Hill appeal told of PC's gun trick: Belfast court hears a former policeman confirm account of Guildford Four member. David McKittrick reports

A FORMER police officer told the Paul Hill appeal in Belfast yesterday of seeing a colleague pull the trigger of an unloaded revolver which he had pointed into a cell when members of the Guildford Four were held at the local police station.

The officer, a former detective constable who served with Surrey Constabulary for 19 years, said that he was disgusted with the incident but had not reported it to his superiors.

Paul Hill, a member of the Guildford Four, is appealing against his conviction in 1975 for the murder of a former soldier, Brian Shaw, in

Belfast. He attended court yesterday with his wife, Courtney Kennedy, and other members of the Kennedy family.

At his original trial, Hill admitted signing a statement confessing to the murder, but claimed that he did so after he had been ill-treated in Guildford police station, including an incident when a gun was poked through the hatch of his cell. Surrey police have always denied that such an event took place.

The former officer, who was referred to as Witness B, told the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal that he and another officer, PC Gerry Queen, who the court heard was still serving with Surrey police, although now as an inspector, had been on duty as firearms officers while Hill was held at Guildford police station.

He said: 'I heard the click of the hammer falling on the chamber of a gun, and I saw that that was coming from the hands of the officer, who was standing in front of a cell with his gun pointed into the hatch.'

He added: 'He turned and he looked at me with an expression that was peculiar to him - it was sort of a leer across his face.' The former officer said he had not reported the incident as it would have been a thankless task because of the pressure and the emotive atmosphere at the time. He added that it would also probably not have helped his career.

He described the officer concerned as a prat, a loner and an oddball with a macabre sense of humour. He said that at other times, when they had been on duty together at Gatwick airport, the officer had on several occasions crept up on him and other policemen and appeared suddenly from behind pillars with his revolver drawn.

The former officer said he had later been with a group of other officers when the policeman involved had boasted of the incident at the cell. He did not know who, if anyone, had been in the cell when it happened.

The hearing was adjourned until today.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine