Veteran IRA gunman convicted of murder: Two Irishmen guilty of Yorkshire police shootings

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The Independent Online
An escaped IRA killer was convicted yesterday by a jury at the Old Bailey of the murder of a police special constable and the attempted murder of three other officers in North Yorkshire last year.

Paul 'Dingus' Magee, 45, from Belfast, shot Special Constable Glenn Goodman, 37, twice in the chest at close range after he and a colleague, Constable Sandy Kelly, made a routine check on a car on the York to Leeds road in the early hours of 7 June last year. Magee then shot PC Kelly four times.

After a seven-hour retirement by the jury, Michael O'Brien, 28, from Dublin, the other man in the car, was cleared of the murder of Mr Goodman and the attempted murder of PC Kelly.

Both Magee and O'Brien were convicted of the attempted murder of two other PCs, Mark Whitehouse and Susan Larkin, who came under repeated fire from a Kalashnikov automatic rifle when they pursued the two men following the murder. They were also found guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

The verdicts were unanimous and both men will be sentenced today.

During the 11-day trial, no mention was made of the fact that both men were suspected of being IRA terrorists planning an assassination attempt somewhere in the area.

The trial was told that the police were suspicious of Magee and O'Brien because they could not give a convincing account of their movements and spoke with Irish accents.

PC Kelly was making further radio checks when Magee turned his gun on Mr Goodman. He then shot at PC Kelly through the car windscreen. As the constable continued to shout the emergency call sign - 'ten nine, ten nine, ten nine' - into his radio, Magee leaned into the car and emptied his gun into the officer's body.

The men were captured four days later. Detectives linked them to the scene and to the Kalashnikov rifle - found abandoned in the area - by scientific evidence. A palm print of Magee's was found on the police car and a fragment of a police document given to O'Brien before the shooting was discovered on his clothes. The two handguns used were never found.

Mr Goodman, 37, was the first special constable to be murdered since 1942 and the first mainland police officer to die directly at the hands of the IRA since 1975. A lorry driver and father of an 11- month-old son, he had enlisted in the Specials a few months beforehand, hoping that it would help his application to join the police full-time.

His widow and parents watched the trial from the public gallery.

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