In 1982, whilst holding the rank of Sergeant, “M” shot dead Michael Tighe and seriously wounded our client Martin McCauley at a hayshed near Derrymacash, Lurgan. By November 1992 he had been promoted to the rank of Inspector and was the most senior HMSU Officer in the Command Room, directing the RUC operation culminating in the fatal shooting of unarmed Pearse Jordan. The inquest continues.

Scene of the shooting of Pearse Jordan, Falls Road, Belfast, 25 November 1992

Scene of the shooting of Pearse Jordan, Falls Road, Belfast, 25 November 1992






23 FEBRUARY 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. Officer M, you have the HMSU officers on the ground day?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And you were also in charge obviously of the HMSU staff in the command room?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. How many HMSU staff were present in the command room?
A. I believe there were two other officers there besides myself, my Lord.
Q. Who were they? Give the cyphers obviously.
A. Constable Q was there and I believe Sergeant R was there.
Q. Right. Sergeant R had been involved in the original briefing; is that right?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. What role did he have during the day, during the afternoon itself?
A. He would have been passing radio communications across, physically using the radio, if memory serves me correct.
Q. Were you and R and Q in the same room physically?
A. Yes. Most of the time I believe we were, yes, my Lord.
Q. Does Q have a particular place to sit?
A. Q would sit at the operations desk and he would have kept the log.
Q. And where would you sit?
A. I would either sit beside him or convenient to him or walk about the room. It’s a small room, my Lord.
Q. Right. So you were in charge of not only supervising the officers on the ground but supervising the two officers in the command room?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Making sure they were doing what they are supposed to be doing?
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. Now we know that Officer Q had one task that day, do we?
A. Yes. Constable Q was the log keeper, yes.
Q. It appears from his evidence that he didn’t actually keep any log for over four hours during this operation?
A. A log only commences, it’s an HMSU response log, my Lord, and it only starts when they are actually asked to do something.
Q. Response log or a reactive log?
A. Yes, that’s correct, my Lord.
Q. You know that those are two terms we never heard once during the entire inquest that was heard in 2012; response log or reactive log?
A. I am unaware, my Lord. I can’t remember.
Q. I can tell you that Officer Q never used the term response log or reactive log until yesterday and you never used, over two days of giving evidence you never used the term response log, did you, or reactive log?
A. I can’t recall, my Lord. An HMSU log starts whenever we’re tasked actually to do something.
Q. Yes. You see, we explored this quite a lot on the last occasion, didn’t we?
A. Again, my Lord I
Q. You can’t remember?
A. I can’t remember.
Q. And, in fact, on the last occasion when we were discussing the deployment of your resources on the ground, you actually called for the log, didn’t you, during cross examination, my examination of you in order to establish where different crews were; do you remember that?
A. My Lord, I can’t recall.
Q. Well, we don’t have to go through the entire examination last time, but it culminated, if you look at your evidence for 4th October at page 16, sorry, page 19. I had been asking you questions here about deployment and where the different units were and you asked to look at the log. This is page 18 line 19 you first of all ask could you look at the log in order to answer questions?
CORONER: Sorry, page 19?
MR MACDONALD: It starts at page 18, line 19.
MR MACDONALD: The witness asks could he see the log. This is in order to determine where the officers were at the material time before they were actually deployed and on this immediate operation.
Q. You asked for the log and you were given the log and you said, it is page 19 line 13:
“I don’t see it here in the log”?
A. Sorry, what was that last page number?
Q. Page 19.
A. Yes.
Q. Line 13. You see the way this is organised. On the left hand side looking down the side of the page you will see the numbers. Those are line numbers.
A. Mm hmm.
Q. So at line 13 you said: “I don’t see it here in the log”. Right?
A. That’s correct, yes.
Q. And there are a couple more questions and then at line 19 you said, well I asked you at line 18:
“Why do you not see it in the log?”
And you said: “The log is kept as best as possible. There is a lot going on and I can’t explain why it’s not in the log”.
I won’t dwell on all the other questions here about the log, but you weren’t suggesting then that this is only a response log and we’d only have details in it concerning the actual response in some way if it happened just after five o’clock. I’m just wondering whether or not you had perhaps been in conversation with Q about how you could explain better this time why there’s actually no log covering the first four hours of this operation. Could that be possible?
A. No, my Lord. I have had no conversations with any witnesses.
