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Full Hearings

Hearing: 12th December 2008, day 91

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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held at:
The Interpoint Centre
20-24 York Street
Belfast BT15 1AQ


on Friday, 12 December 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 91

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Friday, 12 December 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 MR GEORGE CARSON (sworn)

4 Questions by MR SAVILL

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Please sit down.

6 Yes, Mr Savill?

7 MR SAVILL: Could you give us your full name, please?

8 A. George Dale Carson.

9 Q. Mr Carson, I think you are fairly softly spoken, so

10 could I ask you to speak up a little bit and into the

11 microphone, please?

12 Could we call up on to the screen RNI-843-057

13 (displayed)? This is your statement, the first page of

14 it. If we call up the last page, RNI-843-063

15 (displayed), you can see your signature and the date of

16 17 January 2008. That's the statement you have kindly

17 made to this Inquiry?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. Thank you very much. Mr Carson, I think I'm right in

20 saying that you joined the police force as a cadet in

21 1978?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. And have continued to work in the police in a number of

24 roles, but mainly in the criminal investigations

25 department?

 

 

2

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. In this fairly lengthy period of service, could you just

3 briefly summarise the key positions and responsibilities

4 that you have held over the years?

5 A. Within the criminal investigation?

6 Q. Well, I think I'm right in saying that between 1985 and

7 1993 you worked in Lurgan?

8 A. Yes, that's right. I was a member of the Drug Squad.

9 Q. Could you perhaps just take us forward from there,

10 please?

11 A. 1985 to 1993 I was in Drug Squad. Then I was in CID at

12 Dungannon after that for a year, promoted and then come

13 back to Lurgan in 1996 as a detective sergeant.

14 Q. I was going to ask you, promoted to detective sergeant?

15 A. Yes, I was promoted uniformed sergeant and then back

16 into CID again.

17 Q. So you returned to Lurgan as a detective sergeant in CID

18 in 1996?

19 A. I did, yes.

20 Q. How long had you been away, roughly?

21 A. About three years.

22 Q. And just as a matter of interest, had you noticed any

23 alteration in the environment and working environment by

24 the time you came back or was it very similar to that

25 which you had left?

 

 

3

 

1 A. Very similar.

2 Q. By that, what do you mean, please?

3 A. It was still a very busy place -- of course, I was back

4 in a different department then. Initially, I was

5 dealing purely with Drug Squad and then came back into

6 the CID regime, which was a totally different scenario.

7 Q. How many detective sergeants were there in the CID when

8 you returned there?

9 A. In Lurgan office there were two.

10 Q. And obviously to give us a flavour of that, was that

11 a position of some responsibility in the context of the

12 station?

13 A. We would have been responsible for the investigation of

14 all serious crime in Lurgan subdivision.

15 Q. And when you returned in 1996 to Lurgan police station,

16 how many of your colleagues there were local people?

17 A. By local, you mean to Lurgan or local --

18 Q. To Lurgan and the area?

19 A. Very few.

20 Q. Was there any particular reason for that or is that just

21 the way that matters went?

22 A. Whenever I came to Lurgan in 1985/86, about 21 police

23 families were put out of the town. So you wouldn't have

24 really got that many locals actually working in the

25 station. It was fairly routine for Northern Ireland.

 

 

4

 

1 Q. As far as the CID was concerned, could you take it from

2 the top, in terms of rank, downwards and tell us what

3 the structure was and the number of officers, please?

4 A. Well, there could have been a detective inspector in

5 overall charge, two detective sergeants and I think

6 around nine Detective Constables.

7 Q. Was that, do you think, about right for the work that

8 you were being asked to do or could you have always done

9 with more manpower?

10 A. You can always do with more manpower.

11 Q. But it was fairly representative of the structure of

12 most CID departments at the time?

13 A. It was then. I came from a similar office in another

14 town with the same sort of numbers.

15 Q. Would you describe Lurgan as a typical police station at

16 the time?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. You have told us, I think, in your statement that you

19 were an ordinary operational detective sergeant in

20 a very busy policing environment.

21 Just, please, give us a flavour of what it was like

22 being a detective sergeant working in that environment

23 at that time, please?

24 A. Well, I would have to say that the majority of work that

25 I became involved in would have been of the more serious

 

 

5

 

1 nature. So I really went from murder enquiries to

2 terrorist incidents to -- and on the fringes of that, I

3 would have been dealing with ordinary crime as well.

4 Q. I was going to ask you, can you assist us as to the

5 division of your time between -- I hope you understand

6 me when I say this -- normal crime and terrorist crime?

7 A. It just really would have depended on the circumstances

8 themselves. But I would say that the majority of work

9 would have been terrorist orientated.

10 Q. I think I'm right in saying that between 1997 and 1999,

11 the detective inspector you have referred to was

12 Mr Monteith?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. How would you describe your relationship with him? Was

15 he a colleague and a friend, or simply someone you

16 worked with?

17 A. He is a colleague and a friend and someone whom I have

18 known for 30 years.

19 Q. So you had a relatively close relationship with him?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now, at Lurgan police station I think there were some

22 Special Branch officers?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. How many were there?

25 A. I couldn't tell you.

 

 

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1 Q. As far as your working relationship was concerned with

2 Special Branch at that time, could you again help us,

3 please, with the nature of that relationship and how you

4 worked together?

5 A. I always had a good working relationship with the

6 Special Branch in Lurgan and that carried over from my

7 time in Drug Squad where we would have kept each other

8 informed -- well, we would have informed them of any

9 work that we intended to do, from a health and safety

10 point of view as well, to make sure that we weren't

11 drifting into any dangerous situations or whatever.

12 Q. Perhaps you could just expand on that. What do you mean

13 by that?

14 A. Well, it was a requirement for us to brief them about

15 any operations that we were going to take on board.

16 Q. And by "operations", I presume you mean --

17 A. Search arrest operations for drugs. That's where my

18 relationship with them started.

19 Q. In terms of your time at Lurgan, you continued in this

20 vein of cooperation, did you?

21 A. Absolutely.

22 Q. You said that you had a very good relationship with

23 them. Would I be right in saying that perhaps some

24 other officers in CID didn't?

25 A. I can't actually speak for them. It is possible.

 

 

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1 Q. No, I understand you can't speak on behalf of somebody

2 else, but I have understood you to emphasise, if I can

3 use that word, that you did have a good relationship

4 with them. Were you ever present when views were

5 expressed that there perhaps may have been frustrations

6 and difficulties in dealing with Special Branch?

