Sergeant A shot unarmed Pearse Jordan in the back on 25 November 1992, on the Falls Road, Belfast. The inquest continues.

Pearse Jordan

Pearse Jordan






1 MARCH 2016



On behalf of the Coroner: Mr Sean Doran, QC
Mr Ian Skelt, BL
Instructed by: Ms Cathy McGrann
Coroner’s Office

On behalf of the Next of Kin: Mr Barry Macdonald, QC
Ms Karen Quinlivan, QC
Instructed by: Mr Fearghal Shiels
Madden & Finucane

On behalf of the Ministry of Defence / PSNI: Mr Turlough Montague, QC
Dr Tony McGleenan, QC
Instructed by: Ms Christine Hewitt
Crown Solicitor’s Office


Q. Sergeant A, can we agree that at the very least when you shot Pearse Jordan that night you made a terrible mistake?
A. No.
Q. Well, you shot a man dead when he was unarmed and, therefore, not actually capable of posing any threat; isn’t that right?
A. Those are the facts.
Q. Yes. Even if your account is correct about the turning and spinning around, you failed to distinguish between a potential threat and an actual threat; isn’t that right?
A. I my actions were what I saw to be correct at the time.
Q. Yes, but we are talking objectively now. You did actually fail to distinguish between you what regarded as a potential threat and what, in fact, was an actual threat?
A. In hindsight, yes.
Q. So your assessment of the threat posed by Mr Jordan was, in fact, wrong?
A. No, not at that time.
Q. I’m not talking now about your perception at the time, I’m talking about what the objective facts were?
A. No, it is the perception at the time that counts. It is, you know, I had split second, less than that to make a decision and at that time I perceived that I had made the right decision.
Q. Yes, but on the basis of what you learned very shortly afterwards, you must have realised that you had actually got it wrong. He wasn’t armed and he wasn’t, therefore, in a position to pose is a threat; isn’t that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. I just wonder whether it could be the case that you didn’t actually make an assessment of the threat at all before you fired?
A. I made an assessment.
Q. You made your decision to fire in circumstances where first of all, you had a particular aptitude for distinguishing between actual threats and potential threats; isn’t that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. And this applies for all the questioning that I am going to undertake today. You are aware that we have gone through a lot of this in detail on the last occasion?
A. Yes.
Q. And you’ve adopted your answers, so I don’t need to discuss the extent of your aptitude but you clearly had this aptitude?
A. Yes.
Q. And a very high level of aptitude?
A. That’s correct.
Q. You had extensive training
A. Correct.
Q. in distinguishing between actual threats and potential threats?
A. That’s correct.
Q. You had possibly unparalleled experience in dealing with dangerous situations of this kind?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Or potentially dangerous situations of this kind. So much so that you described yourself as possibly the most persons antiterrorist firearms officer in Europe?
A. At the time.
Q. You even instructed the firearms officers who were working in the VIP close protection unit?
A. I did, yes.
Q. This was all before this incident?
A. It was.
Q. On your own account, Mr Jordan not only wasn’t armed but didn’t even pretend to be armed; isn’t that right?
A. Yes.
Q. And he didn’t reach for weapon; isn’t that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. Put another way, you saw no indication of either a firearm or an intention to use a firearm; is that right?
A. No, I was just faster and better trained.
Q. Could you just focus on the question that I am asking you. Isn’t it right that you saw no indication of either a firearm or an intention on Mr Jordan’s part to use a firearm?
A. That’s correct.
Q. In fact, on your own account he did nothing more than face you with his arms by his side?
A. That’s correct.
Q. If your account is to be believed and you said to him ‘halt police’ or ‘police halt’ or something of that kind, all he actually did was to halt and turn towards you?
A. No, he spun towards me and my previous experience is that any time that sort of thing occurred that the person you were speaking to or going to arrest would have always stopped still and raised their hands above their heads.
Q. But on your account he did stop?
A. He spun round.
Q. He stopped running away?
A. He spun round.
Q. We will take it in stages. Is it not your account that he stopped running away and actually turned round to face you?
A. From my recollection again we are talking about the briefest of time.
Q. Yes.
A. That he was running away, he turned round looking at me, turned back and then the next thing I was aware of that he had spun round. Now his hands were by his side but he had spun right round.
Q. Are you saying that he spun right round as he was still travelling forwards?
A. I couldn’t distinguish from that. He spun round.
Q. If he had actually been complying with your instruction, you wouldn’t have actually given him a chance to put his hands up, would you, because you fired immediately?
A. The circumstances were as he spun round I didn’t see his hands in the whole incident. What came into my head that he was going to raise a firearm.
Q. Yes, but it seems that you just got out of your car, ran to the back of your car and shot Mr Jordan as soon as you saw him?
A. No, that’s not the fact.
Q. Well, you did shoot him
A. That’s correct.
Q. as soon as you were in a position to do so; isn’t that right?
A. Yes.
Q. Is that not the same thing?
A. No, it’s not.
Q. What’s the difference?
A. I’ll tell you again. I got out of my car with the intention of arresting Mr Jordan, pulling him out of the car. He had already left the car. He was running across the Falls Road. He looked round at me. I called on him to ‘halt police’, ‘police halt’, whatever. He moved a slight distance more and then he spun, he spun round towards me very quickly and his actions at that time I thought this man is going to raise a firearm and shoot me or one of my colleagues.
Q. I think we established the last time that you failed to comply with the Code of Conduct governing the use of firearms; isn’t that right?
A. In what way?
Q. In absolutely every way. We went through this, if you remember, on the last occasion. Would you like to going through it all over again?
A. No, that’s fine.
Q. You do accept on the last occasion I took you through the Code of Conduct and the use of firearm line by line and you accepted at the end of all that you didn’t comply with the Code?
A. That’s right.
Q. Even though it did govern your behaviour?
A. Yes, it governs your behaviour. It doesn’t govern circumstances.
Q. So in other words you failed to apply the standards and principles set down by the RUC?
A. Yes, in an office.
CORONER: What was that answer?
WITNESS: In an office these were set down.
MR MACDONALD: Does that mean as far as you are concerned the RUC Code of Conduct didn’t really govern the use of firearms outside an office.
A. What I’m saying it was written in an office in a cool morning, and exceptional circumstances on the ground would disagree with them.
Q. So because it was written in an office you felt able to ignore it?
A. No, no. I didn’t fail to ignore it. I felt to act for my own safety.
Q. Without regard for the Code of Conduct?
A. If you wish.
Q. You accept on the last occasion that your response therefore wasn’t appropriate?
A. I really can’t remember my response the last time.
Q. On 17th October, you have the transcripts?
CORONER: Page, Mr Macdonald.
MR MACDONALD: Page 20, my Lord. Perhaps we will start at page 19.
Q. Do you have the transcript for this, Sergeant A?
A. Not with me, no.
MR MACDONALD: Could that be provided, please?
(Same handed)
WITNESS: Thank you.
Q. Do you have page 19? Perhaps just to get the context of this, starting at page 18 line 7. Do you have that?
A. Yes.
Q. I said to you: “If you had been on a training exercise in which you had these pop up cardboard cut out characters some of which are dangerous and some of which are not, some of which justify shooting and some of which don’t and one of the cardboard characters had turned round, spun round to face you and you had shot that cardboard character, even though the card board character wasn’t armed, would you passed that test do you think?”
And you said: “Probably not, no”.
A. Mm hmm.
Q. I asked “why not?”, and there was some discussion about that. At line 26 I said:
“Why would you have failed the test?”
And you said: “Because I would been marked down for it.
Because I probably shouldn’t have.
But why not?”
Over the page at page 19 there is some further discussion.
MR MACDONALD: I wonder, my Lord (inaudible).
MR MONTAGUE: I’m just saying if my learned friend is referring to substantive extracts then he should read it all.
MR MACDONALD: Yes, I am happy to do that.
MR MONTAGUE: Thank you.
MR MACDONALD: So at page 19.
CORONER: (Inaudible).
MR MACDONALD: I don’t know whether the Court wishes to rise for a few minutes.

