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Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume VII - Chapter 134



Evidence from Royal Ulster Constabulary officers

Chapter 134: Evidence from Royal Ulster Constabulary officers

Contents

Paragraph

Sergeant Vernon Carson 134.2

Woman Constable Clara Hamilton 134.30

Constable Douglas Hogg 134.40

Inspector Harry Dickson 134.46

Detective Sergeant Eugene McTeggart 134.69

Constable Sampson Trotter 134.80

134.1 For the sake of clarity and consistency, the police officers are referred to by the rank they held on 30th January 1972.

Sergeant Vernon Carson

134.2 Sergeant Vernon Carson was the only police officer on duty at the Bridge Camp when the cars arrived who gave both written and oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry about the discovery of nail bombs on Gerald Donaghey.1He later made a deposition for the coroner’s inquest into the death of Gerald Donaghey.2He also gave a written statement to this Inquiry,3but died before he had signed it.

1 JC6.2-3; WT16.58-64

2 JC6.11

3 JC6.12-19

134.3 Before giving evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Sergeant Carson wrote a report to the Station Sergeant at Victoria Barracks dated 7th February 1972.1In this report Sergeant Carson recorded that he was on duty in the Detention Centre at the Army post, Foyle Road (ie the Bridge Camp) and that it was about 3.55pm2when a soldier came into the building and said that there were two injured men outside in cars. He stated that he went outside with Inspector Harry Dickson and saw:

an Army Medical Team rendering First Aid on placing the two men into a Military Ambulance. Then an Army Officer pointed to a Ford Cortina G.T. car Reg. No. 3955 PZ and said there is a dead man in the back seat. I went over to the car and saw a youth lying face up on the rear seat. He appeared to be dead. He was wearing Blue Denim Jeans and Blue Denim Jacket. He had a white handkerchief tied round his neck. I started to search his clothes for identification and when I looked into his left hand trouser pocket I found what I thought to be a Nail Bomb. I informed an Army Sergeant and requested him to send for the A.T.O. [Ammunition Technical Officer]

1 JC6.1

2 This timing cannot be correct and in our view was probably an error of recollection.

134.4 For reasons given below, it is possible that the Army Officer to whom Sergeant Carson referred in this passage was Lance Corporal 104.

134.5 Sergeant Carson then stated that he remained with the car until Captain 127 arrived at approximately 5.15pm and moved the car to the car park in Foyle Road. He described how Captain 127 examined the car for explosives, including by blowing open the boot, and then examined the body and found four nail bombs, one in each trouser pocket and one in each Jacket pocket . Sergeant Carson continued by stating that Captain 127 removed the detonator and explosives from the nail bombs and handed him the remains of the nail bombs, which at approximately 6.45pm he took back to the Bridge Camp and handed over to Detective Sergeant Eugene McTeggart. In the statement this name is added in manuscript over a crossing out of the name D/Const. Neilly . We do not know why this was done, but it seems reasonable to conclude that it was to correct an error.

134.6 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1Sergeant Carson stated that he was normally employed as an explosives inspector but on 30th January 1972 was on ordinary duty at the Foyle Road Detention Centre. In this statement he said that he was out in the yard when two cars were brought in and a soldier told him that there was a dead person in one of the cars. He gave a similar account of seeing the body and discovering a nail bomb. He added in this statement that he had opened the rear offside door of the car and removed a blanket that was covering the top half of the body, including the head. Sergeant Carson then continued:

“I began to search the body looking for identification starting with his left hand trouser pocket. As soon as I opened the pocket I saw the fuse of the nail bomb. As soon as I saw it I stopped searching the body. I said to the soldier who had brought the car in ‘Do you see what you have been driving?’ He replied ‘F--- me’. There were a number of other soldiers watching and I recall seeing woman Constable H there. I asked a soldier who was standing nearby to contact the ATO (Army [sic] Technical Officer). I also informed the officer in charge of the police at the detention centre who was in the yard at the time. ”

1 JC6.2

134.7 Woman Constable H ” was a reference to Woman Constable Clara Hamilton, whose evidence we consider below.

134.8 Sergeant Carson stated that he kept the car in sight until Captain 127 arrived and that I don’t remember seeing PN48 approach it .1PN 48 ” was the Widgery Inquiry cipher for Detective Sergeant McTeggart. Having described following Captain 127 to the car park, Sergeant Carson stated that Captain 127:2

“… examined the car, undoing the bonnet and opening the boot with a small explosive charge. He then started to examine the body in the car. He removed a nail bomb from each of his four pockets – one in each of his jacket breast pockets and one in each of his trouser pockets. He then removed the detinators, fuses and explosives. He handed the remains to me and I took the car and the remains of the bombs back to the army post, where I handed the remains of the nail bombs over to PN 48 – each nail bomb being in a separate polythene bag. ”

1 JC6.2 2JC6.3

134.9 Sergeant Carson added that he thought that the position of the body had been slightly changed by the time the first of the photographs shown above1 was taken, and that the body had been more on its side when he first saw it. By this he appears to have meant that the body was more on its right side, since he had stated earlier2 that the body had originally been lying half on his back and half on his right side . He repeated3 that he thought that the bomb he saw when he searched the body had been in the left pocket. He then stated that the fourth of the photographs shown above4shows what appear to be the bags in which I packed the remains of the bombs after the ATO had removed the explosives, detinators and fuses .

1 Paragraph 125.10

2 JC6.2

3 JC6.3

4 Paragraph 125.12

134.10 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1Sergeant Carson again said that he was in the yard when two cars were brought in. He said that he could not say for sure whether the Medical Officer had examined the body before he started to search, but thought that he had.2He said later that he had never seen the Medical Officer and that If the MO was there he must have gone to the vehicle immediately, because I was there in half a minute .3He also said that he could not see the nail bomb he discovered until he searched the pocket.4

1 WT16.58-64

2 WT16.58

3 WT16.61

4 WT16.59

134.11 Sergeant Carson told the Widgery Inquiry that although there were quite a few soldiers round the car nobody else got into the car until Captain 127 arrived, that the car was brought in to the yard at Foyle Road and it was not moved until the ATO moved it and that nobody could have planted nail bombs on the body without his knowledge.1

1 WT16.59; WT16.64

134.12 When questioned about what he saw Captain 127 doing after the car had been moved, Sergeant Carson said that he saw him go into the car and take a nail bomb from each of the trouser pockets and one from each of the breast pockets of the denim jacket. He repeated that it was the breast pockets when Lord Widgery queried this answer, but added that Captain 127 had to cut at least one of the pockets to get the nail bombs out.1He also said to the Widgery Inquiry that Captain 127 then removed the explosive and detonator and fuse from each of the four nail bombs and put the remainder of the nail bombs in polythene bags .2

1 WT16.60 2 WT16.61

134.13 In the course of his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Sergeant Carson said that The driver of the car was there when I was there and that He told me he had driven the car and I showed him the nail bomb I saw in the pocket . When it was pointed out to him that the soldier who had driven the car had given evidence that he did not see a bomb, so that it must not have been the driver of the car , Sergeant Carson replied That would appear to be so . Later he said that He [the soldier to whom he spoke after discovering the nail bomb] was with the car. I may have assumed he was the driver quite wrongly. 1

1 WT16.61; WT16.64

134.14 Sergeant Carson also told the Widgery Inquiry that he was not an explosives expert and that his role was “checking with quarries, etc., people using explosives for legitimate purposes ”, and though he agreed that he had access to explosives and had gelignite at times, he did not have any on the day.1

1 WT16.62

134.15 Sergeant Carson’s deposition for the coroner’s inquest into the death of Gerald Donaghey1added nothing to his previous evidence.