7 A. Not particularly, no.

8 Q. What would you involve yourself in to ensure that there

9 was a flow of information between the two parts of the

10 police, the CID and the Special Branch?

11 A. Within the system, the investigative process, I mean,

12 there are briefing levels, so I would not expect them to

13 brief me about anything that I would not have been

14 entitled to know. And that was, you know -- that was

15 probably the other way round as well to an extent.

16 We maintained relationships and if I had a query

17 about an investigation I was conducting or hoping to

18 conduct, I would have asked them.

19 Q. So help us, please, with these briefings. Presumably

20 that expression covers a number of different scenarios:

21 formal briefings, informal briefings. How did briefings

22 take place?

23 A. Informal, day-to-day working -- in the day-to-day

24 working environment, there wasn't anything particularly

25 formalised.

 

 

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1 Q. Just so I understand this, what I think you are talking

2 about is a member of Special Branch would come in to

3 your office or telephone you, ask to speak to you, on an

4 ad hoc basis. Is that what you are saying?

5 A. If there was a requirement.

6 Q. Yes. If they felt the need?

7 A. The same way with me with them.

8 Q. I was going to say and the other way round. So it

9 wasn't as though every Monday at 4 o'clock, for example,

10 you would all sit down together and there would be

11 a meeting with a formalised briefing of things that had

12 gone on the last seven days?

13 A. No.

14 Q. No. What about interviewing of suspects? Was that

15 a situation that there was a more formal level of

16 briefing from Special Branch?

17 A. Whenever we were conducting -- by "suspects", do you

18 mean ordinary criminal suspects within the station or

19 else in the holding centres?

20 Q. Well, both.

21 A. Within the station, very little input. Within holding

22 centres, they would have briefed other officers and

23 they, in turn, would have briefed us. They wouldn't

24 have come -- carried out a one-on-one briefing.

25 Q. Who would the other officers have been?

 

 

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1 A. The more senior officers in charge of the particular

2 arrest operation.

3 Q. So if Mr A had been arrested by yourself or perhaps even

4 a more junior officer, you would expect to receive from

5 your superior, say Mr Monteith, information that had

6 been passed to him by Special Branch?

7 A. You would have received a briefing from Mr Monteith --

8 he may not have said it came from Special Branch -- to

9 maintain a certain firewall about that information.

10 Q. Just expand on that. What do you mean by a firewall?

11 Why was that necessary?

12 A. To protect where the information initially came from.

13 Q. Would you yourself take on the role of briefing officers

14 prior to interviews?

15 A. I have done, yes.

16 Q. And were you ever given intelligence directly from

17 Special Branch, or was it always the case that it was

18 filtered through a more senior officer downwards?

19 A. I think it varied. Sometimes I may have been briefed

20 directly.

21 Q. Was the information ever received in written form or was

22 it always oral?

23 A. I would say oral form.

24 Q. Are you able to help me with this question: to what

25 extent was the decision to disseminate intelligence

 

 

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1 downwards that of Mr Monteith's as opposed to the

2 Special Branch officers?

3 A. That, wouldn't be aware of that. I mean, those

4 decisions were taken outside my knowledge usually.

5 Q. And presumably if you were involved in interviewing

6 a suspect and the requirement arose to seek further

7 intelligence, you would approach your senior officer in

8 the hope that he would approach Special Branch to try

9 and obtain further information?

10 A. I would say that would be the correct chain of command,

11 yes.

12 Q. Did you or any of your colleagues in CID ever get the

13 impression that perhaps on occasions you were not being

14 given the whole picture by Special Branch, whether, as

15 you have told us already, for these reasons of firewalls

16 or any other reason?

17 A. Not particularly, no. I accepted what we were being

18 told, and if a further need for briefing was there, then

19 it usually happened, you know, if the requirement was

20 there.

21 Q. Because we have heard that there was on occasions

22 a feeling perhaps of frustration -- I'm not saying that

23 there were any sinister motives necessarily, but there

24 was a feeling of frustration within CID that the whole

25 picture was not being presented by Special Branch. Was

 

 

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1 that ever the case?

2 A. You are asking me about a feeling. There probably was

3 a perception to an extent, yes.

4 Q. And to describe or help us to understand that a little

5 more, would it be right to say that you and

6 Special Branch rubbed along together over those problems

7 or would you say there was ever a major clash?

8 A. I never experienced a major clash with Special Branch

9 ever.

10 Q. What about, not necessarily yourself, but your

11 experience of other officers? Were there occasions when

12 that occurred?

13 A. Not to my knowledge.

14 Q. But there was, was there not, on occasions a tension, if

15 I can use that expression, between the two branches?

16 A. Overall there may have been a tension, but I never

17 personally experienced that tension.

18 Q. What level of informal contact was there between CID,

19 uniform and Special Branch officers in Lurgan, whether

20 it be in the canteen or outside of work?

21 A. I couldn't really qualify that because I never really

22 went to the canteen all that much, and socially,

23 I rarely ever socialised with people from Lurgan police

24 station.

25 Q. Because I think I'm right in say that the Special Branch

 

 

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1 office or offices at Lurgan were in a secure, separate

2 area?

3 A. They had their own offices. I mean, there were within

4 the station complex.

5 Q. But did the members of CID have free access to this area

6 where the Special Branch offices were?

7 A. Well, you would have up and knocked the door. You know,

8 there was security locks on the door, but that was --

9 naturally with the nature of their work, their office

10 couldn't be left lying open.

11 Q. So you are saying that if you wanted to go round and

12 speak to someone, you would go round, knock on the door

13 and they would let you in?

14 A. Yes. The same way you would come in through the doors

15 of this Inquiry.

16 Q. Can I ask you, on a slightly different topic, about

17 subdivisional action committee meetings? We have heard

18 from Mr Monteith that he would attend those. Did you

19 sometimes attend either with him or instead of him?

20 A. I would have, yes.

21 Q. Just help us, please, what were those meetings?

22 A. They would have essentially discussed the business of

23 the subdivision, the crime rates, the activity of our

24 criminals and intelligence matters.

25 Q. So would it be fair of me to say that those were at

 

 

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1 a more strategic overview level?

2 A. Yes, they would have been, but we also -- the CID

3 officer would have come back with maybe a requirement

4 from the Subdivisional Commander to look at particular

5 areas that had been discussed.