(Short adjournment)

Q. We were at the top of page 19 in this transcript, you have that Sergeant A?
A. Yes.
Q. At line 5 you said: “Just as I said before there’s a massive difference between training exercise with pop up targets and the middle of a terrorist operation.
Question: Yes, yes. But lets concentrate on the reasons why you would have been marked down in the training exercise if you done the same thing in the training exercise?
Answer: Probably would have just, I don’t know whether it was over quick reactions or whatever but yes, I agree with you in a training situation in a pop up cardboard target, you know, I possibly might not have done that”.

Just pausing there, that resonates with what you just said in your answer to me, that you were just faster on this occasion and better trained. D you agree that at the very least this is an example of being too fast to react and an over quick reaction?
A. No.
Q. But if you had waited just a moment, perhaps a split second, even own your own account you would have seen if you hadn’t already seen it, that this man was not armed and was not posing any threat at all?
A. Well, in the split second I had to make up my mind whether he was going to shoot myself or a colleague and I made the decision that that wasn’t going to happen.
Q. Even though as we have established he didn’t even pretend to go for a gun?
A. That’s correct.
Q. And he didn’t raise his hands in your direction?
A. No, but I was anticipating that his hands were going to be raised.
Q. Isn’t that the point, that whereas you had been trained to make correct assessments you, in fact, overreacted and shot in circumstances where you hadn’t actually perceived any intention to use a firearm on Mr Jordan’s part?
A. No, my training and experience told me the course to take.
Q. We have already established from the last time that your training was designed to teach you not to do what you actually did; isn’t that right?
A. Yes.
Q. Just to carry on with this. At line 15:
“Question: In a training situation it would have been regarded as, at the very least, premature for you to shoot at such a target that’s not actually armed or raising its hands towards you threatening to shoot?”
And your answer was: “That’s quite possible, yes”?
A. Yes.
Q. “Question: You would have been marked down because you’re not actually permitted to shoot in those speculative circumstances, are you?”
Your answer is: “Again we’re back to training exercises and real life”.

Do you know see not see that the training exercises are designed to equip you to deal with real life situations?
A. Yes, that’s part of it.
Q. That’s the only part of it, isn’t it?
A. No. Again you can’t replicate reality on a training.
Q. No, but training exercises are not designed to make you better at your job in training exercises, are they not designed to make you better at your job in real life situations?
A. They are, yes.
Q. Line 24: “Question: And in the training exercises; is that right?
Answer: As a training exercise that’s correct.
Question: And the purpose of the training exercise of course is to see whether you are fit and capable of reacting appropriately.
Answer: Yes, that’s part of it, yes.
Question: You had been found to be fit to do so?
Answer: Yes.”
Top of page 20.
“Question: Capable of doing so?
Answer: Correct.
Question: But you didn’t do so on this occasion?” In other words act appropriately
And your answer was: “No”.
Is that right?
A. That’s correct.
Q. In other words you didn’t act appropriately on this occasion?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Then you obviously realised what you had said and we carried on. I said, line 6:
“And it was inappropriate and unjustified because in fact the man didn’t actually have a firearm and didn’t appear to have a firearm; isn’t that right?” And you started back tracking and saying: “No, that’s wrong”?
A. Yes.
Q. “What’s wrong about it?”, was the question. The answer was: “It wasn’t unjustified and inappropriate in the circumstances”.