1 JC6.11

134.16 In his unsigned statement for this Inquiry,1Sergeant Carson gave an account that differed in a number of respects from his previous evidence. He recalled that he first became aware of the nail bombs when he saw round objects in Gerald Donaghey’s breast pockets, and he no longer recalled seeing a blanket covering the body. He also stated that until he was shown the statements that he had made at the time he had believed that the nail bombs were pointed out to him by a soldier.2 Sergeant Carson denied that he planted the nail bombs on Gerald Donaghey, and commented that if they were planted on him, then this must have happened before he went to the vehicle at the Bridge Camp.3 In our view, without the opportunity to question Sergeant Carson further, this statement made a long time after the event provides us with little assistance. However, he did give us this account of his role as explosives officer:4

... I was given the role of explosives officer. This was basically an administrative job. I carried out this duty in addition to my other duties. I applied for the permits which authorised people to handle explosives and blast a quarry. My job was to then go to the quarry to ensure that everything was done in a proper manner. The police and military would escort the explosives to the quarry. If there was a large amount of explosives left over, these would be given to the army for disposal. If it was only a matter of a few pounds of explosives being left over, then these would be exploded at the quarry.

In the quarries at that time was ordinary gelignite. I did not deal with explosives myself and I never handled them. I never encountered stolen explosives. The quarries were leak proof. A person would have needed the collusion at the different levels of police officer, army officer and the quarry owner in order to obtain stolen explosives.

1 JC6.15

2 JC6.18

3 JC6.19

4 JC6.14

134.17 Sergeant Carson also told us:1I was … asked about access to explosives. I could not have got explosives from a cupboard, so to speak, but I did have access to quarries. I could have handled and lifted explosives, but I would not have been able to take them away. He stated:2I cannot see any way in the world that the army and the police could have got access to explosives.

1 JC6.18-19 2 JC6.19

134.18 There are some difficulties with the accounts that Sergeant Carson gave at the time, quite apart from the fact that his evidence about discovering a nail bomb differs from that of other police officers, which we consider below.

134.19 In the first place, according to Sergeant Carson’s report to the Station Sergeant1 he was inside the Detention Centre. While there, he was told that there were two injured men outside in cars, and when he went outside he saw two injured men being put into an ambulance and was told of a dead man in a car. He told the Widgery Inquiry that he was outside in the yard when the cars arrived. He also told the Widgery Inquiry that he reached the car with the body very shortly (half a minute ) after the car had arrived and that it was not moved until Captain 127 arrived. On the face of it, there is an inconsistency between his report and his Widgery Inquiry evidence as to where he was when the cars arrived. More importantly, his evidence that the car was not moved is inconsistent with the evidence of Corporal 150 (which we accept) that the car was moved after Captain 138 had ascertained that Gerald Donaghey was dead.2 However, this inconsistency could be resolved if Sergeant Carson first saw the car after Corporal 150 had moved it, which would also be consistent with him having by that time already seen the injured men being put into an ambulance.

1 JC6.1

2 B1909; WT16.54; B1918.005; Day 380/31-32

134.20 In the second place, Sergeant Carson told the Widgery Inquiry that the soldier he spoke to had told him that he had driven the car.1 We are satisfied that Sergeant Carson did not speak to the driver, Corporal 150. Although Sergeant Carson, in his later evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, accepted that he might have been mistaken about the soldier he spoke to being the driver, this would not explain how, when asked how he identified the soldier as the driver, he came to tell the Widgery Inquiry that the soldier had told him that he had driven the car. However, it seems to us that what might well have happened is that Sergeant Carson spoke not to Corporal 150, but to Lance Corporal 104, the driver of the other car that had carried Joe Friel, but then or thereafter misunderstood which car Lance Corporal 104 had been driving. As we have noted above, Lance Corporal 104 told the Widgery Inquiry that he had seen a nail bomb in the pocket of a dead man at the Bridge Camp.2 He also told the Widgery Inquiry that someone had been in the back of the car, apparently before he went over and saw the body, and that he thought that this had been a female police officer.3 This evidence leads us to believe that it is possible that Lance Corporal 104 was the “Army Officer ” who, according to Sergeant Carson’s report to the Station Sergeant,4 pointed out to Sergeant Carson the car containing the dead body.

1 WT16.61

2 B1691; WT17.44-45

3 WT17.44

4 JC6.1

134.21 Inspector Dickson, whose evidence we consider below, also told us that he was under the impression that a soldier present when he saw the nail bomb was the soldier who had driven the car and he might therefore also have mistakenly assumed that Lance Corporal 104 had driven the car containing Gerald Donaghey.1

1 JD3.11

134.22 In the third place, Sergeant Carson’s evidence to the Widgery Inquiry was that when he saw the body it was covered with a blanket. This is in contrast to the evidence of Corporal 150, who told the RMP that when he looked into the car at Barrier 20 he saw an apparently lifeless body with a gunshot wound in the lower abdomen.1Corporal 150 confirmed this account in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry2and in his written statement to this Inquiry;3and said in his oral evidence to this Inquiry4that the body had not been covered. However, it is possible that the blanket was put over the body after Captain 138 had completed his first examination and determined that Gerald Donaghey was dead; and that Corporal 150 either did not notice or did not remember that this had been done.

1 B1899-1900

2 B1909; WT16.53

3 B1918.002

4 Day 380/137-138

134.23 In the fourth place, as already noted, the RUC Incident Book recorded a message from Sergeant Carson at 1644 hours that Army has one dead man and two injured at underdeck of Bridge . Unfortunately Sergeant Carson was not asked about this message when he gave evidence to the Widgery Inquiry. According to Inspector Dickson, whose evidence we consider below, Sergeant Carson was probably carrying the only Pocketfone radio at the Detention Centre.1 However, the Porter tapes record the Pocketfone radio transmissions, but did not record this message, so that it seems to us that Sergeant Carson must have communicated this message by ordinary telephone. Inspector Dickson’s evidence suggests that no other radio would have been available to Sergeant Carson.2 On this basis, Sergeant Carson must have made this telephone call either before he went outside the Detention Centre, or must have returned there to make it.