6 Q. Did you ever hear Mrs Nelson, Rosemary Nelson, discussed

7 at those meetings?

8 A. No.

9 Q. And presumably you would say that it would be very

10 unlikely for an individual to be raised at that type of

11 meeting, would you?

12 A. Yes, I can't recall any -- well, a particular individual

13 being raised at these sorts of meetings.

14 Q. Was intelligence discussed at these meetings?

15 A. It would have been, yes, but not in great depth.

16 Q. Well, again, I was going to ask you: presumably that was

17 more of an overview perhaps, if you like, as to which

18 terrorist organisations may have been moving in which

19 direction rather than specific pieces of intelligence?

20 A. It would have been, but I mean, the main reason for

21 discussing it would have been for everyone's safety, so

22 that everybody was aware of what potential threats were

23 between them.

24 Q. Yes. Turning to the murders of two fellow police

25 officers in June 1997, with which, sadly, you will be

 

 

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1 familiar, there was obviously an outcry within the

2 community -- I think I'm right in saying -- as to these

3 deaths and I would just like you to tell us, please, at

4 the time what effect did the killings have on the morale

5 and general approach of the police in Lurgan at that

6 time?

7 A. Naturally it had an effect on the morale. It would have

8 been very demoralising for people, and as an office, our

9 CID office, we were very diligent in trying to find out

10 who actually carried out those murders.

11 Q. Were you yourself actually involved in the

12 investigation?

13 A. I was.

14 Q. And Rosemary Nelson took a role in the case, if I can

15 put it that way, did she not?

16 A. She did, yes.

17 Q. Now, prior to her becoming involved in that case, what

18 experience yourself, if any, had you had of Mrs Nelson?

19 A. I met her just after she set up her office in town,

20 whenever I was in Drug Squad. Then when I come back

21 again, 1996, I had met her on numerous occasions.

22 Q. Are you able to tell us whether or not you formed an

23 opinion of her prior to her involvement in the case of

24 the double murder?

25 A. My opinion of her all along would be that she was the

 

 

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1 same as any defence solicitor trying to protect the

2 rights of her clients, and really that was appropriate.

3 Q. Was there not a feeling of them and us prevalent at the

4 time?

5 A. No, I think we were professional enough to know that if

6 we have the evidence, then we will have a prosecution.

7 If the evidence is not there, then we are not going to

8 have a prosecution.

9 Q. Because, again, we have heard in relation to Mr Duffy,

10 Colin Duffy, who was arrested in relation to this case,

11 that there was a perception perhaps that Mrs Nelson had

12 got him off, if you understand what I mean by that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Was that something that you were aware of?

15 A. You are talking about perceptions here. I would

16 actually deal in evidence and how we went forward with

17 the evidence and the case, and the case wasn't strong

18 enough to prosecute Mr Duffy, and that's the facts of

19 the matter.

20 Q. I am afraid you are going to have to bear with me

21 because I'm going to deal with perceptions. What were

22 the perceptions?

23 A. I didn't form a perception because I knew the facts of

24 the case and that the case wasn't going to go to trial,

25 ultimately.

 

 

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1 Q. So you are saying you yourself formed no view one way or

2 the other of Mrs Nelson as a result of her involvement?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Were there perhaps other officers not able to bring such

5 detachment and objectivity to the issue who did express

6 views of her involvement?

7 A. Not that I can specifically recall.

8 Q. Were views expressed, as far as you are aware, as to how

9 she operated generally as a solicitor?

10 A. None, other than she did the best for her clients.

11 Q. That perhaps she operated in a way that was perceived to

12 be more aggressive, more passionate, more difficult than

13 other solicitors had been in the past?

14 A. Not particularly, no.

15 Q. And are you able to tell us whether or not there was

16 a perception that, as a result of her involvement in

17 this major case and from that time onwards, she was

18 perceived differently?

19 A. No, not particularly. Those involved in the case would

20 have known the circumstances of it, and as, you know,

21 professional CID officers, we hopefully should have

22 recognised that the evidence just wasn't there to go

23 forward. And a solicitor's role is to test that

24 evidence, which is what she did.

25 Q. Yes. It is perhaps my fault, but what I was trying to

 

 

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1 explore with you is that prior to this case, she may

2 have been perceived as a solicitor who was doing

3 run-of-the-mill work, but then with this case and other

4 work thereafter, her profile increased enormously. Do

5 you understand?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And she worked, was employed, was instructed, on behalf

8 of certain clients and that may have antagonised the

9 view that police officers had of her. Can you assist me

10 with that?

11 A. As you say, it may have done, but professional police

12 officers shouldn't be forming those sorts of views.

13 Q. Did you hear any of those types of views expressed?

14 A. I heard the views expressed more in the media than

15 I ever did around the police station.

16 Q. Okay. You heard it expressed more in the media. Did

17 you hear them expressed in the police station?

18 A. You know, it is difficult to -- whenever it is so long

19 ago now, it is difficult to differentiate between what

20 you have heard in the media and what you actually

21 physically heard at the time. That's why I'm reticent

22 about saying I heard it in the station itself.

23 Q. That's a fair point. Let me try and help you. It would

24 be perhaps, therefore, unfair to descend to detail, but

25 would it be fair for me to say that whilst you can't

 

 

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1 give the detail of it, you feel that comments were

2 probably made in the police station?

3 A. Not to me and not in my knowledge, no.

4 Q. So you are saying they weren't?

5 A. Not to me, no.

6 Q. So there is no risk of confusion between the media and

7 the police station?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Now, you have been talking about police officers. Have

10 you been talking about CID officers and Special Branch

11 officers in terms of their opinions of Mrs Nelson, or

12 just CID?

13 A. I have to say that I never actually was in

14 a conversation with anybody about their -- or did they

15 ever give me their opinion in relation to Mrs Nelson.

16 You know, I never have been in that scenario.

17 Q. If I can deal in terms of hearsay, did you ever hear

18 from another party that there had been this type of

19 conversation or comment made?

20 A. No.

21 Q. We have heard evidence from senior Special Branch

22 officers to the effect, I think, essentially, that there

23 was a view that Mrs Nelson had crossed the line between

24 being a normal solicitor acting on behalf,

25 professionally, of her client and someone who in fact

 

 

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1 had become part of the terrorist organisation that she

2 was instructed by. Did you ever hear any comments to

3 that effect?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Did you yourself hold any view as to that suggestion?