So you say in one breath, you agree in one breath it’s not appropriate to do what you did and it wasn’t appropriate to do what you did, but then you immediately retract that, don’t you?
A. That’s right.
MR MONTAGUE: My Lord, that’s in the context of the examination about his conduct if he was carrying out that exercise in a training exercise as opposed to real life.
CORONER: Yes. I need to look at that. You are entitled to put the question, Mr Macdonald.
MR MONTAGUE: I accept that, my Lord, he’s entitled to examine him.
MR MONTAGUE: But I do think it’s important, my Lord, to keep it in context.
MR MACDONALD: Well when I asked the question at line 4: “You didn’t do so on this occasion”, you understood, of course, that we were talking about this occasion, namely the shooting of Pearse Jordan?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. I am just wondering whether or not, Sergeant A, that the explanation for the most experienced firearms officer in Europe acting prematurely and shooting a man who wasn’t armed, didn’t pretend to be armed, didn’t raise his hands towards you, didn’t do anything that allowed you to perceive any intention to use a firearm, whether the explanation for shooting him in those circumstances is that you actually believed that the driver was someone else?
A. No, never at any time.
Q. Someone that you were prepared to shoot whether or not he posed a threat?
A. No, that’s completely wrong.
Q. In other words, this was a case of mistaken identity?
A. No.
Q. You have been referred to the press reports at tab 3 in the bundle and you have said that you never read them, never even heard about them; is that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. These were press reports suggesting that this was a bungled operation and that the police had shot the wrong man; is that right?
A. That’s correct.
Q. And that the name of a different person had been given at the scene by police officers?
A. Not that I was aware of.
Q. Would it be fair to say, Sergeant A, that nobody had a greater interest in this press coverage than you did?
A. Yes. Yes, of course.
Q. Because you were the person who had fired the fatal shots?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Are you saying that talk about a botched operation and the officers shooting the wrong man never reached your ears?
A. Never.
Q. Not even in the form of some kind of banter
A. No, never.
Q. in the HMSU changing rooms
A. No.
Q. that you’d got the wrong man?
A. Never.
Q. You see, it was reported in the Newsletter and the Daily Mirror at least?
A. Well neither of those two papers would be on my reading list.
Q. They don’t appear to be, the Ulster Newsletter and the Daily Mirror don’t appear to be on the reading list of any of the other officers involved in this?
A. I can’t speak for anyone else and I can’t say strongly enough that I never heard those reports or about this mysterious man who was, the mistaken identity was about.
Q. You see, this is not just idle gossip in the press, this information also featured in military reports at the time, that a particular named individual was believed to be the person who had been shot?
A. Right.
Q. Perhaps in fairness to you, you should see those reports. I am conscious you wouldn’t necessarily have access to these reports.
A. No.
Q. But just so that you can see the name of the person. This is in the core bundle and it is at tab 8. Do you have that? Without naming or reading out loud the name that appears in these reports, can you see what is the first document in my bundle, it is some sort of CIP REP by the look of it. In the top right hand corner it has got the number 331 of 92. Do you have that?
A. Yes.
CORONER: Which are we looking at, Mr Macdonald? Tab?
MR MACDONALD: This is tab 8 in the core bundle, my Lord. It should be the first document in that.
CORONER: I have the one number 2 Section IIC; is that it?
MR DORAN: Yes. I think it is the third page of that document, my Lord.
MR MACDONALD: Do you have that. It says at the top: Restricted Belfast briefing. I’m not sure that’s 11S S rep or something else, 11 S Rep maybe. Not for collation to Section C or IC maybe.
Q. Do you have that?
A. Yes.
Q. You see the reference there to the fatal shooting and the date. This relates to the incident that we’re dealing with. If you could look then down to paragraph B4, about two thirds of the way down under the heading “casualties”?
A. Yes.
Q. Again without reading out the name, do you see there is a name
A. Yes, I see.
Q. of a different person there?
A. Yes.
Q. There are other documents, in fact it’s the same document, it is my page 5. It’s the third page in the bundle I have but it is page numbered 5 in the top right hand corner under the heading “investigator’s comments”. Do you have that?
A. Yes.
Q. At Paragraph 10 there’s a description of the incident in the first three or four lines?
A. Mm hmm.
Q. Then the fourth line: “The driver of the vehicle, a Mr”, and I won’t give his name?
A. Yeah.
Q. But it’s the same wrong name, isn’t it?
A. Yes.
Q. “He got out of his vehicle and attempted to flee the scene”?
A. Mm hmm.
Q. “He was challenged and ordered to stop and shots were fired by the RUC fatally wounding”, and then the same name is given.
A. Yeah.
Q. Do you recognise that name?
A. No.
Q. Did you hear any talk about that name?
A. None.
Q. Were you perhaps told in earlier transmissions that afternoon about this name?
A. No, never.
Q. It’s just as we have heard from Mr Doran that there are apparently no log entries between one o’clock and 5.03 that day?
A. That’s right, yeah.
Q. The log just starts at 5.03 even though this operation was going on from one o’clock?
A. That’s right.
Q. You have already indicated that you would have expected the earlier instructions and transmissions to be in the log?
A. Yes.
Q. The TCG logs are also missing completely?
A. Right.
Q. You aren’t aware necessarily of that and I don’t want you to be at a disadvantage in this. I am just explaining the context in which I am making the suggestion.
A. Yes.
Q. But there was evidence that there were three versions of the TCG logs; one in writing, one then a typed version of that and then details entered on a computer.
MR MONTAGUE: My Lord, I do object to this line of questioning. AB was examined about this and I don’t accept my learned friend’s proposition and the way he is putting it.
CORONER: I don’t think this witness knows anything about the TCG but you can put to him that there were TCG logs, Mr Macdonald.
CORONER: I’m not sure he knows exactly.
MR MACDONALD: I understand that, my Lord, yes.
Q. Just so that you understand the context. The suggestion is that there should have been TCG logs of that afternoon.
A. Yes.
Q. What my friend Mr Montague is referring to is the fact originally the officer in charge Inspector M, if you know who that is, or sorry?
A. Yes.
Q. Suggested that those logs were kept contemporaneously, but then it subsequently was suggested that they were actually copied subsequently from the, or at a later time from the HMSU logs. But, in any event, the upshot is that there aren’t any TCG logs, there are no HMSU logs for that afternoon prior to five o’clock and the question arises whether or not the logs have been removed and destroyed so as to conceal the transmissions that were being made that afternoon?
MR MONTAGUE: I am sorry, my Lord. How can Sergeant A answer that question? He can either be asked if is aware of any source documents, their existence or otherwise and were they destroyed. But not the preamble that my learned friend is leading.
MR MACDONALD: The preamble is for a particular purpose.
CORONER: I think he is just putting, that is the case you are making anyway.
CORONER: So having
MR MACDONALD: By way of preamble that is what I am suggesting.
MR MACDONALD: And I am suggesting that because the next question that I was going to ask was this: Is it not right that the HMSU is perfectly capable and was at the time perfectly capable of tampering with the logs?
A. I take it you’re referring to previous incidents.
Q. I’m first of all referring to this particular time in 1992, but yes, you’re right, depending on your answer I was going to put it to you that, in fact, you personally did tamper with an operational log; isn’t that right?
A. That’s correct.
Q. On a previous occasion?
A. In, what, ’82?
Q. In 1982?
A. Yeah.
Q. In relation to Mullacreevie Park?
A. Yeah.
Q. So we know that first of all it can be done; is that right?
A. It was done, yes.
Q. And it was done by somebody in the HMSU?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Specifically yourself?
A. Aha.
Q. So you wouldn’t be shocked to find that a log had been tampered on some other occasion by another HMSU officer?
A. I would have been shocked in 1992 because we learned a lot of very hard and, hard lessons on that and that behaviour would not have been tolerated at all in 1992.
Q. Well is that really true
A. That is really true.
Q. Sergeant A? Because one of the other things you were supposed to have learned from the Stalker/Sampson issues or investigations is that you should keep contemporaneous notes of your conduct and activities; isn’t that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. But you, on this particular occasion in 1992, ignored the regulations about keeping contemporaneous notes, didn’t you?
A. That’s correct.
Q. So there’s not much point assuring the Court that you had learned your lessons about complying with regulations from 1982?
A. I think what you’re referring to is my notebook entry.
Q. Yes.
A. Notebooks. I think I put a one line entry or two lines “serious incident Falls Road, see CID”.