1 Day 212/6 2 Day 212/5-6

134.24 What is important about this message is that it makes no mention of the discovery of a nail bomb. According to Sergeant Carson’s evidence, it was a very short time indeed after the car had arrived and he was told there was a dead man in it that he went to the car and then discovered a nail bomb. It is possible that he made the telephone call before he went to the car, but if indeed he did discover a nail bomb it is reasonable to conclude that he could not have made the call afterwards, since it seems to us that he could not have failed to mention what he had found.

134.25 What Sergeant Carson did tell the Widgery Inquiry was that after he had found the nail bomb he asked a soldier to call the ATO and also informed the officer in charge of the police at the Detention Centre, who was in the yard at the time .1The officer in charge was Inspector Dickson. According to the RUC Incident Book, the discovery of the nail bomb was reported to the RUC Communications Centre at Victoria Barracks at 1652 hours.2According to the Brigade log, the message from 1 R ANGLIAN to Brigade Headquarters reporting the discovery of a nail bomb was timed at 1650 hours.3

1 JC6.2

2 W161; W209 serial 632

3 W49; W138 serial 527

134.26 On the assumption that Sergeant Carson discovered the nail bomb immediately after making a report by telephone of the dead man in the car, and immediately after that told a soldier and Inspector Dickson of his discovery, there would have been a delay of some minutes before this information was passed on to Brigade Headquarters and the RUC Communications Centre. On the same assumption, it is possible that there might have been a similar delay before 1 R ANGLIAN at the Bridge Camp requested the ATO. However, whether there was such a delay depends upon whether these assumptions are correct. It is equally possible that having made the telephone call at 1644 hours Sergeant Carson went outside and saw the two injured men being put into an ambulance a minute later, reached the car containing Gerald Donaghey a minute after that, started searching at about 1647 hours, found the nail bomb at about 1648 hours, when he told the soldier to call the ATO, and about a minute later informed Inspector Dickson of his discovery. The discovery was then reported at 1650 hours.

134.27 In the fifth place, Sergeant Carson told the Widgery Inquiry that he saw Captain 127 remove bombs from the breast pockets of Gerald Donaghey’s denim jacket. It might well be that Sergeant Carson was simply mistaken about this, since there is no doubt from other evidence that the bombs were in the side pockets of that jacket. However, as will be seen from the evidence considered below, Sergeant Carson’s account of being handed the remains of the nail bombs by Captain 127 in the car par park, and then taking them to the Bridge Camp and handing them to Detective Sergeant McTeggart, is on the face of it inconsistent with the accounts of both Captain 127 and Detective Sergeant McTeggart, which do not mention the presence or involvement of Sergeant Carson. Their evidence is to the effect that Captain 127 handed the remains of the nail bombs to Detective Sergeant McTeggart. However, Detective Sergeant McTeggart told us that Captain 127 passed the items to him at the Bridge Camp whereas Captain 127 never said that he returned to the Bridge Camp and his RMP statement implies that he did not.1It is possible, therefore, that Sergeant Carson took the items from Captain 127 to Detective Sergeant McTeggart, each of whom in effect regarded Sergeant Carson as the agent of the other.

1 JM41.3; Day 223/103; B1783

134.28 In the sixth place, there is an inconsistency between Sergeant Carson’s written statement for the Widgery Inquiry1and his oral evidence to that Inquiry.2In the former he stated that he packed the remains of the nail bombs in bags, while in the latter he said that this was done by Captain 127. We are satisfied from the evidence of Captain 127, which we consider below, that the latter was the case.

1 JC6.3 2 WT16.61

134.29 In the seventh place, Sergeant Carson said that he found the nail bomb in the left pocket of Gerald Donaghey’s jeans. In the photographs taken by Constable Simpson in the car park on the north side of Craigavon Bridge, a nail bomb is visible in the right pocket.1In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Sergeant Carson described the body as lying half on its back and half on its right side.2In our view the photographs show Gerald Donaghey lying on his back.3The ATO, Captain 127, told the Widgery Inquiry that he did not disturb the body before the photographs were taken.4However, it is possible the body moved as the car was driven to the car park on the other side of Craigavon Bridge before the photographs were taken and Sergeant Carson might simply have confused right with left.

1 Paragraph 125.11

2 JC6.2

3 Paragraphs 125.10–11

4 WT9.55

Woman Constable Clara Hamilton

134.30 This police officer wrote a report to the Woman Inspector dated 5th February 1972.1

1 JH3.1

134.31 In this report Woman Constable Hamilton recorded that she was on duty at the Foyle Road Detention Centre, where Inspector Dickson was in charge, when two cars came into the centre:

“One contained a young man who was shot in the left shoulder – he was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital by Army Ambulance. The other car contained the corpse of a young man, lying in the back seat. I looked into this car and saw an object protruding from his right hip pocket with what looked like a fuse sticking out of it. I informed Inspector Dickson of my observation and in due course the Army [sic] Technical Officer arrived at the scene and removed the car with the body still inside. ”

134.32 Woman Constable Hamilton also made a statement for the Widgery Inquiry dated 9th March 1972 though she was not called to give oral evidence.1

1 JH3.2

134.33 In this she stated that she went over to the car containing the body, accompanied by the officer in charge of the police detachment. He said that we would have to find out if there was any identification on the dead body.

134.34 This statement then continued:1

“I first went to the offside rear door and opened it. There was a body on the back seat with his head towards me. The head and shoulders were covered over with a light coloured blanket. I pulled down the blanket. The body was of a young man who appeared to be dead – his face was quite green. I replaced the blanket, closed the door and went round to the other side. I opened the near-side rear door; the lower part of his body was covered by a green candlewick bedspread. I pulled this off so that I could see down as far as his waist. His left hand had congealed blood on it. A soldier on the other side of the car looking through the offside windows said ‘There is something in his pocket’. I could see that there was a bulge in the right pocket of his denim jeans. I leaned over him and felt with my left hand what was in the pocket.

I tried to pull it out but it was difficult. I could feel that it was a round object covered with insulating tape. I leaned further over to see what it was and could see that it was an object covered with what appeared to be cream coloured insulating tape. I could see one width of insulating tape round it – about ½” in depth. From the centre I could see something sticking out like a thin piece of black licorice. The soldier then shouted ‘Get out, its a bomb’. I covered the man again and closed the door gently. The officer in charge of the police detachment said something to the effect that I was to leave it to him and that he would see to it. I understood that he was sending for the ATO. I took a note of the numbers of the first and second Cortinas and went back into the Detention Centre to see if the owners could be traced. I told the RUC and RMP there what had happened – I believe that Sgt. Carson was there at the time.

I did not go near the car after that. I have been shown photograph EP5A/29, and it is the car I examined – I noticed the registration number. I believe photograph EP5A/25 is a photograph of the man I saw. He seems to me to be in exactly the same position as when I saw him. The covers have been removed. I could not see as much of the bomb as is shown in No 26 but the angle from which it is taken is different.