6 A. No.

7 Q. What about rumours in relation to Mrs Nelson and her

8 behaviour professionally? Did you hear any rumours

9 around the place, either in the police station or

10 anywhere else, as to that?

11 A. No.

12 Q. I'll just put one or two to you and see if you recall.

13 There were suggestion -- that is, intelligence was

14 received -- that she was a close associate, or closely

15 associating with Lurgan PIRA?

16 A. No, I never heard of that.

17 Q. And that she was, in addition, assisting clients to

18 create alibis?

19 A. No.

20 Q. And that perhaps there was a view held that she was

21 a dangerous person for police officers to be associated

22 with because of her very close links with terrorist

23 organisations?

24 A. It wouldn't be usually professionally appropriate to

25 have close links with any solicitor representing clients

 

 

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1 in the station.

2 Q. No.

3 A. You see, the difficulty with those rumours or

4 allegations that you have just made would be that they

5 have all been back out in the press again through this

6 Inquiry, and you know, at the time or around the time of

7 this, I would say I had no knowledge of any of that.

8 Q. You see, I'm not making them. They were as a result

9 of --

10 A. I understand.

11 Q. -- intelligence received.

12 A. I never was aware of that intelligence.

13 Q. And as far as any suggestion of a relationship between

14 Mr Duffy and Mrs Nelson is concerned, did you hear

15 anything about that?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Rumour, tittle-tattle?

18 A. No.

19 Q. That was never mentioned?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Because, again, that's something we have heard about as

22 being the subject of intelligence. You understand why

23 I'm asking you?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Now, having asked you about those specific suggestions,

 

 

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1 would you say now that you would have expected to have

2 been told about them?

3 A. If they had of potentially had any operational effect on

4 my day-to-day job, yes.

5 Q. For example, that she was closely associated either with

6 an individual or an organisation that you were involved

7 in investigating?

8 A. It wouldn't have had any relevance to my day-to-day work

9 unless I was investigating her. So I wouldn't

10 necessarily have had to be told.

11 Q. But what about if she was someone that was suspected, as

12 it were, of passing on information that she shouldn't?

13 A. We would never have been in circumstances where she

14 would have had any information about me that could have

15 been of any use, so I don't think it would have been

16 relevant to tell me that, even.

17 Q. Thank you. Now, moving to a separate topic, that of

18 complaints, I would like to explore this with you in

19 a little more detail, if I may.

20 Casting your mind back to the time and the context

21 in which you were a police officer, it is right to say,

22 I think, that complaints were made by suspects who were

23 detained for terrorist offences?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Was there ever what you might describe as a typical

 

 

22

 

1 complaint that was made?

2 A. No, not particularly, no.

3 Q. In your experience, what sort of complaints were made?

4 A. Well, probably that people were being robustly

5 interviewed, for want of a better word.

6 Q. That word covers a multitude of sins, doesn't it?

7 A. Yes. I didn't really -- personally, I didn't see that

8 many complaints myself so I couldn't really typify what

9 a complaint would be. It probably would be best asking

10 our complaints department. They probably would have

11 a better knowledge of it than myself.

12 Q. But what I'm asking you is was there a greater

13 prevalence of complaints by suspects detained for

14 terrorist offences than there were for those detained,

15 as I have already used the expression, for normal

16 offences?

17 A. Yes, probably, yes. I mean, in my experience that is,

18 not statistically.

19 Q. No, certainly. Are you able to tell us why you think

20 that might have been the case?

21 A. I think really it was to -- at the time of Mrs Nelson's

22 death, solicitors weren't allowed into interview rooms

23 routinely and I think it was to help gain access. It

24 helped undermine the interviewers, the evidence that

25 they might give, if there was a complaint running

 

 

23

 

1 alongside it. Really it helped muddy the waters. It

2 wasn't particularly taken personally by people whenever

3 you got a complaint. It was just routine. You knew, if

4 you went to a holding centre, it was likely you were

5 going to have a complaint.

6 Q. I just want to go back to something you have said: that

7 as far as you are concerned, there were reasons for this

8 type of complaint to be made.

9 Now, first of all, you are saying, I think, that

10 that was an attempt to try and get access to a solicitor

11 or the solicitor. Is that right?

12 A. Yes, to put the authorities in a position where, if

13 allegations were made and a solicitor wasn't present,

14 how do you repudiate those allegations. In those days

15 there were no taped interviews or anything.

16 Q. Also, I think you are saying that there was a broader

17 tactic: to muddy the waters?

18 A. If there was a prosecution going forward.

19 Q. I want you to help me with that. How would the making

20 of a complaint about the way in which somebody had been

21 interviewed affect the subsequent prosecution?

22 A. It would -- potentially, it would be used in the

23 cross-examination of interviewers, to undermine the

24 interview itself.

25 Q. So it was a matter of credibility?

 

 

24

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Because if we could call up RNI-843-062 of your

3 statement, paragraph 20 (displayed), we can see there

4 that you say:

5 "Complaints were received routinely from terrorist

6 suspects."

7 Then the third line:

8 "The rationale for making complaints is clear, it

9 was often to put pressure on the authorities to allow

10 solicitors access to their clients during interviews and

11 for tape recordings of interviews to be made ... It was

12 also a tactic to undermine the value of a confession or

13 the credibility of the interviewing officers."

14 Did you ever feel or was it ever discussed that you

15 and your colleagues were subject to complaints as part

16 of a wider campaign to discredit the police?

17 A. Potentially, yes.

18 Q. You understand --

19 A. I don't remember ever discussing it with anybody, but it

20 obviously would be part of the overall package.

21 Q. The thought crossed your mind?

22 A. Yes, absolutely.

23 Q. That perhaps those suspects involved in terrorist

24 offences had decided before they came in to the station

25 that they would make a complaint as of right, almost.

 

 

25

 

1 Was that ever discussed?

2 A. Not particularly, no.

3 Q. Was it also ever discussed as to who you felt, and your

4 fellow officers felt, was actually driving the

5 complaints, whether it was the client or the solicitor?

6 A. No.

7 Q. And having mentioned the solicitor, how frequently did

8 you hear of complaints that involved the suggestion of

9 remarks being made about a solicitor by police officers

10 to a suspect?

11 A. Well, actually just the ones that I came across in

12 Lurgan.

13 Q. Yes. Well, you served some notices, I think, and we

14 will come to those in a moment. You were familiar,

15 though, I think I'm right in saying, with the batch of

16 1997 complaints that concerned Mrs Nelson?