Q. Yes.
A. I did not see, in fact I thought it was a dangerous practice to write too much down in your police notebook that could be mislaid and fall into the wrong hands.
Q. Right. But, in fact, you were supposed to keep contemporaneous notes, whatever you thought about that issue?
A. Yeah, well.
Q. And you decided you would just ignore them because you didn’t think it was a good idea?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Just like you ignored the Code of Practice on the use of firearms because you didn’t really think it was a good idea and it was just dreamt up in an office?
A. It wasn’t operational, yeah.
Q. Even after you were told that Mr Jordan wasn’t armed, you didn’t actually have any regrets about killing him, did you?
A. No.
Q. Why was that?
A. I don’t know. How did you react the last time you shot someone?
Q. I’m asking you the question, Sergeant A, because you are the person who shot Mr Jordan dead.
A. Well we’re all different, everyone is different. I am a quiet, practical person and I keep my feelings to myself.
Q. You were examined by an occupational health physician
A. That’s right.
Q. that night when you returned to Lisnasharragh; is that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. And you told him that you felt okay?
A. Yeah.
Q. And you admitted to virtually no anxiety related to the incident?
A. That’s correct.
Q. No anxiety either about the fact that you’d killed a man who was unarmed and no anxiety about any danger to which you could have been subjected; isn’t that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. Because you had actually experienced many more far more dangerous incidents than this in your career?
A. That’s right.
Q. Literally hundreds?
A. That’s correct.
Q. You couldn’t begin to list those incidents?
A. That’s right.
Q. When you were seen again on 8th December you were feeling positive about the incidents or the incident?
A. Correct.
Q. Your only regret was firing in automatic mode instead of single shot; is that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. And you didn’t admit to any stress on that occasion either, did you?
A. No.
Q. You were seen again on 16th February. You continued to show little ill effect following the incident; is that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. In fact, the only ill effect you subsequently felt was after the cease fire; is that right?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Because your job had been great until then?
A. That’s right, I had changed jobs.
Q. But after that it was just a bit quiet?
A. That’s right.
Q. You were so frustrated by your, by the lack of action that you were getting that you were actually irritable at home?
A. That’s correct.
Q. At one point did you say to the doctor that you were a bit concerned until you found that Mr Jordan had been involved in activity at Arizona Street?
A. I think I did, yeah.
Q. In other words, as far as you were concerned that proved that Mr Jordan was good value for this?
A. No, I didn’t, I didn’t say that.
Q. But you knew after the event that Mr Jordan had been unarmed, there was actually nothing in his car and he was running away?
(To the Court) If I could just a moment?
(To the witness) Just to be accurate then, nothing in the car in the form of a bomb?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Or weapons?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Despite that, of course you found out that Mr Jordan had no wasn’t known to police?
A. That’s right, yeah.
Q. Of course you would know, from your particular experience, that some people can get involved in paramilitary organisations at a pretty low level, like highjacking vehicles and that sort of thing?
A. Yes.
Q. Which is not defensible.
A. Yes.
Q. But which doesn’t justify them being shot?
A. That’s correct.
Q. In this case isn’t it entirely possible that what Mr Jordan was doing that night was driving this highjacked vehicle back to the Whiterock Leisure Centre?
MR MONTAGUE: That’s pure speculation.
A. How would I know that?
MR MACDONALD: You would know that this was a highjacked vehicle?
A. Yes.
Q. That it had been highjacked at Whiterock Leisure Centre?
A. Right.
Q. That the route Mr Jordan was taking was consistent with returning to Whiterock Leisure Centre?
A. As in the same general direction?
Q. Not the same general direction, the quickest direction; namely going down the Falls Road to the, you know the little junction at the bottom of the Whiterock?
A. Yeah.
Q. Then straight up the Whiterock?
A. Yes, but how would I have even thought of that?
Q. I’m not suggesting at that time that you fired the shots that you would have thought of that, but isn’t it right that the route he was taking is consistent with him returning this vehicle?
A. Back to the owner?
Q. Yes. That may sound odd now, but actually at the time is it right I’m not suggesting this happened in this way because I don’t want to cast any aspersions on the owner of the vehicle.
A. Yeah.
Q. But sometimes these vehicle were maybe highjacked by arrangement to some extent?
A. Yes.
Q. But even if they weren’t highjacked by arrangement, they were sometimes returned to the place where they were highjacked because the owner was sitting there waiting; isn’t that right?
A. Yes.
Q. That sometimes happened?
A. That sometimes happened, yeah.
Q. Yes. So you see now on reflection how it’s entirely possible that what Mr Jordan was doing was certainly consistent with him driving back to Whiterock Leisure Centre to return this vehicle?
A. No, not when he refused to stop.
Q. Well it could be of course that
A. It was a police casual stop.
Q. If he had a harden terrorist it may be that he would have just brazened it out because there was nothing in the vehicle; right?
MR MONTAGUE: Sorry, my Lord. My Lord, I did correct my learned friend the last time. There was something in the vehicle, my Lord, consistent with the ingredients for making explosives was found in the boot of the vehicle. Forensic evidence, my Lord, was given in 2012 and will be, no doubt, given next week in this inquest. So, my Lord, I have already corrected my learned friend and he has persisted now in making the point.
MR MACDONALD: Yes, I am obliged to my friend.
Q. We are talking about powder of some kind?
A. Right.
Q. Traces of some kind?
A. Yes.
MR MONTAGUE: No, my Lord. Traces of ingredients for making explosives. It’s not just a powder of some kind.
MR MACDONALD: You see how if this man had been a harden terrorist he might have brazened this out, but if he was a frightened young man who was scared of being arrested in a highjacked vehicle, he’s just the kind of person who would run away in a panic.
A. That’s correct.
Q. So even though you realise that, you still actually don’t have any regrets about shooting him dead?
A. No, I’m sorry, you know, you’re saying that this was an innocent young man whose crime was being in a highjacked vehicle. He was a member of the professional IRA. He was on a mission, whether it was to resupply explosives or be involved in planting a bomb in the city centre or wherever, and again yes, his actions, he upped the scale of the operation as it unfolded. It could have been quite possible I would have stopped him, had a word with him, ID’d him, which was the whole reason to try and stop him, get his identification, give his identification back to the TCG and the possibilities were that they would have said to me ‘let him go, let him run, tell him to get his tail lights fix and let him off with the warning’, and that is quite possible what would have happened.
Q. If you had stopped him why would you have let him off with a warning?
A. Because we wouldn’t have wanted to expose our knowledge of what we knew was going on through surveillance in Arizona Street.
Q. No, but if you had stopped him and you had not found any bomb
A. Yes.
Q. and if you had realised therefore he was not on a bombing mission to the city centre or anywhere else
A. Yeah.
Q. you would, in all probability, have let him drive on?
A. Probably, yeah.
Q. But what you’re saying is that because he didn’t make that decision to stay in the vehicle
A. Mm hmm.
Q. you, even now knowing what you know feel justified in having shot him dead?
A. That’s correct, yes.
Q. So we can take it then that if that’s your attitude now that was your attitude before you shot him?
A. No.
Q. Why not?
A. Because he hadn’t acted in the way he had prior to shooting.
Q. He hadn’t acted in the way heed prior to shooting?
A. What I am saying is I don’t really understand the question, but what I think you’re asking
CORONER: I will ask Mr Macdonald to ask you it again so you do understand.
MR MACDONALD: Even now you think it was justified to shoot Pearse Jordan dead?
A. Yes.
Q. What I’m suggesting to you is if you feel that now you must have had the same attitude before the shooting itself?
A. When he turned round and faced me, spun round.
Q. It is obviously my fault.
CORONER: You see there is a problem.
Q. The reason you feel justified in having shot him dead is that he was in the IRA and your understanding was that he’d been involved in some way at the goings on in Arizona Street?
A. That’s correct.
MR MONTAGUE: Sorry, my Lord. My Lord, that is a distortion of the evidence. The witness has consistently said throughout that he felt justified in shooting because of his perception of the threat to his life and the life of his officers. It was that that was the crucial distinction between the hundreds of other terrorist incidents that he had been involved in. For my learned friend to put