I remember seeing Sergeant McTeggart in the park but I did not see him examine the car. ”

1 JH3.2-3

134.35 Woman Constable Hamilton gave written and oral evidence to this Inquiry.1In her written statement she made clear that she was prepared to stick by her previous statements as being more accurate now that I have looked at them than my present memory .2In her oral evidence she described her present memory as quite cloudy, actually, it is not that good .3We formed the view that Woman Constable Hamilton was an honest witness trying to do her best to help us, but that understandably she had now little or no independent recollection of the matters under consideration.

1 JH3.4; Day 212/122-169

2 JH3.6

3 Day 212/124

134.36 In the course of her oral evidence Woman Constable Hamilton accepted that there were differences between her original report and her Widgery statement which she could not explain, in particular that the former recorded that she saw an object protruding from the right hip pocket when she looked into the car and made no mention of a soldier saying anything, while in the latter she stated that a soldier had said that there was something in the pocket which she then tried to pull out, after which the soldier had shouted that it was a bomb.1

1 Day 212/144-147

134.37 It seemed to be suggested during the course of the questioning on this topic that Woman Constable Hamilton had for some illegitimate reason chosen to alter her account. We are not persuaded that this was so. As she herself observed,1her report was a summary of events, while it is clear that her statement for the Widgery Inquiry was a much more detailed account.

1 Day 212/146

134.38 Woman Constable Hamilton told us that she would have told someone higher in authority which would obviously be a sergeant of her discovery but could not remember who it was.1

1 Day 212/137-139

134.39 Woman Constable Hamilton was unable to offer any explanation as to why her accounts differed from those given by Sergeant Carson.1However, it seems to us that this apparent conflict could be resolved if Woman Constable Hamilton had, unknown to Sergeant Carson, been the first to discover a nail bomb, and if Sergeant Carson arrived on the scene after Woman Constable Hamilton had gone off to report what she had found. To our minds, the evidence of Lance Corporal 104 to which we have already referred, that he saw what he thought to be a female police officer in the back of the car, apparently before he went over and saw the body, strengthens the possibility that this is what happened, and that he and Sergeant Carson reached the car after Woman Constable Hamilton had been there.

1 Day 212/166

Constable Douglas Hogg

134.40 Constable Douglas Hogg made a statement in 1972.1It is undated and unsigned but bears a PN reference that indicates that at least a copy of this statement was supplied to the Widgery Inquiry. This officer gave written and oral evidence to this Inquiry.2He told us that he believed that he would have compiled his statement within three weeks of Bloody Sunday.3

1 JH9.1

2 JH9.2; Day 213/132-176

3 Day 213/169-172

134.41 In this statement Constable Hogg recorded that in one of the cars brought into the Detention Centre that afternoon there was a body lying in the back seat, this person, a male, was looked at by W/Const. Hamilton who noticed that there was a nail bomb hanging out of his pocket .1

1 JH 9.1

134.42 This statement does not indicate whether Constable Hogg actually saw Woman Constable Hamilton notice the nail bomb, though in his written evidence to this Inquiry he stated that he did approach the car, and that there were a number of us standing around the car, though he now only remembered Woman Constable Hamilton. He stated that but for seeing the statement that he had made at the time, he would have said that the body had been in the boot. He then stated that Woman Constable Hamilton took it upon herself to search the body and in doing so discovered what I believe was a nail bomb in one of the front trouser pockets. I recall that having found it, she pulled it out of the pocket, but only far enough so that I was able to confirm that it was a nail bomb. She then pushed it back into the pocket. 1

1 JH9.5-6

134.43 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Constable Hogg said that Woman Constable Hamilton had opened the offside rear door of the car in order to search the body. As we have explained above, Woman Constable Hamilton recorded in her written statement for the Widgery Inquiry2 that she first opened the offside rear door and pulled down the blanket from Gerald Donaghey’s face, but that she then replaced the blanket, closed the offside door, walked around the car and opened the nearside rear door, and that she was searching the body from that side of the car when she discovered the nail bomb. It was put to Constable Hogg that Woman Constable Hamilton had recalled that “although she had been on the driver’s side of the car, when she searched the body she actually did it from the opposite side but Constable Hogg said that Woman Constable Hamilton had searched the body from the driver’s side.

1 Day 213/143-144 2JH3.2

134.44 Constable Hogg told us that his recollections of what happened after that were very vague.1He also said that he could not remember whether there was anyone else around when he reached the car.2

1 Day 213/146 2 Day 213/147

134.45 Though we have no doubt that Constable Hogg was doing his best to assist us, we concluded that it would be unwise to place much reliance on the evidence he gave to us about the discovery of the nail bomb. He may well have observed Woman Constable Hamilton going to look at the body and discovering a nail bomb, but it is equally possible that in the account he gave at the time he was reporting what he had been told, or partly what he had seen and partly what he had been told, though this account (even if it or some of it was second-hand) does provide some support for Woman Constable Hamilton’s account of being the one who discovered the nail bomb. It is noteworthy that Inspector Dickson, whose evidence we consider below, had no recollection of seeing Constable Hogg in the vicinity.1

1 Day 212/135

Inspector Harry Dickson

134.46 Inspector Harry Dickson wrote a report to the Superintendent at Victoria Barracks dated 14th February 1972.1He also gave a written statement (but no oral evidence) to the Widgery Inquiry.2This statement was undated but seems to have been made on or about 10th March 1972. This is because it bears the reference SP39, while that of Chief Superintendent Frank Lagan bears the reference SP38 and was dated 10th March 1972. Sergeant Carson’s, Detective Sergeant McTeggart’s and Woman Constable Hamilton’s statements bear the respective references SP35, SP36 and SP37 and were all dated 9th March 1972.

1 JD3.1 2 JD3.3

134.47 In his report to the Superintendent, Inspector Dickson recorded that he was the officer in charge of the Detention Centre on 30th January 1972. After providing some details irrelevant to the present Inquiry, Inspector Dickson continued:1

“At about 4:30.pm I was informed by D/Sergt. McTeggart that three cars had been brought to the Army Command Post at my location. The D/Sergt. further informed me that one of the cars contained a dead body and each of the others a wounded man.

On emerging from the Detention Centre I was in time to see one of the wounded men being placed in an Army Ambulance. The Ambulance left almost immediately for Altnagelvin Hospital with the two wounded on board.

On making enquiries I established that a silver coloured cortina, reg. No. N.S.C. 149.G. had been used to convey one of the wounded. The owner of this car, Bernard McMonagle … was with his vehicle. There was also a Mrs. Kathleen Doherty … present, Mrs. Doherty had been a passenger in the car. Both were subsequently interviewed by D/Sergt. McTeggart.