17 A. I am.

18 Q. Are you aware of the investigation into those by

19 Geralyn McNally and subsequently Commander Mulvihill, or

20 is that something you are not really familiar with?

21 A. I would be through the Nelson murder investigation

22 itself.

23 Q. Are you able to tell us how the investigation by

24 Geralyn McNally and Mr Mulvihill was perceived by the

25 police?

 

 

26

 

1 A. I never really have had a thought on it particularly.

2 Q. And were you aware that Mrs Nelson's life had, on

3 occasion, allegedly been threatened by interviewing

4 officers to her clients?

5 A. Only the content of these complaints.

6 Q. And would you place Mrs Nelson above other solicitors in

7 terms of the type and number of complaints that were

8 made at the time?

9 A. That would be hard to tell with two sergeants in the

10 office, and we wouldn't have been solely responsible for

11 serving these complaints. The complaints department can

12 serve their own, so I wouldn't have been totally

13 familiar with how many were in relation to an

14 individual.

15 Q. Now, dealing with some of the notices that you served,

16 perhaps we could just have a very brief look at some of

17 them. Could we pull up RNI-203-057 (displayed)?

18 We can see on the screen here -- I'm not going to go

19 through every single line of it -- the notice form 17/3

20 to P121. We can see the details of the report. At the

21 bottom of the page you, on 21 January -- that is the

22 date it was served on the officer. And just plucking

23 out of this one or two comments, second paragraph, third

24 line:

25 "They said she was a money grabbing bitch. 'She is

 

 

27

 

1 only in it for the money." 'She got him off' (Colin

2 Duffy). 'He's a Provo bastard.' And suggesting

3 Rosemary Nelson was as bad as Colin Duffy, saying that

4 she was a Provo solicitor."

5 The next paragraph down:

6 "They also made fun of the marks on Rosemary's face

7 saying, 'How did that happen? Is that a fucking

8 birthmark?' They called her a bastard fucker ... "

9 And so on. And in the last two lines:

10 "They kept going on to me about Rosemary getting

11 Colin Duffy off. They said they knew Duffy shot Lyness

12 and that she knew it too."

13 Can we call up RNI-203 --

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Before you move on from there, were you

15 P121's line manager?

16 A. Yes.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: For how many years had you served with him?

18 A. That would have been the second year with him.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: He wasn't there in your earlier time at

20 Lurgan?

21 A. He possibly was, sir, but in Drug Squad we wouldn't have

22 had that much dealings with the CID.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Yes?

24 MR SAVILL: Thank you, sir. Could we call up RNI-203-088

25 (displayed)? Again, you can see the form that you are

 

 

28

 

1 no doubt very familiar with, to S Walker at the top, the

2 date at the bottom, 19 January 1998, when you served it.

3 Can we highlight the text? Again, we are reading here

4 the allegation. Third line in:

5 "They said she was a terrorist with a deformed face.

6 She asked was I seeing Rosemary. They said I was a game

7 bastard and she had a face on her like a man's

8 ball bag."

9 Could we call up RNI-203-155 (displayed)? Again,

10 solicitor notice served on Mr (redacted), 3 November 1997.

11 Could we go over the page, please, to RNI-203-156 and

12 highlight paragraph 7 (displayed):

13 "I was asked who my solicitor was. I said

14 Rosemary Nelson. They asked is Rosemary Nelson really

15 a Provo. I laughed and said, aye, she looks like one,

16 doesn't she?"

17 Turning over the page, please, to RNI-203-157

18 (displayed), paragraph 10 highlighted:

19 "They said she was a friend the Provos and of

20 Colin Duffy's. They said she is not that good. She

21 won't get you off."

22 So we have seen three separate allegations involving

23 P121, Mr Walker and Mr (redacted).

24 The Chairman has touched on this with you. I was

25 going to ask you in relation to all of them, the three

 

 

29

 

1 of them -- 121, Mr Walker, Mr (redacted) -- were these

2 officers that you knew and worked with?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Would it be right to say that they were members of

5 Lurgan CID?

6 A. No, Mr (redacted) was a member of Craigavon CID.

7 Q. What sort of level of contact would you have with him?

8 A. Daily.

9 Q. But the other two were members of the Lurgan CID?

10 A. They were, yes.

11 Q. So would I be right in saying that these allegations

12 were discussed within Lurgan police station?

13 A. Potentially, yes. But whenever you serve a 17/2, you

14 invite a comment, you record it. But then there is

15 not -- it is not a form for discussion after that. The

16 department that you are serving on -- on behalf, they

17 take the matter further.

18 Q. What I'm asking, and what I'm hoping to explore with

19 you, is human nature. These were men that you worked

20 with closely, knew well, quite startling allegations

21 that perhaps, one might say, would stick in the mind.

22 Are you saying that they were never discussed by

23 yourself with colleagues?

24 A. I certainly never discussed them, no.

25 Q. And you never -- I'm sorry?

 

 

30

 

1 A. I certainly never discussed them.

2 Q. You never discussed them. Did you hear any discussions

3 by other members of the police in Lurgan police station,

4 "So and so is being accused of this", saying that she

5 had a face like a man's ball bag, for example?

6 A. I never heard that sentence repeated again or -- you

7 know, I never heard it referred to again, no. People

8 would certainly say I have got a complaint, but I have

9 never heard them sort of go into detail.

10 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Could I just come in then?

11 MR SAVILL: Certainly, sir, yes.

12 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You were a supervisor of detective

13 officers in Lurgan police station at this time?

14 A. Yes, sir.

15 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Wasn't there a management issue here

16 that ought to have been discussed, don't you think?

17 A. In relation to the complaints, sir?

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You have got three alleged complaints

19 against two of your officers, complaints of a similar

20 nature, that might be proven to be false. But did it

21 never cross your thought path that if these complaints

22 were correct, you had a major management problem?

23 A. Having worked with the officers, or knowing them, sir,

24 even the phraseology used by the people making the

25 complaint, I would never have heard those officers use

 

 

31

 

1 those words. The complaints were so routine that they

2 were accepted, and that was it.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So you made a management decision

4 locally, did you, that there was nothing in these

5 complaints?

6 A. It is not for me, sir, to investigate the complaint.

7 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Exactly. So the complaints had to be

8 investigated, but what about your management

9 responsibilities as a sergeant?