MR MACDONALD: I have to object, my Lord, because that is not only a speech but it is a comment that is unrelated to the evidence that has been given by this officer. This officer did not make that distinction. My friend is now communicating to the officer effectively that that’s the distinction that perhaps he he is suggesting it should be drawn but he is indicating its the distinction that could be drawn.
MR MONTAGUE: Certainly not. I think my learned friend has been very unfair in his examination of the witness with regard to putting to him that simply because the deceased was in the provisional IRA that that was justification for shooting him against the context of his evidence to this Court.
MR MACDONALD: But that is the evidence he has given and I am talking about his attitude now, my Lord.
CORONER: You asked him about his regrets now.
CORONER: I think he was giving you his history in the light of all that he knows.
CORONER: And that is the position as it is as exists now. You then asked him what his position was beforehand. You need to be very careful when you say ‘beforehand’, you take into account the circumstances of what actually took place on the day of the shooting.
MR MACDONALD: I’m talking actually about a more general attitude, my Lord, rather than.
CORONER: Then I think you definitely do need to put it clearly that it wouldn’t have mattered what he was doing, he was justified in killing him because he was a member of the provisional IRA, that’s what you’re putting.
Q. That’s your current view?
A. What is?
Q. That you were justified, that you don’t regret this incident
A. No.
Q. because even if he wasn’t armed on that occasion, he was a member of the IRA?
A. No, that’s wrong. You brought up before in, when you were reading whatever document it was that I had been involved in hundreds of previous operations involving armed and dangerous terrorists on both sides of the divide.
Q. Yes.
A. So then, who were known IRA, UVF, UDA, INLA, whatever, and I didn’t in any of those previous occasions shoot anyone.
Q. Yes.
A. So now are you trying to tell me just on this particular night that because I knew this guy was a member of IRA I decided just to shoot him?
Q. The first query I raised with you was whether you decided to shoot him because you thought he was actually somebody else
A. Aha.
Q. who you would think deserved to be shoot on sight?
A. Yeah. Well you see, and again I keep on telling you, that name that you showed me I have never seen that name before. I have seen the surname but someone completely different.
Q. Right.
A. But the Christian name would be different to anyone that I would have heard of.
Q. Right.
A. But I never heard on any transmissions or briefings or debriefings, whatever, I never heard or saw that name before in my life.
Q. Right. Then we moved on from that proposition and I was trying to establish whether you now regret shooting Mr Jordan dead in the circumstances that you now know to have existed, and your answer was that you don’t regret it. I understood you to be saying that the reason you didn’t regret it was because he was in the IRA and you believed him to have been involved in some bomb mission?
A. Yeah, but sorry, but previously you told me or you had suggested that this man could well have been driving back to the Whiterock Leisure Centre
Q. Right.
A. to return the car and that his only crime or whatever was that he had highjacked a car and was quite happily driving back and we intercepted a car that was just going about innocent business, if you like.
Q. Yes. And?
A. Well that’s what you said, and I said to you well it wasn’t.
Q. Right.
A. He was on an operation and subsequent his behaviour and he, Jordan racked up the whole incident from a casual stop to a hard stop.
Q. Yes. Well I think we can agree, can we, that he clearly wasn’t, with hindsight, on an operation in the sense he wasn’t delivering a bomb anywhere?
A. No, he wasn’t delivering a bomb at that stage, no.
Q. But to get back to the question, was I wrong in understanding that the reason why you have no regrets about this is because he was in the IRA and he had been involved?
A. No, no.
Q. What is it?
A. I have no regrets about it because of the circumstances of the actual shooting. It would have been nothing to do with whether he was in any organisation or not. His actions at the night.
Q. I want to deal with the actions of the night then. Do you remember the start of your testimony at the last inquest you said you had no issue with the map?
A. Yes.
Q. But then as I asked you questions about your location and the location of Mr Jordan, you realised, didn’t you, that if Mr Jordan was in the position that you had marked on the map you would have been able to see him from head to toe?
A. Yes.
Q. And you have now put Mr Jordan in a new position on the road; is that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. Which is, first of all, different from the position, I suggest to you, that even the other police officers have put him in?
A. Right.
Q. Do you understand that?
A. Yes.
Q. And the reason you put him in that position was by putting Mr Jordan in the new position it would appear that the roof of the Orion might be just about between you and him; is that right?
A. That’s correct.
Q. In other words, obscuring your view of the lower half of his body?
A. That’s right.
Q. Of course, it would also mean that when you fired if he had been in that position you would have been firing almost directly into the traffic driving city wards on that evening?
A. That’s right.
Q. The first vehicle in the traffic being your own police car, the other police car?
A. That’s correct.
Q. How would that have gone down in a training exercise if you had shot directly at other police officers in circumstances where you didn’t see anybody intending to use a firearm?
A. I have no idea.
Q. Do you think you might have passed the test if you’d done that?
A. Possibly not.
Q. Do you see that that might have been a reckless thing to do?
A. Not at the time.
Q. In fact, if you had fired, and I know this is not a map that is to scale or anything of that kind, but you actually drew the call sign 12 on the map, didn’t you?
A. I think I did, yes.
Q. With the original black X marking Mr Jordan’s position you would have shot him without shooting at the police car, is that right, or the occupants?
A. That’s correct.
Q. But if you had shot the position in the new, where the new X is you would have hit the police car if you didn’t hit that person; is that right?
A. Maybe.
Q. Well if you drew a line between the X indicating where you were standing and the red X indicating where Mr Jordan was supposed to be standing
A. Yeah.
Q. that line would carry on through the front of the police car, wouldn’t it?
A. It possibly would have hit the engine compartment.
Q. In fact the injuries to Mr Jordan were, the fatal injury was, I think, 46 inches above his feet, the sole of his feet, so say 47 inches maybe above ground level if you allow for shoes; right?
A. Right.
Q. You can take that from me unless I am corrected.
MR MONTAGUE: No, no, that’s correct.
MR MACDONALD: The second injury to the back was 54 inches above the soles of the feet, right? So that’s three feet ten and four foot six above the ground?
A. Okay.
Q. Or four foot seven if you allow for shoes. Can you see how firing at that level would have caused you to hit the police car, the cabin of the police car?
A. No, I don’t see that at all.
Q. You don’t. Why would you not I’m asking you these questions because you know that you missed with two of your shoots; is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. Assuming those two shots went more or less in the same direction as the other three, can you explain why the other two shots didn’t actually hit the police car
A. No.
Q. if Mr Jordan was in the position that you now suggest?
A. I can’t explain that at all.
Q. But it looks like you would have done from this map, and again I accept we are looking at a map?
A. No, I can’t explain at all. And I don’t, was there bullet marks in call sign 12? Was it hit?
Q. No, it wasn’t hit.
A. No. Right.
Q. Of course in circumstances where the fatal bullet struck three foot ten above ground level you see how it seems more likely that you must have fired between the boot of your Sierra and the bonnet of the Orion rather than above the roof of the Orion?
A. I’ve honestly no idea.
Q. Well, you won’t know this but Professor Crane said in his evidence this is for my Lord’s note on 8th October 2012 at page 7 that the shots that struck Mr Jordan would have been aimed at a similar level, maybe chest level?
CORONER: Sorry, where is this? Professor Crane?
DEFENCE: On 8th October. I will just be exact about this. On 8th October, page 7.
Q. You know from previous occasions that according to Professor Crane the bullets were fired, or the person who fired was probably behind and to the left?
A. Right.
Q. Or your put it another way, Mr Jordan would have had to present his back to the shooter?
A. Right.
Q. And it came roughly at a 45 degree angle.
A. Right.
Q. From the left. And I asked the question at line 19 on page 7:
“I wonder do the wounds tell us anything about the position of the person who fired”
It says here wounds but I think it must have meant rounds.
“in terms of whether they were above or below Mr Jordan at the time?
Answer: Not really. I mean they are certainly consistent with someone aiming shots at about that sort of similar level, about sort of similar level but again it would depend very much on whether, if Mr Jordan was crouched forwards or bending over”.