Another car, a light blue cortina, reg. No. H.G.B. 992.D. had been used to convey the second wounded man. At this stage I was not aware of the identity of the driver or occupants of this vehicle.

D/Sergt. McTeggart told me that the body, in the rear seat of a white Ford cortina car, Reg. No. 3955.P.Z., had an object protruding from the trouser pocket which he took to be a ‘Nail Bomb’.

On examination of this car I found the body of a youth lying across the rear seat of the car. The head was resting against the rear door behind the drivers seat. The feet were on the floor to the rear of the front passenger seat. The body was covered with a rug.

On pulling back the rug I was satisfied that the object protruding from the right trouser pocket of the deceased was in fact a ‘Nail Bomb’.

I established that an Army Medical Officer, Capt. [138], had examined the body and had pronounced life extinct. On learning this, I immediately requested the presence of the A.T.O.

Capt. [127], A.T.O arrived and proceeded to examine the vehicle and defuse four ‘Nail Bombs’ found on the body. This was carried out at the car park on the city side of Craigavon Bridge.

The body was subsequently conveyed to the Mortuary, Altnagelvin. ”

1 JD3.1-3.2

134.48 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1Inspector Dickson stated that at about 4.40pm Sergeant Carson told him that there was a dead man outside, and that they all went out. He then described seeing a blue Cortina on the right and a grey Cortina on the left. An injured man was being placed into an ambulance. There were a man and a woman near the blue Cortina. I told Sergeant […] CID to take them into the Centre and interview them. There was no one with the second vehicle and I was told that the military had driven it there. The military were searching both vehicles. We have no doubt that, as Inspector Dickson confirmed,2the “Sergeant […] CID ” referred to in this statement was Detective Sergeant McTeggart, whose cipher has been inserted in place of the name in one of the copies of the statement obtained by the Inquiry. The statement then continued:3

“I then saw another Cortina about 30 paces from me down a slope with half a dozen soldiers round it looking into the back. I walked down to it. There was a body inside on the back seat completely covered with a blanket. I could only see the top of his head which was on the offside. I tried to open the offside rear door but could not. I inquired whether a doctor had seen him and was told by an Army Officer there that an army medical officer had seen him and had pronounced him dead. I recall telling a police constable (I think Constable Trotter) ‘There is a body in that car. Keep an eye on it until we make arrangements to have it taken to the morgue.’ I went back to where the other two vehicles were and about five minutes later Sergeant [Carson]4came to me and told me that the dead man had a nail bomb in his pocket. As soon as I heard that I went back to the car with Carson. I again tried the rear offside door but it was still locked. Then Carson said that the rear nearside door was open and went round to that side. I followed him. He opened the door, reached in and pulled back the blanket, and indicated to me the right trouser pocket. I could see that there was something in the pocket from the bulge but could not see what it was until I lent right over the body. I could only see the top but it appeared to me from the wrapper to be gelignite. I made no attempt to get the object out of his pocket. Quite apart from the danger it would have been difficult to extract it. The way in which he was lying meant that it was very tightly gripped in the pocket. I cannot remember seeing any fuse.

I asked if the army technical officer had been called. I was told by a soldier that he had. He arrived very shortly after. He asked me where the owner of the vehicle was. I couldn’t tell him. I made inquiries but no-one could give me information. He asked me then about a safe place to take it to and I suggested the car park on Foyle Road, about 100–150 yards away. He drove it there, and I followed on foot with Sergeant Carson. I had previously sent for photographers and the police photographers arrived while we were in the car park. I made arrangements to keep Foyle Road clear of pedestrians and vechular [sic] traffic while the ATO made his examination. He could not open the boot so he blew it open with a controlled charge. I then got a message saying that other persons had been brought to the Detention Centre, and I left leaving Sergeant Carson there.

About 1 hour later I was shown four packages which I was told contained nails and tape which I was told had made up four nail bombs found on the dead body. I did not see Sergeant McTeggart CID or woman Constable [Hamilton]5make a search of the car.

I have been shown photograph EP5A/29 which appears to be a photograph of the car which contained the body. EP5A/25 may be a picture of the man but the offside door has been opened and his head allowed to fall down. EP5A/26 and 27 show the object which I saw. It has been pulled more out of the pocket and seems to me to be of a slightly different angle. The black object at the top I saw but at the time I did not think it was a fuse but a projecting nail. ”

1 JD3.3

2 Day 212/11

3 JD3.3-3.4

4 We are satisfied that Sergeant Carson’s name should appear here, since his cipher was inserted at this point in another copy of this statement.

5 There is neither a name nor a cipher in the copies we have of this statement, but we are satisfied that Woman Constable Hamilton’s name should appear here as she was the only Woman Constable on duty at the Detention Centre (Day 212/138).

134.49 Inspector Dickson gave written and oral evidence to this Inquiry.1In his written evidence, he stated that at about 4.30pm Sergeant Carson came into the hut where he was and told him that a dead body and two wounded persons had been brought into the Detention Centre. Inspector Dickson recalled that on going out he saw an ambulance, with one injured person already on board and another being helped in.

1 JD3.10-13; Day 212/1-122

134.50 As to the car containing Gerald Donaghey, Inspector Dickson said that he recalled a soldier standing near it, who he believed was the driver. Inspector Dickson then stated that he walked round the front of the vehicle. I cannot remember what Sergeant Carson was doing at this time but I remember that Detective Sergeant McTeggart was there. I do not remember where he came from or whether he was already at the car when I arrived at it or whether he arrived after me. 1

1 JD3.11

134.51 Inspector Dickson then described looking into the car from the outside and seeing a body covered with a rug from the knees to the upper chest. He continued:1

“As I was looking into the car, Detective Sergeant McTaggart [sic] lifted the blanket or rug. I had the impression he was showing me something which he had already seen. I saw that the young man was wearing blue denim jeans and a blue denim top ... I saw an object protruding slightly from the right-hand trouser pocket at the front of his jeans. I took this to be a nail bomb. I could not see any nails, but I could see the end of the gelignite which looks like marzipan. I could not see any masking tape but I could see a blue-coloured safety fuse protruding from the gelignite. I remember the fuse was bent. I could also see a bulge underneath the fabric in the pocket area. I could only see the right-hand side of the body. The right arm was lying parallel to the body on the car seat. I could not see any wounds or blood … ”

1 JD3.12

134.52 Inspector Dickson also stated that he believed that the soldier whom he had seen told him that a military medical officer had pronounced the man dead. He stated that he thought he asked the soldier to drive the car out of the Detention Centre, but he is clearly wrong about this, as we have no doubt that the car was eventually moved by Captain 127, as indeed Inspector Dickson had recorded in his Widgery Inquiry statement.1He later acknowledged that this part of his statement to us was incorrect.2