10 A. Take me further there, sir.

11 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Well --

12 A. Usually whenever you serve these things, you are

13 advised, you know, not to discuss them, Complaints and

14 Discipline will deal with them and you do not take the

15 matter any further than serving the document itself.

16 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: That may apply to the investigation of

17 the specific complaint. If you are working in a police

18 station where there may -- and I do emphasise the

19 "may" -- be a major issue around the way that your

20 officers are conducting themselves when interviewing

21 prisoners, isn't there a responsibility on you for

22 management intervention?

23 A. I would have taken the matter further if I had believed

24 the complaints.

25 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So you made a decision, a personal

 

 

32

 

1 decision, prior to the complaints being investigated,

2 that there was nothing in the complaints?

3 A. Well, to qualify it further as well, complaints were so

4 routine, sir, that I didn't want to potentially

5 undermine the morale of my officers either, by taking

6 them to task about every complaint that came in in

7 relation to an interview at a holding centre.

8 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: But those of us who take on management

9 positions in an organisation have a responsibility,

10 don't we, to maintain the standards and the ethics of

11 policing? And although it may be unpopular and may make

12 you unpopular, that responsibility still lies with an

13 individual, I would suggest?

14 A. (Pause) I can't recall what action I took after

15 recording those replies from the officers.

16 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You can't recall what you did?

17 A. No. I was told -- you record whatever they reply, but

18 after that, I didn't record particularly any other

19 discussions with them. So I can't --

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Did you not discuss it with Mr Monteith, whom

21 you had known for 30 years and was your own line

22 manager?

23 A. I actually can't remember, sir.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

25 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you.

 

 

33

 

1 MR SAVILL: Mr Carson, were these allegations being viewed

2 at the time as part of the wider campaign to discredit

3 the police?

4 A. I would have said so, yes.

5 Q. And I think you are saying -- I'm paraphrasing

6 obviously -- that you weren't too concerned about these

7 complaints because complaints were so commonplace?

8 A. Well, there was another reason I wasn't so concerned.

9 The very phrases that are used within the complaints

10 would have been phrases that I never heard those offices

11 use, or words or terminology they would have used.

12 Q. Had you been ever interviewed for a terrorist offence by

13 any of these officers?

14 A. No.

15 Q. No. Because what I'm wanting to ask you is you seem to

16 be saying they were routine, they didn't bother you

17 because complaints were made, it was part of the job;

18 yes?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And I think the word you used was in relation to robust

21 interviewing techniques. For example, perhaps the

22 officer shouted at me or was physically abusive to me in

23 the interview. Yes? Those sorts of things?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. But was it routine to have a complaint made by a suspect

 

 

34

 

1 that his legal representative had been abused and the

2 subject of abuse in some way -- say, threats -- by the

3 interviewing officers? Was that routine?

4 A. Not to my knowledge, no.

5 Q. I was going to ask you, please, to tell us what other

6 examples you can remember of these sorts of allegations

7 being made about a solicitor?

8 A. No, this batch were the only ones that I had personally

9 come across whilst in this role.

10 Q. So far from being routine, this portion of complaints

11 were in fact rather unique, weren't they?

12 A. Well, unique to me.

13 Q. Not unique to you, but unique to Lurgan. Had you heard

14 of any others of this type; solicitors, say, in Belfast,

15 or other parts of Northern Ireland?

16 A. I think potentially, yes.

17 Q. What were they then?

18 A. But it is not within the confines of this -- I have come

19 across them in other roles.

20 Q. What were they?

21 A. I can't specify.

22 Q. No. You see, what I'm suggesting to you is that these

23 were far from routine. They were deeply unpleasant,

24 memorable allegations of abuse made to a suspect's

25 solicitor, weren't they?

 

 

35

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. But you are saying that you never took it upon yourself

3 to discuss them with other officers?

4 A. I can't recall discussing them with other officers.

5 Q. So you may have done?

6 A. I may have done.

7 Q. And you certainly never discussed them with the officers

8 concerned?

9 A. Other than recording their replies after caution.

10 Q. Now, moving on from the subject of complaints to the

11 weekend of the murder, could we call up RNI-843-057,

12 please (displayed)? Could we just highlight the second

13 paragraph? We can see you say that you were on

14 pre-arranged leave on 15 March 1999, the day that

15 Mrs Nelson was murdered. You had worked seven straight

16 days from Monday, 8 March, including the whole of the

17 weekend, up until 11.20 pm on Sunday, 14 March:

18 "I was dealing with general criminal activities and

19 some terrorist-related investigations. I remember that

20 I was busy in relation to a building society robbery.

21 On Saturday, 13 March I was also involved in

22 investigating [I think it should be in the

23 investigation] of a 'tiger' kidnapping, involving the

24 manager of a drinks wholesale warehouse on the

25 Annesborough Industrial Estate, which took place on

 

 

36

 

1 Friday, 12 March/Saturday, 13 March."

2 So prior to the murder, that was for you a normal

3 weekend?

4 A. No, it was a very busy weekend.

5 Q. A very busy weekend?

6 A. Very busy.

7 Q. Very, very busy. But in any event, you worked until 20

8 past 11 on the Sunday night; yes?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. When you, with some relief no doubt, went home, but were

11 subsequently called back in to work as a result of the

12 murder, which you heard about, I think, on television

13 whilst you were relaxing at home?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. That weekend, were you aware of any out of bounds area

16 around the Lurgan area?

17 A. No.

18 Q. And generally speaking, just help me with this: an out

19 of bounds area, how would you, the CID, or, indeed,

20 uniform members of the police force, be kept up-to-date

21 and notified of any out of bounds areas?

22 A. Probably briefed through communications, or if you were

23 going into an area, you know, usually in Lurgan you had

24 uniformed accompanying you wherever you went and they

25 would have had a briefing on it, they would know what

 

 

37

 

1 was in or out. Plus it may have come out in the morning

2 briefing document of some sort, or there would have been

3 a message out giving you an idea of where was out of

4 bounds and where wasn't.

5 Q. Let's just go back a stage because there is quite a few

6 ways, it seems, that you can be told. Out of bounds

7 areas, there was no reason why people weren't told about

8 them?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Was there, for example, a map in, I don't know, the CID

11 room or the uniformed briefing room upon which out of

12 bounds areas would be marked?