Now, it is for that reason I’m suggesting to you that you wouldn’t have fired over the roof of the Orion at all?
A. To my recollection that’s what happened.
Q. In circumstances where at least one bullet hit Mr Jordan at that level above the ground, three foot ten?
A. No.
Q. On reflection do you see that that
A. No, I can’t.
Q. According to your own account I will come back to the map shortly. But according to your own account Mr Jordan was facing you when you fired; is that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. That is when you pulled the trigger?
A. That’s correct.
Q. So that was after you had perceived whatever threat there was?
A. That’s right.
Q. And decided what you were going to do about it?
A. That’s right.
Q. And actually pulling the trigger?
A. That’s correct.
Q. But you know that Mr Jordan was shot in the back?
A. That’s right.
Q. You know how fast these bullets travel?
A. Yes.
Q. Something like 1,250 feet a second?
A. Something like that. I couldn’t tell you.
Q. About 850 miles an hour, faster than the speed of sound, well you may not know that?
A. No, they’re not.
Q. So he is looking at you, facing you
A. Mm hmm.
Q. at the moment the bullets actually come out of the muzzle?
A. That’s right.
Q. But somehow he manages to turn about 180o roughly in order for the bullets to enter his back?
A. That’s right.
Q. In circumstances where he was no more than about six yards from you?
A. That’s correct.
Q. You never saw him turn, did you? Sorry, turn his back to you? You’ve described this spinning motion where he faces you?
A. Yeah.
Q. After he faced you, you never saw him turn round, did you?
A. No.
Q. Why did you stop firing?
A. I took my finger off the trigger. I had fired and I had fired on automatic which again I said it was not my intention. I intended to fire a single shot and it fired on automatic and that was it.
Q. But how did you know the threat was at an end?
A. I don’t know, I just knew that was it. There was no other, there was no other PIRA members on the scene. There was only Mr Jordan.
Q. But if he’s facing you and you say posing a threat because of all the background circumstances and the build up, what made you come to the conclusion that he no longer posed a threat?
A. Because I knew that I had colleagues on the scene as well.
Q. But they had been there the split second earlier?
A. Well I was not aware of that at this stage.
Q. Does that mean you weren’t aware of them being at risk?
A. Who are we talking about here?
Q. Any of your colleagues?
A. Well I assumed that my colleagues the driver and the rear seat passenger were at risk.
Q. That they were at risk?
A. When I fired.
Q. According to their evidence they were still in the car when you fired your shots?
A. They were getting, they would have been in the process of getting out of the car.
Q. Well not according to their evidence.
A. Well let’s put it like that, I would have assumed that that would have been their actions.
Q. You see they both suggested they were still in the car when you fired?
A. I can’t speak for them.
Q. Of course you would have expected them to jump out of the car just like you had?
A. Yes.
Q. And that’s another indication that you were so fast on the draw that you had got out of your car, got to the back of the car and shot Mr Jordan dead before they even managed to get out of the car?
MR MONTAGUE: My Lord, again it’s a very unfair examination of the witness. We know that the driver of call sign 8 explained to the Court why he didn’t get out, because his evidence was that on seeing Mr Jordan turn towards the car he saw his face and immediately stayed, turned the other way for his own protection. It is very unfair, my Lord, to put the questions in this manner.
CORONER: I think that is the driver’s evidence, Mr Macdonald.
MR MONTAGUE: And in fact, sorry, my Lord, the same driver said he feared for his life?
MR MACDONALD: So just to be clear, why was it that you stopped firing, because you thought other people, other officers were on the scene and they could fire if need be?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you not see these shots hit the target?
A. No.
Q. The target was right in front of you facing you; is that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. You’re shooting him as you look at him six yards away?
A. Mm hmm.
Q. Probably closer than I am to you now?
A. Mm hmm.
Q. And you couldn’t see any reaction?
A. None.
Q. You didn’t see him even make a grimace?
A. Not that I can recall.
Q. You didn’t see any part of his body reacting?
A. Not that I can recall.
Q. He remained facing you at all times?
A. I moved then.
Q. Yes, but you were presumably focusing on him until he ceased to be a threat?
A. Yes.
Q. Whether or not there were other officers who may have been able to assist. So are you saying you just fired your weapon and turned away?
A. No, I fired my weapon and then moved round the car.
Q. Right. If you moved round the car you were looking at him at all times surely?
A. No, not necessarily.
Q. Why not necessarily? If this is the man who poses the threat why would you not be focused on him?
A. Because I knew there was officers at him.
Q. So are you saying that you fired your shots and then looked away?
A. I moved away, yes.
Q. Apart from moving. Obviously you can walk around the car and keep your gaze fixed on a target?
A. To be honest, I can’t remember. I really cannot remember.
Q. But would it not have made sense for you to keep your eyes fixed or Mr Jordan
A. Probably.
Q. even if you are walking round the car?
A. Probably. But, as I say, my actions in that space of time and under the circumstances I honestly can’t remember what I did or where I was looking.
Q. But one thing you don’t remember is him turning round to present his back to you at any stage?
A. No.
Q. I want to suggest to you, Sergeant A, that this story of Mr Jordan spinning round and presenting a threat is just made up by you and your other officers, your colleagues?
A. Sorry, you want?
Q. Do you have any comment on that?
A. That’s wrong.
Q. I want to suggest that you made up the story about Mr Jordan being shot in the front because you were told by another officer at the scene that, in fact, he had been shot in the front?
A. No, I was told that but I didn’t make that up.
Q. When you told your story, you gave your account at the debriefing you understood and believed that Mr Jordan had been shot in the front, didn’t you?
A. Yes.
Q. That, of course, was a better narrative for you, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it? Sorry, in the sense that it would seem better for you to shoot somebody in the front
A. Yes.
Q. than shoot
A. Someone in the back.
Q. a fleeing man in the back?
A. Yeah.
Q. Of course, you didn’t actually give that account of this man turning and presenting any threat to you prior to the debrief, did you?
A. No.
Q. Even when there were other officers at the scene, including officers unconnected with HMSU?
MR MONTAGUE: My Lord, my learned friend again, I object to this line examination without being accurate. He should go to what Sergeant A said at the scene to retired Superintendent Lowry and put to him specifically what Superintendent Lowry says he said.
MR MACDONALD: I was trying to shorten it.
MR MONTAGUE: It is very short.
MR MACDONALD: If that’s the Court’s direction I will have to get a copy.
CORONER: If you put specifically. How much longer do you think will you be, Mr Macdonald?
MR MACDONALD: I would have thought no more than half an hour.
CORONER: How long do you think Dr Courtney will be.
MR MONTAGUE: Dr Crowther.
CORONER: Dr Crowther.
MR MACDONALD: Ten, fifteen minutes maybe.
CORONER: That’s okay.
MR DORAN: Yes, my Lord, I should say he had attended at 10.15 this morning and I asked him to return at 2.45, but I think he could be asked to come back earlier than that.
CORONER: I think if he comes back at half past two and we will sit again at a quarter to two. It is just I have a meeting at half three.