1 JD3.4 2 Day 212/36

134.53 Inspector Dickson’s written evidence to this Inquiry did not deal with the written statement he had given to the Widgery Inquiry, which apparently was not available at the time.1As to his report to the Superintendent, he said that this would have been based on notes made contemporaneously in his pocket book.2Inspector Dickson told us that those notes had not survived.3

1 Day 212/58-59

2 JD3.13

3 Day 212/59

139.54 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Inspector Dickson said that when Sergeant Carson had come into the hut to tell him of the casualties, he did not say anything about a nail bomb.1He was then asked to look at his report to the Superintendent, in which he had stated that it was Detective Sergeant McTeggart who had informed him at about 4.30pm that casualties had arrived,2and to compare it with his statement to the Widgery Inquiry, in which he said that Sergeant Carson had told him at about 4.40pm that there was a dead man outside, and that he thought but was not sure that this officer had told him that there were also some injured persons.3

1 Day 212/7 3JD3.3

2 JD3.1

134.55 Inspector Dickson said that he thought his report to the Superintendent was probably the more reliable recollection, but what I am really saying there is that Sergeant Carson told me that we had a dead body and we had injured. When I came out of the complex then I had discussions with Sergeant McTeggart and he would have filled me in on the cars, et cetera. 1

1 Day 212/8-9

134.56 Inspector Dickson then gave some evidence about the position of the cars, but in our view his recollections on this are not sufficiently clear for us to rely upon them.

134.57 Inspector Dickson was asked about the fact that in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry1he described going twice to the car containing the body, the second time after he had been told that there was a bomb.2

1 JD3.3 2Day 212/25-27

134.58 He told us that he first wanted to correct a mistake in this statement, namely references to the offside door should have been to the nearside door, and vice versa. Subject to that correction, he accepted that the sequence of events described in this account might be broadly correct, but said that it would not have been more than five minutes between his first and second visits to the car.

134.59 Inspector Dickson said1that he had absolutely no recollection of going over to the car with Woman Constable Hamilton, who had, as noted above, said that she had gone to the car with the officer in charge of the police detachment; nor of what she had said2about the discovery of a nail bomb.

1 Day 212/27-28 2 JH3.2

134.60 Inspector Dickson was unable to identify the person who radioed for an experienced officer to be sent to Craigavon Bridge, as there was a body there with a nail bomb in its pocket. This, as already noted, was the message recorded in the RUC Incident Book and timed at 1652 hours.1

1 W161; W209 serial 632

134.61 Inspector Dickson agreed that it would be standard practice on the discovery of nail bombs on a person to isolate the area and call the ATO.1He also agreed that upon the discovery of a nail bomb a medical officer would definitely not have been allowed to examine the body except possibly to confirm that the person was dead.2

1 Day 212/60 2 Day 212/102-103

134.62 Inspector Dickson was asked in some detail about the differences between his report to the Superintendent and his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry.

134.63 We see no significance in the fact that in his statement for the Widgery Inquiry he recorded that he had made two visits to the car with the body, whereas in his report to the Superintendent he referred only to going to examine the car when told of the discovery of a nail bomb; nor that from the report it might appear that he had no difficulty in identifying a nail bomb protruding from the pocket, whereas in his statement for the Widgery Inquiry he said that he could not see the bomb until he leaned right over the body.1We accept Inspector Dickson’s explanation that in his statement for the Widgery Inquiry he was going into greater detail than he had in his report.2

1 Day 212/ 90-95 2Day 212/94-95

134.64 Inspector Dickson was asked about some paragraphs in his signed statement to us that he later decided to omit. We accept that his reason for doing so was that on reflection he was not certain about what he had stated, and we draw no adverse inferences from these omissions.1

1 Day 212/69-82

134.65 Inspector Dickson told us that he regarded his report to the Superintendent as probably more reliable than his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry in indicating that Detective Sergeant McTeggart rather than Sergeant Carson had informed him that three cars had arrived, one containing a dead body, though he qualified that comment by agreeing that they might both have told him, one shortly after the other.1However, Inspector Dickson was not able to provide an explanation as to why he had stated in his report to the Superintendent that it was Detective Sergeant McTeggart who had told him of the nail bomb, whereas in his Widgery Inquiry statement he had identified Sergeant Carson as his informant. Inspector Dickson agreed that in terms of the personalities involved, these two statements are quite different .2It is also the case that in his report to the Superintendent, Inspector Dickson did not mention that Sergeant Carson was with him when he examined the car and saw the nail bomb. How Inspector Dickson came to identify Detective Sergeant McTeggart in one account and Sergeant Carson in another remains uncertain. However, a possible explanation is that Woman Constable Hamilton found the nail bomb, went inside and reported the discovery to Detective Sergeant McTeggart; that while she was inside, Sergeant Carson found the nail bomb; Detective Sergeant McTeggart (whose evidence we discuss below) came out to the car as soon as he was told about the bomb;3 meanwhile Sergeant Carson had gone over to Inspector Dickson to report the discovery;4 Inspector Dickson then went to the car with Sergeant Carson;5 and when they arrived Detective Sergeant McTeggart told Inspector Dickson what he had seen.6 This could explain why Inspector Dickson stated in his report that Detective Sergeant McTeggart had told him about the nail bomb but said in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry that Sergeant Carson had told him about it.

1 Day 212/8-9

2 Day 212/89-90

3 JM41.10

4 JC6.2

5 JD3.3

6 JM41.10

134.66 We should note that in his written evidence to this Inquiry, Inspector Dickson said nothing about being told of the discovery of a nail bomb, but only stated that he went to the car and that Detective Sergeant McTeggart was there, and that he could not remember what Sergeant Carson was doing. He then gave the evidence that we have quoted above.1

1 JD3.11-12

134.67 When Inspector Dickson suggested that it could have been Detective Sergeant McTeggart who told him of the nail bomb,1he was reminded that according to his statement for the Widgery Inquiry he had already told this officer to take a man and woman near the blue Cortina into the Detention Centre and interview them.2Inspector Dickson replied that this did not mean that Detective Sergeant McTeggart left immediately to carry out this task. However, Detective Sergeant McTeggart told the Widgery Inquiry in his written statement that he was in the course of taking a written statement from one of the civilians (Bernard McMonagle) when Woman Constable Hamilton interrupted the interview to report her discovery of a nail bomb,3which suggests that Detective Sergeant McTeggart began the interview promptly and before he knew about the nail bomb. Detective Sergeant McTeggart (whose evidence we discuss below) told us that he knew about the discovery of the nail bomb by the time he interviewed Raymond Rogan and Hugh Leo Young.4However, these interviews were at a much later stage, since these two civilians did not arrive at the Bridge Camp until about 1725 hours.5It seems at least possible that Detective Sergeant McTeggart did tell Inspector Dickson about the nail bomb, after Woman Constable Hamilton had found it and had interrupted the interview of Bernard McMonagle to tell Detective Sergeant McTeggart.