13 A. I can't actually recall.

14 Q. Supposing I was a uniformed officer and I came on my

15 shift on a Monday morning, would I be briefed before

16 I started my shift and that briefing would include out

17 of bounds areas?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. What about if I was a member of CID? What would happen

20 them?

21 A. Potentially we would have a copy of a message that would

22 come out giving you out of bounds areas.

23 Q. So that would be on your desk, would it?

24 A. For briefing purposes, yes.

25 Q. So you would come in and there would be a little pile of

 

 

38

 

1 papers that had accumulated whilst you weren't working,

2 and in that you would expect to see a note about out of

3 bounds areas?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Were you always told about out of bounds areas, in your

6 experience?

7 A. Yes, as far as I am aware, yes.

8 Q. Now, when you turned in to work as a result of the

9 explosion and the death of Mrs Nelson, you were tasked,

10 I think I'm right in saying, to go to Mahon Road?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. To liaise with the intelligence cell there. Can we call

13 up RNI-835-146, please (displayed)? Could we highlight

14 the middle that of page? This is a typed copy of your

15 notebook.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Looking at the middle of the first paragraph, it says:

18 "Used PC, travel Mahon Road. Liaison intense,

19 int cell. Obtained heli bids, patrol taskings and

20 sightings of interest. Returned Lurgan"?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. I'm sorry, could you just explain -- I think I know --

23 what "heli bids" means?

24 A. Heli bids would really have been a lest of helicopter

25 activity or requested activity for the area.

 

 

39

 

1 Q. When you were tasked to go and obtain this

2 information -- I don't mean to sound critical if I do --

3 were you fully briefed as to why you were going to go

4 and do this? Did you understand the nature of

5 your task?

6 A. Yes, we were looking for any helicopters that

7 potentially had recording facilities over a time period

8 over the weekend.

9 Q. Now, I think the fairest way to do this is to look at

10 the statement that you made in October 2002 about these

11 activities. So could we call up RNI-835-148, please

12 (displayed)? Can we -- I don't know -- highlight all of

13 the text? This is your statement of, as I say,

14 28 October 2002. Three lines down:

15 "I was tasked to liaise with the military at

16 Mahon Road, obtain any significant suspect sightings

17 over 13 to 15 March and enquire if there were any

18 helicopters with video recording capability operational

19 over Lurgan."

20 You then say:

21 "I could not liaise with ops room staff as they were

22 involved in directing the military call signs on the

23 ground in Lurgan who were under heavy attack. They were

24 providing cover for police at the scene of the murder."

25 Now, in relation to that, what was the atmosphere

 

 

40

 

1 like at Mahon Road that day?

2 A. It was a very, very busy place. There was people

3 working at communications desks and there was people

4 moving about. So it was very, very busy.

5 Q. Had you been there before, in fact?

6 A. I think I had, yes.

7 Q. Now, were you told that they were too busy or did you

8 see that for yourself?

9 A. No, I think I made approaches to the people in the

10 operations room to try -- the operations room would have

11 provided me with the helicopter material and then the

12 significant sightings would have been provided by the

13 intelligence cells. So the operations room wouldn't

14 have had that information. So I tried to obtain

15 information from the operations room, but they just were

16 too busy. Then I approached people in the intelligence

17 room, got the sightings off them and then they obtained

18 the helicopter material for me.

19 Q. So when you say:

20 "Other military staff provided me with a list of

21 significant sightings", you mean the intelligence cell?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. I think, as we can see, you say:

24 "I was informed there were no operational flights

25 which had recording capabilities on their list."

 

 

41

 

1 A. That's correct, yes.

2 Q. Did that come as a surprise to you?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Did you not know very much about the capabilities of

5 helicopters?

6 A. I knew that not every helicopter had recording

7 facilities.

8 Q. If we can call up on the same screen, but on a different

9 side, please, RNI-835-149 (displayed), we can see

10 a piece of paper with, I hope, what you will tell us is

11 your handwriting. Or was it the handwriting of the

12 person who gave it to you?

13 A. No, I think that's my handwriting.

14 Q. This is a list that we can all see headed "Helicopter

15 overflight, Lurgan", and we can see down the left-hand

16 side of the page "Friday", "Saturday, "Sunday"; yes?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. I know this was a very long time ago, and you will

19 forgive me for testing your memory, Sunday, 14 March, we

20 can see:

21 "23.30 to midnight, 30, Gazelle (camera) ..."

22 Then I can't quite see the next word. Is it

23 "infrared"? Can you see that?

24 A. Yes, it possibly is.

25 Q. But you have crossed that out and written:

 

 

42

 

1 "Possible tasking to Lurgan."

2 And then I think, is it:

3 "Being queried"?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Can you expand on that which we see before us, or not?

6 I know it was a long time ago.

7 A. It really would be difficult. I would be surmising.

8 I just couldn't remember.

9 Q. That's entirely fair. That's, as I say, a very long

10 time ago. So as far as you are concerned, that says

11 what it says and you can't add to it?

12 A. Yes.

13 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: But it has been crossed out, so can we

14 assume that was a wrong entry?

15 A. Yes, or it was -- it is possible that they had one task,

16 but I was told that it didn't materialise and I had it

17 written down and then it actually wasn't there. So --

18 but that's surmising. I just can't remember the

19 exact detail.

20 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay, thank you.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Can you read a line -- I can't read the

22 words. It is your writing:

23 "Possible tasking to Lurgan being ..."?

24 A. Queried.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Queried.

 

 

43

 

1 A. Yes.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

3 MR SAVILL: Could we highlight the bottom half of your

4 statement? We read on. You say:

5 "I was informed there were no operational flights

6 which had recording capabilities on their list. But the

7 following morning, 16 March 1999, I was contacted by the

8 military and informed that a helicopter not on the list

9 had been tasked, because of public order potential

10 terrorist incidents, on Sunday, 14 March. It had video

11 capability and they were endeavouring to establish if

12 any footage was taken. They rang back to say that there

13 was no footage."

14 Do you remember that?

15 A. Yes, I do.

16 Q. As far as you were concerned -- and I know, obviously,

17 we are talking again in terms of impression and

18 perception -- but was there anything sinister about the

19 omission and subsequent correction of this information

20 given to you, in your view?

21 A. No, I believe that they would have looked at the

22 designated list for that weekend, but because this was

23 a unique event, the other helicopter had been tasked in

24 and it possibly wasn't on the list that I was being

25 supplied the original information from. And they

 

 

44

 

1 don't -- helicopters don't always have their

2 equipment -- or the camera equipment operational. So

3 no, I had no reason to suspect that there was anything

4 sinister.