(Lunch adjournment)

MR MONTAGUE: Apologies, my Lord, I hadn’t appreciated.
CORONER: No, no, don’t worry, don’t worry.

Q. Sergeant A, before lunch I suggested to you that the account of Mr Jordan spinning round and then presenting a threat to you was made up, and I suggested that you hadn’t provided that narrative to any officer on the ground. I want to take you to a statement that was made by Chief Inspector Lowry which you should find at part A5 file.
(To the Court) If that could be handed?
(To the witness) It starts at page 790 in the bottom right hand corner.
CORONER: Sorry, part?
MR MACDONALD: Part A, file number 5.
MR DORAN: My Lord, the statement should actually be your Lordship’s statements folder for this Thursday.
MR MACDONALD: Do you have that, Sergeant A?
A. I have.
Q. Yes. William Lowry was a Chief Inspector in the RUC at the time. If I could ask you to turn to the second page of his statement at the top the page he says: “I was aware from radio transmissions that a male person had been removed from the scene by ambulance. I went to the sergeant of the support unit and asked him what had happened. He appeared to be in a state of shock. The sergeant replied ‘we were involved in an ongoing operation and we attempted to stop this car'”.
And then if you follow that down, unless you want me to read the whole lot, just a couple of lines down you will see
CORONER: Sorry, I’m afraid I haven’t got that yet.
MR MACDONALD: It starts at the top of the second page number 2, which is page 791, the statement of William Lowry.
MR DORAN: Your Lordship’s statement may be in different printout format. Sometimes that happens through the process for printing out the documents. I think it may be a Homes document in your Lordship’s paper.
CORONER: Pardon? I don’t recall coming across it either, which is even more worrying. I have interview notes. Is it after the interview notes?
MR MACDONALD: I am looking at a different bundle possibly. I am looking at it in a bundle of statements made by police officers in this.
MR DORAN: It should be in the statement folder for this Thursday, my Lord. Mr Lowry is due to give evidence on Thursday, 3rd March, and I’m not sure if your Lordship’s bundle has been organised in that way. In any case, your Lordship, I believe we have a spare copy now.
CORONER: Right. Well I add this then. Yes.
MR MACDONALD: At the top of the second page on that statement, the first words on that second page should be “headquarters mobile support unit at the scene”.
MR MACDONALD: So you gave a reply and the material part of the reply is about just before half way down:
“I got out. As the man got out of the driver’s door and started to run away he turned and I shot him”.
Now do you see there’s something missing from that account?
A. Like what?
Q. That appeared subsequently in your accounts, in your narrative?
A. What, the warning?
Q. Well apart from the warning, there’s the suggestion that he posed a threat of any kind, that you were in fear, that you anticipated that he was going to present some kind of threat. All you’ve said to Mr Lowry is he ran away, he turned, I shot him?
MR MONTAGUE: My Lord, if we deal with the my objection first before lunch was to the substance of what Mr Macdonald was putting to the witness, that he and others had conspired together to manufacture an account to fit with what they understood to have been chest wounds and that whole conspiracy theory, and that he never said to anyone on the ground about him turning or spinning. My point is he did say it to Superintendent Lowry at the scene. My friend started after lunch on a different issue about the contents of what he said at the scene. That’s a side issue, my Lord, or it’s a discrete issue to the one that I raised objection about.
CORONER: I think Mr Macdonald is entitled to take his own course. I am sure you
MR MONTAGUE: I accept that, my Lord.
CORONER: You will need to come back to this.
MR MACDONALD: I had actually started, I know the exact words I used, I had started this passage of the cross examination by saying that the story of Mr Jordan spinning and presenting a threat was made up.
MR MACDONALD: And this is obviously an element of that. In any event.
MR MACDONALD: Why did you not suggest to Chief Inspector Lowry that you were in fear of your life and that’s why you shot?
A. I have no idea. Maybe it goes back to where Mr Lowry actually says: “I went to the sergeant of the support unit and asked him what had happened. He appeared to be in a state of shock”.
Q. Mm hmm. You have never had a problem lying, have you, Sergeant A, where the circumstances seem to you to justify it?
A. That’s a difficult question to say ‘never had a problem lying’.
Q. Well what is the answer to it? Did you have a problem lying when the circumstances seem to you to justify it?
A. No.
Q. No. And you have a track record of lying in circumstances that seem to you to justify it; is that right?
A. Ten years previously, yes.
Q. In relation to Mullacreevie Park?
A. Correct.
Q. In 1982?
A. Yes.
Q. You were, on that occasion, prepared to lie on oath to a court if need be?
A. Yes.
Q. Is that right?
A. That’s correct.
Q. And this wasn’t just an isolated example, was it, of an HMSU officer being prepared to lie?
A. No, that’s correct.
Q. The entire HMSU unit involved in the Mullacreevie Park was prepared to lie; isn’t that right?
A. That’s correct.
Q. And you were aware that other HMSU units were prepared to lie to a man in the other two incidents?
A. That’s right, yes.
Q. From every level from Chief, from Constable on the ground to Chief Superintendent and possibly above?
A. Possibly, yeah.
Q. I want to suggest to you that that’s because you had nothing but contempt for the court process at the time; is that right?
A. No, that’s not right.
Q. You have nothing but contempt for this particular inquest; isn’t that right?
A. No, that’s not right.
Q. Isn’t that why you ignored requests to attend this court for this inquest on at least seven previous occasions?
A. No, that’s not correct.
Q. Well can we agree that you did ignore requests to attend this particular inquest
A. That’s correct.
Q. on at least seven previous occasions?
A. I did, yes.
Q. Over a number of years?
A. Over a number of years.
Q. I just want to ask you one question about that and I put my friend on notice about this so that
(To the Court) If I can just have a moment, my Lord?
The question I’m going to ask which perhaps I should ask this in the absence of the witness just briefly?
MR MACDONALD: If he would be allowed to step out?

(In the absence of the witness)

MR MACDONALD: I just want to ask the witness whether he is now living in Northern Ireland. It was apparent from previous anonymity applications that he wasn’t living in Northern Ireland.
MR MACDONALD: And the indications from the current anonymity applications are that he is working a lot abroad, and I have drawn the inference from that that he is no longer living abroad.
CORONER: What is the point of the question?
MR MACDONALD: I want to explore whether that could be a factor in his decision to attend the inquest. It may be that he hasn’t changed his residence, but I just want to inquire whether that’s possible.
MR MACDONALD: There’s an objection from Mr Montague.
MR MONTAGUE: My concern is that he would say anything that would compromise his identity.
CORONER: We just need to be very careful how it is phrased and answered.
MR MACDONALD: Other obviously other witnesses have said that they live in Northern Ireland and we haven’t explored it beyond that.
CORONER: No, no, that’s fine.
MR MACDONALD: I don’t know whether someone is there to ask him to come back.
CORONER: Just ask for him to come back.
MR MONTAGUE: My Lord, while we are waiting for him to come back, just to say that a firearm has been delivered before lunch time. I haven’t seen it, but it could be demonstrated perhaps to Mr Doran at the end of my learned friend’s examination and then I could finish with mine.
CORONER: I must say I’m very uneasy about firearms in court.

(In the presence of the witness)

