection with Constable Carroll's murder were released without charge.

Four other people are still being held over the murder.

The Continuity IRA said it shot Constable Carroll in the back of the head as he sat in an unmarked patrol car at Lismore Manor.

His murder came just two days after the killing of two soldiers at Massereene Army barracks in Antrim.

They were Sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, and Patrick Azminkar, 21.

Monica McWilliams has raised concerns at the suspects' detention
Monica McWilliams has raised concerns at the suspects' detention

Also on Monday, six people being held in connection with the murders of the three security force personnel launched a High Court challenge to the extension of their detention period.

The human rights commissioner, Monica McWilliams has visited Antrim police station where those being questioned over the murders are being held.

She said she was concerned at the length of time they had been detained without charge and their conditions.

She said she had no concerns about how those detained are being treated by police, but said that the cells were "completely inappropriate" for a long detention.

"Their issue is the lack of stimuli, the lack of exercise," she said.

"The exercise is on the first floor in a caged area, no daylight in any of the cells and indeed the lack of daylight is beginning to affect their concentration."

The Policing Board's Basil McCrea said they had inspected the Serious Crime Suite at Antrim and their last report had identified that while terrorist offences were small in number there were "gaps that we need to see filled".

"We are very keen that we look after the human rights of everybody," he said.

"But we must remember the reason that we are actually doing these things is because a very sad crime took place and we have to look after the human rights of everybody in society."



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