Teen charged with Ulster officer's murder

A Northern Ireland teenager charged with the dissident IRA killing of a policeman had an assault rifle and 26 rounds of ammunition — and refused to say a word to his interrogators during 13 days of questioning, a detective testified today at the defendant's first court appearance.

Court officials and police said they would not publicly identify the accused boy because he is 17.



The boy was arrested on 10 March in a working-class Catholic district of Craigavon, a day after a policeman, 48-year-old Stephen Carroll, was shot fatally through the back of the head after responding to an emergency call in the religiously divided town. He was the first policeman killed in Northern Ireland since 1998, the year of the landmark peace accord between the territory's British Protestant majority and Irish Catholic minority.



The boy is the first person to face charges following this month's surge in violence by Irish Republican Army dissidents trying to unravel the peace process. Eight other people remain in custody over the killing of the policeman and a 7 March gun attack outside a British Army base that killed two off-duty, unarmed soldiers — the first troops killed in Northern Ireland since the IRA's 1997 cease-fire.



The boy didn't speak during the brief hearing at Lisburn Magistrates Court southwest of Belfast.



His lawyer, Paddy Moriarty, said his client intended to plead not guilty to all four charges against him: murder, possessing an assault rifle and ammunition, collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists, and membership in an outlawed splinter group called the Continuity IRA.



A policeman who is part of the team of detectives questioning all of the suspects, Detective Inspector John Caldwell, testified that detectives had interviewed the defendant more than 15 times but elicited no response, just silent stares at the walls and ceiling.



"He refused to speak throughout the interviews," Caldwell said.



Typically, IRA anti-interrogation training emphasises that members under interrogation should not engage in even friendly chitchat with detectives, to avoid the risk of providing damaging information by accident.



The judge, Magistrate Rosie Watters, ordered the defendant to be held without bail pending his next court appearance on 1 April.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project