CORONER: Sergeant A, Mr Macdonald is going to ask you a question as to whether or not you are currently resident in Northern Ireland and the answer you give is either yes or no. You don’t need to explore it any further than that and you shouldn’t give any further information. Thank you.
MR MACDONALD: Can you say whether you are living here?
A. No.
Q. I’m just wondering why you changed your mind?
A. Changed my mind?
Q. And decided that you would actually attend after all?
A. Because
Q. On the last occasion?
A. On the last occasion the inquest had started and on not so much advice but on consultation with solicitors I decided that it would be the best way forward to get the inquest finished with and for me to just tell my…
Q. Even on the last occasion at the last inquest you didn’t actually turn up in the time for the day you were scheduled to give your evidence; isn’t that right?
A. I don’t know, but I was out of the country.
MR MACDONALD: Sorry, if I could have a moment, my Lord. (Pause)
Q. Did you find out before the last time you appeared that you might be liable to a penalty for contempt of court if you didn’t attend?
A. No.
Q. Did you find out that the court was considering issuing a summons?
A. No, I didn’t know that.
Q. In any event, you don’t actually care whether your account about Pearse Jordan spinning round and you shooting at him at the front and him being injured at the back is consistent with the medical evidence or the scientific evidence?
A. No.
Q. You don’t really care whether you failed to comply with the Code of Conduct either, do you?
A. I think you’re being unfair there.
Q. Well do you care?
A. Yes, but the circumstances on that occasion justified my actions.
Q. Why do you care whether you failed to comply with the Code of Conduct? What’s so important about the Code of Conduct?
A. It is written guidelines.
Q. For what?
A. For conduct.
Q. Written by people who have no experience of the use of firearms?
A. Probably mainly, yes.
Q. Not worth the paper it’s written on in real life situations?
A. No, I wouldn’t say that.
Q. Well is it worth the paper it’s written on?
A. It is, yes, of course.
Q. Does that not mean it’s supposed to be complied with in real life situations?
A. Not when it has, not when it could put your life in danger.
Q. Your experience in Mullacreevie Park had taught you that you and HMSU were above the law; is that right?
A. No, that’s not right.
Q. Well you certainly personally were above the law on that occasion, weren’t you?
A. No.
Q. You know that there was evidence that you personally had perverted the course of justice; isn’t that right?
A. No.
Q. No?
A. No, I can’t remember. If you explain it to me I’ll maybe answer it.
Q. Sorry, did you say you want to explain?
A. Yes. I don’t know what exactly I did or didn’t do.
Q. If you could look, I think this should be in part A, file 1, page 247.
CORONER: What day, Mr Macdonald?
MR MACDONALD: I am sorry. This is part of the collection of papers in the statements bundle. It should be anyway. I will show it to my friend so that Mr Doran may be able to identify where it is now.
MR DORAN: Yes, my Lord, it is part A, file 1. That should be 1 of 12, the first set of bundles, and it’s a collection of materials relating to Sergeant A. My Lord, there should be
CORONER: Is that MoD redacted material?
MR DORAN: No. No, my Lord. My Lord, there should be a covering index that lists a number of documents relating to policeman A, as the witness is described. It’s part A, file 1 of 12. My Lord, I wonder can I pass my copy forward? I should say the pagination in the bottom right hand of the document isn’t that clear, but if it would be of assistance I will pass my forward.
CORONER: I don’t think I have that bundle. We need to get my bundles numbered in the right way then, before we do any
MR DORAN: Yes, my Lord. No, absolutely. My Lord, I can say that all of the interests parties are working from the same plan, so it is part A, bundle 1.
MR MACDONALD: This is does the witness have a copy?
CORONER: What are you looking at, Mr Macdonald?
MR MACDONALD: Page 247, according to my pagination. It’s a disciplinary notice.
CORONER: Unfortunately the pagination seems to be…
MR MACDONALD: We will have to have this copied. What I will do is read this to you.
MR MACDONALD: Show it to you. Maybe show it to his Lordship first of all.
MR MONTAGUE: I have no objection to that, my Lord.
MR MACDONALD: Then we will get it copied.
MR MACDONALD: I want to suggest to you that there’s a disciplinary report here in the papers which indicates that evidence in relation to you that evidence has been identified of offences of perverting or attempting or conspiring to pervert the course of justice and obstructing or conspiring to obstruct a constable but that the public interest does not require a prosecution, so that no prosecution was directed. But there’s a suggestion that a discipline would have been committed against discipline regulations and that the RUC had reason to believe that you may be one of the officers involved. Now I will show you that, I will show his Lordship the document first and then I will have it passed to you. (Same handed)
MR MACDONALD: Have you seen that?
A. Yes.
Q. First of all do you accept that there was at least an allegation that there was evidence against you to the effect that you had been involved in perverting the course of justice arising out of Mullacreevie Park?
A. Correct, yeah.
Q. But despite that, no prosecution was directed?
A. That’s correct.
Q. The suggestion I have for you is that following that experience at the very least you thought that you were above the law?
A. No, I don’t follow.
Q. Well there was at least evidence that you had broken the law in relation to Mullacreevie Park but no prosecution was going to be brought against you?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Did that experience not inform you that you could do things that were against the law but actually not be prosecuted?
A. No.
Q. On the last occasion when you were being asked about whether your account was consistent with the medical evidence and the forensic evidence, you said you didn’t really care, you would just trust the jury?
A. I don’t remember saying that. If I said that I said it, yeah.
Q. Well I can take you to it, if you like, in the transcript?
A. No, no, there’s no need. I accept your word.
MR MACDONALD: The Court will find it, just for the Court’s note, on 16th October at page 60.
CORONER: 16th October.
MR MACDONALD: Page 60, my Lord. I don’t propose to open it if it’s not required.
Q. You see, I want to suggest to you that that’s why even on the night of this incident you were exhibiting no anxiety and why subsequently a few weeks later you were saying you were feeling positive about this because you didn’t think that anything would come of it, that you would suffer any penalty; isn’t that right?
A. No, like is there a problem with me feeling positive? Is that not what I should be doing?
Q. I’m suggesting the reason why you were feeling positive about this was that you didn’t think there was any prospect that you would be charged with anything arising from this; is that right?
A. I had no idea.
Q. You wouldn’t have been feeling terribly positive if you thought you were about to charged with homicide?
A. No, but I didn’t do anything that would make that happen.
Q. You see, I have to suggest to you, Sergeant A, that your account is made up and that the simple explanation for what happened here is that Pearse Jordan was if you want to look at your map, C2 was simply trying to run away that night and that he was running from the car door of the Orion across the street in the direction where he eventually fell and he did nothing to warrant being shot?
A. No, that’s incorrect.
Q. You see, we have evidence from a soldier, Soldier X who said that you won’t know this but Soldier X was an undercover soldier who was a line of traffic coming from the direction, in fact, in which you were firing, according to your latest account. In other words he was travelling in the city bound lane.
A. Okay.
Q. A couple of cars behind call sign 12.
A. Yes.
Q. His view
MR MONTAGUE: Sorry, my Lord, it’s not clear how far back he was.
CORONER: I think that’s fair comment. He was behind call sign 12. It’s not clear how many cars he was back. Yes.
MR MACDONALD: I think there was evidence that he was behind the taxi and there will be evidence that the taxi was behind call sign 12. I may be wrong about that, but that’s my understanding.
MR MONTAGUE: I think you’re wrong about that, but the transcript will show it, my Lord.
CORONER: Anyway he was behind call sign 12. Yes.
MR MACDONALD: Right. It doesn’t matter for present purposes whether he was behind one or two or more cars.
A. Right, okay.
Q. The point is that he, his view in the city bound, of the city, what was happening in the city bound lane ahead of him was obstructed; right?
A. Right.
Q. So he couldn’t see this area where you have the two Xs, the black X and then the red X indicating where Pearse Jordan was shot, but he had a clear unobstructed view of the country bound lane?
A. Okay.
Q. He saw Pearse Jordan running across the road passing the centre line and after he had passed centre of the road he heard a shot. I want to suggest to you that Mr Jordan was shot in the back as he was simply running across the road?
A. No, that’s not correct.
Q. There’s no spinning or pirouetting or anything of the kind and what you did was to put into effect what you had been originally taught in your training, namely speed, fire power and aggression; isn’t that right?
A. No, that is not.
Q. Weren’t those the three key words in your original training?
A. They were part of it, yes.
Q. Weren’t they the key words that you learned in your training?
A. Yes.
Q. Speed, fire power, aggression?
A. Yes.
Q. When you talk about being faster and better trained
A. Mm hmm.
Q. what you’re exhibiting was speed, fire power and aggression without any regard for the question of justification?
A. That’s incorrect.
Q. Because that training had actually been abandoned, hadn’t it, by the time this incident happened?
A. Our training changed, yes.
Q. Yes. In fact you were delivering the training?
A. At one stage, yes.
Q. Those key words of speed, fire power and aggression had been discontinued?
A. That’s correct.
Q. And was there more emphasis on justification by the time you were giving the training?
A. Possibly. I don’t know. I can’t remember that. That was the original training was military training and we had moved on from that and we were training. We had our own training systems which suited our job better.
Q. The training that you delivered was training in accordance with the RUC Code of Conduct?
A. It was.
Q. The very Code of Conduct that you failed to comply with that night?
A. That’s correct.
MR MACDONALD: Yes, thank you very much.
MR MONTAGUE: My Lord, if it’s convenient to you to go to the miscellaneous folder that hopefully is available to you. I wish to refer the witness to Dr Crowther’s clinical notes to which my learned friend has referred to in dispatches.
MR MONTAGUE: It should be folder 4, miscellaneous, my Lord.
CORONER: I do have Dr Crowther’s statement. These are his notes.
MR MONTAGUE: Yes, my Lord. It may be at the back of that statement.
CORONER: What’s it called?
MR MONTAGUE: Folder 4, my Lord, miscellaneous.
MR DORAN: Part B, folder 4, my Lord. Part B, folder 4. There’s a number of documents, including at the back Dr Crowther’s notes.
MR MONTAGUE: Have you got that now, my Lord.
CORONER: Is that agreed points by Philip Boyce and Jonathan Graham?
MR MONTAGUE: No, my Lord, it’s at the very back of the bundle. You see longhand clinical notes, my Lord. It’s very last page in fact. There’s an entry for 28th April 1988.
CORONER: I have got clinical notes, yes.
MR MONTAGUE: Thank you. My Lord, I am going to penultimate page in the bundle first. 7th July 1988. So this is prior to the incident involving the fatal shooting of Mr Jordan.
CORONER: Yes, I have it.
MR MONTAGUE: My Lord will see he is in attendance at the occupational health unit within the RUC at the time.
WITNESS: I don’t have those.
MR MONTAGUE: Anyway I will read it out to you rather than take undue time.
WITNESS: Yes, sir.
MR DORAN: I have a copy for the witness, my Lord.
MR MONTAGUE: Thank you, my Lord.