1 Day 212/89

2 JD3.3

3 JM41.10

4 Day 223/131-132

5 G114C.743.9

134.68 At the end of his oral evidence Inspector Dickson said this:1

“I would say to this Tribunal that if anyone had planted bombs on that body at the reception centre, they were taking an awful chance that they would not be spotted by either Army or police at that time. It would have been, it would have been a foolhardy thing to attempt, in my view, the activity that was taking place there at that particular time. ”

1 Day 212/121-122

Detective Sergeant Eugene McTeggart

134.69 Detective Sergeant McTeggart wrote two reports to the Detective Inspector, CID, at Victoria Barracks dated respectively 1st and 3rd February 1972.1He also gave a written statement dated 9th March 1972 (but no oral evidence) to the Widgery Inquiry.2He gave written and oral evidence to this Inquiry.3He also made a deposition for the coroner’s inquest into the death of Gerald Donaghey4that contains only a summary of what he had said in his previous statements.

1 ED47.3; JM41.6-8

2 JM41.10

3 JM41.1; Day 223/84-147

4 JM41.12; Day 223/118

134.70 Detective Sergeant McTeggart’s first report to the Detective Inspector contains some information about the nail bomb on Gerald Donaghey’s body in similar terms to his second report, but was principally concerned with what he had been told by Hugh Leo Young and Raymond Rogan when he interviewed them and with other matters.

134.71 In his second report to the Detective Inspector, Detective Sergeant McTeggart described the three cars that had arrived at the Detention Centre. So far as the car containing the body of Gerald Donaghey is concerned, he reported:1

Vehicle No. 1 Car No. (1), a white Cortina with red flash down each side, Reg. No. 3955 PZ (rear number plate missing) was owned and driven by Mr. Raymond Manasus Rogan … The passenger in this car was Mr. Hugh Leo Young … On the back seat of this car was the body of a young man, whom I now know to be Gerald Donaghey, 17 years, Unemployed Labourer of 27(a) Meenan Square, Londonderry. Captain [138], an Army Medical Officer had examined the body and pronounced life extinct. The body was lying across the back seat of the car, the head was against the rear passenger’s door behind the driver’s seat and his feet were on the floor of the car behind the passenger’s seat. I saw a cream coloured object sticking from the right hand trousers pocket of deceased’s clothing. On further examination I saw that it had the appearance

of a nail bomb enclosed in masking tape. I informed Inspector Harold Dickson, who was Duty Inspector at the Detention Centre and arrangements were made to have Captain [127], the Army Technical Officer examine the object. Captain [127] found a total of four nail bombs in the deceased’s pockets, these were defused and I retained the remainder of each bomb and later handed them to Constable J. Montgomery, Scenes of Crime Officer. The body was removed to the Mortuary at Altnagelvin.

I interviewed both Mr. Rogan and Mr. Young and obtained written statements from each of them. (Copies attached). They were both examined by the Army ‘Sniffer’ device for traces of explosives with negative result. Both men were then conveyed to Victoria R.U.C. Station on the instructions of Detective Constable McNulty, Special Branch. The car was brought to Victoria R.U.C. Station and examined by Constables Montgomery and McCormac, Scenes of Crime Officers. At approximately 10.30 p.m. both vehicles were released to their respective drivers.

I remained on duty at the C.I.D. Office Victoria until 11.45 p.m. ”

1 JM41.7-8

134.72 Detective Sergeant McTeggart’s written statement for the Widgery Inquiry was in the following terms:1

“1. I am an officer of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. On 30 January I was on duty at the detention centre at Craigavon Bridge. I, with a Police Constable, was given the duty of dealing with any case in which army or police personnel made an arrest in connection with firearms or explosive cases.

2. Three Cortinas were brought into the army post at Craigavon Bridge. Since I was not at the moment engaged in dealing with any weapon or explosives case I took a statement from the occupant of the first car and while I was doing so woman Constable [Hamilton]2came in and said that the lad in the white Cortina was dead and that he had a nail bomb in his pocket. I at once went out to the car. I looked in from the near side and saw the body of a man lying across the back seat. His head was against the rear door, his body on the seat and the lower part of his leg hanging down so that his feet were on the floor behind the front passenger seat. The face and upper portion of the body was covered I think by a light covered [sic] bedcover. I opened the rear nearside door and bent in across the body. I removed the cover and looked at the face and upper portion of the body. It did seem to me that the man was dead. In the right hand trouser pocket I saw a cream coloured object sticking slightly from the pocket. I examined the

object further by touching it. It was covered by cream coloured masking tape which by the feel appeared to cover objects like nails. I have seen a good many types of nail bomb before and I have seen several made with adhesive tape. The only difference was that this object was covered with masking tape of the kind used when one sprays a vehicle. I thought it was a nail bomb and would not touch it any further.

3. I reported the matter to the Police Officer in charge of police personnel at the detention centre.

4. When I was examining the body there were a number of army and police personnel around the car and I recall someone saying that the army technical officer had been sent for, but I cannot recall who it was.

5. I did not examine the body to see if there were any other bombs. Once an explosive device has been found the normal procedure is to send for the army technical officer and to leave him to make further searches. I have seen photograph EP5A I believe this to a photograph of the car with the body in.

6. I have also photograph EP5A/25 which appears to show the body I saw. EP5A/26 shows the bomb sticking out of the pocket. My recollection is that the bomb when I saw it was protruding to about the extent as is shown on the photograph. After I had reported to the office [sic] in charge I finished taking the statement I was engaged on, and then took statements from Mr Rogan and Mr Young, the occupants of another car. I did not see the body again. ”

1 JM41.10

2 We are satisfied that Woman Constable Hamilton’s name should appear here, as she was the only woman Police Constable on duty at the Detention Centre (Day 212/138).

134.73 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Detective Sergeant McTeggart recalled that he was only informed about the arrival of the cars at the Detention Centre after the injured people had been taken to hospital.1He explained that the reason he had gone out to look at the body after being told of a nail bomb, rather than speak to Inspector Dickson or call for an ATO, was that because there was a death he was going to have to appear at a coroner’s court or possibly a higher court and when I would go there, I would be asked certain questions which I would have to answer and answer truthfully. That is why I examined the body and I examined the pocket. 2

1 Day 223/88-89 2 Day 223/95-96

134.74 Detective Sergeant McTeggart told us that when he first spotted the bomb, he was being watched by Raymond Rogan and Hugh Leo Young.1This must be a faulty recollection, as these two had been taken from the car at Barrier 20 where they had been arrested and did not arrive at the Detention Centre for questioning until about 1725 hours.2

1 Day 223/98 2 G114C.743.9; Day 223/145

134.75 Detective Sergeant McTeggart interviewed Raymond Rogan and Hugh Leo Young when they were brought to the Detention Centre.1He agreed that the interviews took place after the nail bombs had been discovered.2However, given the timing of the discovery of all the nail bombs by Captain 127,3the fact that Detective Sergeant McTeggart told us that he was not present when Captain 127 discovered the additional bombs, and the fact that he also told us that he was not handed the components of the bombs until after he had finished interviewing Raymond Rogan and Hugh Leo Young,4we are of the view that it is much more likely that at the time he was conducting these interviews, Detective Sergeant McTeggart knew only that one bomb had been discovered.