5 Q. Did you ask for the recordings to be preserved when you

6 had the first conversation?

7 A. Oh, yes.

8 Q. But then they rang you back and said, "We can't preserve

9 them because there weren't any"?

10 THE CHAIRMAN: You remember specifically asking that the

11 recordings be preserved, do you?

12 A. I was hoping to recover recordings. That was one of the

13 aims of obtaining the information in the first place, so

14 that we could recover any video footage.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Did you specifically ask them to retain any

16 recordings they may have had?

17 A. Yes.

18 MR SAVILL: When you were subsequently telephoned and told

19 that there was no footage, was any explanation given

20 to you?

21 A. No, not that I can recall. Unfortunately, I have

22 nothing recorded either, I don't think.

23 Q. No. Because there could be a number of options: We had

24 footage, it has been recorded over, or for another

25 example, the helicopter didn't have the capability to

 

 

45

 

1 record it?

2 A. Yes, but I can't remember what they said.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: That second entry on the 14th there, am

4 I correct in assuming 17.52 to 19.00, that is the

5 specific timing of the flight, is it?

6 A. As far as I can remember, whenever I was making the

7 entries.

8 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: That is:

9 "Gazelle helicopter, Lake Street, Kilwilke."

10 What does the next line say, please?

11 A. "Car on fire, Deeny Drive [and] camera."

12 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: "Camera" means that the helicopter had

13 a camera. Is that correct?

14 A. May have a camera. I can't recall why that specific

15 phrase is put in.

16 MR SAVILL: Thank you. Sir, I was going to ask about these

17 timings.

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Sorry.

19 MR SAVILL: No, no, you have now dealt with the second one.

20 The first one, 23.30 to 00.30, subsequently -- and we

21 know this -- it has been confirmed that the flight was

22 between 23.15 and 23.53 hours. Can you recall -- again,

23 I know it's difficult perhaps -- where those times

24 came from?

25 A. I would say that they were either a document I looked at

 

 

46

 

1 or else someone verbally told me and I recorded them on

2 this piece of paper.

3 Q. Just to conclude this small aspect of my questions, as

4 far as the officers, military officers or personnel, I

5 should say, that you dealt with, were they very helpful,

6 very receptive?

7 A. They were, yes.

8 Q. So there was nothing suspicious as to your enquiries, in

9 your view?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Just excuse me. (Pause)

12 Could you just excuse me? (Pause)

13 You never dealt, I think I'm right in saying,

14 however, with any crew of helicopters in any way?

15 A. No.

16 Q. And finally, your involvement with military personnel

17 generally. We covered police officers at Lurgan and so

18 on. Did you have much interaction with them?

19 A. Again, as and when operationally required. That would

20 have been it.

21 Q. So again, let me just ask you for completeness: did you

22 ever hear any military personnel make any reference to

23 Mrs Nelson?

24 A. No.

25 Q. A question that I ask all witnesses at this stage,

 

 

47

 

1 Mr Carson, is this: is there anything that you would

2 like to add to the evidence that you have already kindly

3 given to us today, or that I haven't covered with you in

4 my questions?

5 A. No.

6 Questions by THE CHAIRMAN

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Carson, are you still a member of

8 the PSNI?

9 A. I am, sir.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. When you were serving in Lurgan,

11 was any tasking of helicopters ordered from Lurgan

12 itself?

13 A. I wouldn't have any knowledge of that, sir. I would --

14 having worked in other areas where I would have had

15 a bit more knowledge of it, usually you would have put

16 in bids, as they call them, for helicopters to come in

17 for specific operations. So if there was a -- if there

18 was something happening, you would maybe have asked for

19 that type of cover.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: What sort of rank of officer would make

21 a request for helicopters if, for example, it were done

22 at Lurgan?

23 A. I wouldn't say it would be -- probably a supervisory

24 rank.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: By that, what --

 

 

48

 

1 A. Sergeant or above.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, I see. Thank you.

3 Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

4 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Just one. I wanted just to clarify

5 in my own mind the position about notification of out of

6 bounds areas.

7 As I understood it, your description of what would

8 happen would apply if it was known in advance that there

9 was going to be an out of bounds area at a particular

10 time. If an out of bounds area was called, say, at 9.30

11 in the evening, you know, from now until ... how would

12 that get to you?

13 A. From an operational CID office point of view, you

14 probably would have got a phone call through from

15 communications to tell you.

16 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Okay. And you do not remember

17 getting such a call?

18 A. Absolutely not, no.

19 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Right.

20 Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Your duties on Sunday evening, the

22 14th, did that involve you being out and about in the

23 Lurgan area?

24 A. Yes.

25 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Were you conscious of any Army vehicle

 

 

49

 

1 checkpoints on that evening?

2 A. No.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Did you have occasion to travel down

4 the Castor Bay Road?

5 A. No.

6 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You didn't? All right.

7 Further questions by MR SAVILL

8 MR SAVILL: Sir, there is one question which has arisen. I

9 think we have, I hope, touched on this at various points

10 in your evidence, but I'm just going to ask you to

11 conclude in summary, why was it that you didn't view

12 these allegations made against the officers that we have

13 talked about as being true in relation to the officers

14 themselves? What was it about the officers?

15 A. Not -- with working with them, there was phrases within

16 the allegations and even the swear words and things, and

17 my personal experience of those officers, the

18 phraseology wasn't correct for -- it wasn't -- it didn't

19 sound as if it came from them.

20 It sounds ridiculous, but I would know how you speak

21 and how I would expect you to speak. But if there is

22 terminology or phraseology being used that I wouldn't

23 have heard from you before, it would actually make me

24 less happy that it actually came from you.

25 MR SAVILL: Yes. Mr Carson, thank you very much indeed.

 

 

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Carson, for coming to give

2 evidence before us. Thank you, Mr Savill, for dealing

3 with this so expeditiously.

4 We will adjourn until Monday at 1 o'clock.

5 (11.29 am)

6 (The Inquiry adjourned until Monday, 15th December

7 at 1.00 pm)

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1 I N D E X

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MR GEORGE CARSON (sworn) ......................... 1
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Questions by MR SAVILL ....................... 1
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Questions by THE CHAIRMAN .................... 47
5
Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ........... 48
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Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN .............. 48
7
Further questions by MR SAVILL ............... 49
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