1 JM41.8; ED47.3; ED47.6; ED47.7; AY1.5; AY1.9

2 Day 223/131-132

3 G114C.743.9; W103-104 serials 106-109

4 Day 223/102-103

134.76 He also agreed that he had asked neither Raymond Rogan nor Hugh Leo Young about this discovery.1His explanation for not doing so was that he was satisfied that neither of them had anything to do with nail bombs, and that they had been acting as “Good Samaritans ” in seeking to take Gerald Donaghey to hospital. When it was put to him that Inspector Dickson had told the Inquiry2that it was inconceivable that senior police officers would not have made enquiries about that from the driver of the car and from the passenger who had travelled with the body, he answered as follows:3

“A. But, sir, when you interview somebody and you are very happy with what they tell you, you agree to make a statement and you agree to take a statement from them, and you are happy they are not in any way involved with explosives or firearms –

Q. How could you be happy unless you had asked them questions about it?

A. Because when they told me their story, what they were doing that day and what they did do and what they did not do, I was very happy that they were not involved.

Q. Could it be that those who were there present at the time knew perfectly well that there was not much point asking these two individuals about the nail bombs on the body because it was apparent to those who were there that they had been planted and that that is the reason for the absence of any questioning?

A. No, sir, that is totally incorrect. Mr Rogan and Mr Young gave me very, very truthful and accurate statements. I had no reason to question them about explosives. ”

1 Day 223/131-132

2 Day 212/67

3 Day 223/134-135

134.77 A little later it was pointed out to Detective Sergeant McTeggart that in his first report to the Detective Inspector1he said, with regard to the statements he had taken: It will be noticed that there are some slight discrepencies between the stories of both witnesses, this could be as the result of the excited state of the witnesses at the time or that they were both only prepared to state what suited them. It was suggested to Detective Sergeant McTeggart that this showed a quite different picture of his view of Raymond Rogan and Hugh Leo Young from the one he was giving in his oral evidence. Detective Sergeant McTeggart replied that The one I am giving to the Tribunal today is 100 per cent and if anyone reads the statements you will see that they were trying to be helpful .2

1 ED47.3 2 Day 223/137-138

134.78 We reject the suggestion that the reason Detective Sergeant McTeggart asked neither Raymond Rogan nor Hugh Leo Young about the nail bombs was that he knew or suspected that they had been planted on Gerald Donaghey, since in our view he neither knew nor suspected that this was the case. In the end it seems to us that, despite his comment about these witnesses only being prepared to state what suited them, he did not believe that either could have known about a nail bomb in Gerald Donaghey’s pocket and for that reason (albeit a not very satisfactory one) did not question them about the discovery.

134.79 We accept Detective Sergeant McTeggart’s explanation of the fact that he made no mention of Woman Constable Hamilton or of the cover over Gerald Donaghey’s body in his two reports to the Detective Inspector, namely that these were reports of his duty on the day, whereas his statement for the Widgery Inquiry was a statement of evidence which would need to be more detailed than the original police report .1That statement supports Woman Constable Hamilton’s account of discovering and reporting the nail bomb. It is also in line with Inspector Dickson’s report to the Superintendent.2As to the fact that in his written statement to the Widgery Inquiry,3Inspector Dickson recorded that it was Sergeant Carson (not Detective Sergeant McTeggart) who reported to him the discovery of the nail bomb, we have already observed that this may be explicable on the basis that Sergeant Carson did tell Inspector Dickson about the nail bomb, before Inspector Dickson went to the car and was told by Detective Sergeant McTeggart what he had seen.

1 Day 223/136-137

2 JD3.1

3 JD3.3

Constable Sampson Trotter

134.80 This RUC officer wrote a short report to the Station Sergeant at Victoria Barracks that bears a stamped receipt date of 6th February 1972.1In it Constable Trotter recorded that he had been detailed for duty at the Detention Centre under the command of Inspector Dickson. His report was: During my turn of duty there several persons were brought in by army personnel and were processed by other police. I did not hear any shooting or witness any incidents. I heard an explosion around 5 p.m. and I later heard that the army had blown a boot lid open.

1 JT7.1

134.81 Constable Trotter made a written statement and gave oral evidence to this Inquiry.1In this evidence he said that he was ordered (probably by Sergeant McGoldrick) to go and try to identify the body in a car that had been brought into the Detention Centre. He said that he did so with a Woman Constable. His account continued by describing going to a car and seeing a bulge in the right trouser pocket of the body in the back of the car:2

“I therefore leaned in and pulled his right-hand trouser pocket to one side. In doing this and stretching the entrance to the pocket, I could see quite clearly that there was a bunch of nails with black tape around them. The nails were not long six inch nails nor short half an inch nails – I would say that they were somewhere in between. Whilst I suspected that this might be a nail bomb, I wasn’t sure what it was. All I could see were the nails and the black tape. ”

1 JT7.2; Day 231/54-96 2JT7.4

134.82 Constable Trotter told us that he did not recognise what he had seen in any of Constable Simpson’s photographs. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Constable Trotter said that when he looked into the right trouser pocket he saw the centre but not the ends of the nails, which were lying horizontally in the pocket, wrapped in a single piece of black tape.1

1 JT7.5; Day 231/60-65; Day 231/92-95

134.83 During the course of his oral evidence Constable Trotter suggested that it might have been the Woman Constable rather than he who had pulled back the pocket, though later in his evidence he said that he was convinced that it was he that had done so.1He also said that he did not recollect being instructed by Inspector Dickson or anyone else to keep an eye on the car after the nail bomb had been discovered.2

1 Day 231/69; Day 231/85 2 Day 231/77

134.84 Constable Trotter could not explain why his report to the Station Sergeant made no mention of the discovery of a nail bomb.1It seems to us that it might well be the case that he went with Woman Constable Hamilton (the only Woman Constable at the Detention Centre that day) and saw what she has told us she discovered. His evidence of seeing nails with a single piece of black tape around them does not (as he himself has said) correspond with the photographs taken by Constable Simpson2of a bomb wrapped in white tape in Gerald Donaghey’s right trouser pocket. Nor does it correspond with the appearance of the other three bombs as they are shown, apparently reconstituted without their explosive cores, in the photograph that we have reproduced above taken at the DIFS,3which shows black tape covering the whole of each bomb. In our view, though we have no doubt that Constable Trotter believed what he told us, his memory has played tricks over the years and it would be wrong to rely on his evidence.

1 Day 231/71-72

2 Paragraph 125.11

3 Paragraph 125.17