Q. So it is just a coincidence that yesterday for the first time Officer Q talked about reactive log and today for the first time you talk about a response log; that’s a coincidence?
A. My Lord, that is correct. A log, an HMSU log is the name we give to our log and we all know within HMSU it only starts after we have been requested to physically do something. It’s a reaction or response log.
Q. I’m going to come to that in just a moment. But have you ever in any of the documents before your court, in your interview notes or your statements or transcripts or anywhere else referred to this log as a response log that you can remember?
A. Not that I can recall, but.
Q. No. Now when you say the log is only started whenever there is some, you have to respond to something or there is deployment; is that right?
A. It’s only started when there’s a request made directly from the tasking agency looking us to do something.
Q. Yes. But we all know, and you know as well as we do that there were requests, tasks earlier that afternoon in relation to various vehicles before five o’clock?
A. There were conversations about possible stops but I was never physically asked nor was HMSU asked to actually stop. When that happened, my Lord, that’s when our log commenced.
Q. But you see there were earlier occasions, and we know this from the debriefing notes and from the statements of all the officers, that there were at least two previous occasions, possibly three depending on the interpretation of the material, where HMSU was asked to stop vehicles and then the order, the tasking was rescinded. Do you not remember that?
A. They were rescinded almost immediately, my Lord, so we hadn’t physically been given the tasking yes, stop that when it’s confirmed. We discussed it but we hadn’t gone forward with it.
Q. Even if that is right, and I am not agreeing with that suggestion that this was rescinded immediately. Even if is it right, how would Officer Q possibly know that within a space of few minutes or even seconds the order is going to be rescinded?
A. He would have been told. He would have been listening. He would have heard from myself.
Q. No, no, he would hear eventually that the order had been rescinded, but at the time the order is given in the first place he wouldn’t know that it’s going to be rescind, would he?
A. He mightn’t even have known that the order had been discussed or given.
Q. Right. So we have an officer whose duty is to log the task, the tasking decisions and he may not know that there are any tasking decisions made until three minutes past five?
A. That is correct, my Lord. He mightn’t have known the discussions and the possibilities discussed, he would have known as soon as the tasking agency had given the tasking and it was confirmed that we were about to do something, he would have then started his log.
Q. But there were a series of tasks being issued this afternoon, weren’t there?
A. Can I get clarification on what exactly we are?
Q. Yes. Well first of all the crews on the ground had to be deployed from Woodbourne; isn’t that right?
A. There was a crew in Woodbourne.
Q. They were laying up or lying up, or whatever the term is, back in Woodbourne. They had first of all been at base, then they had to go then to Woodbourne; right?
A. That is correct, yes.
Q. And then they were tasked to go to Andersonstown; is that right?
A. That’s correct, yes.
Q. And then there were various transmissions during the course of the afternoon; isn’t that right?
A. That’s correct.
Q. These are not just oral instructions that are given by AB to you that can’t be overheard by Q, we are talking about actual transmissions?
A. Yes, the call signs would have been giving an update of what’s happening. Those movements, my Lord, are internal movements. They are not being directed by TCG. They are not being asked for by TCG. Those are not response movements.
Q. Response movements. Well the various officers
CORONER: Sorry, they are not response movements. What did you describe them as?
WITNESS: They are internal movements. It’s officers moving. There was call signs relieved from duty and went back to base. There was call signs come out from base and took up duty. That’s ordinary movements, my Lord, and wouldn’t be in the reaction, response log.
MR MACDONALD: You see, the various call signs were sent to Woodbourne, right, and then shortly after three o’clock they were tasked to leave Woodbourne and move down the road, isn’t that right, head to Andersonstown; is that right?
A. They were required to move closer, yes. They had been moved from Woodbourne up to Andersonstown.
Q. That wasn’t a spontaneous movement on their part, they were asked to do that by you?
A. They were told to move, yes.
Q. Right.
A. But it’s not a tasking. The HMSU log only starts when they have got a physical tasking to do something. That’s internal. We’re moving our officers from one location to another. It’s not a tasking to actually stop a vehicle, search a house. We are moving and that happens day and daily.
Q. When they got down to the Andersonstown area they were tasked to check out, prepare to stop a red Orion and check out the occupant. Is that not a task?
A. They are preparing for that and they would also be preparing possibly for searches in Arizona Street. But it’s not a task at that stage. It’s only a task when the tasking agency requests it.
Q. Well have the tasking agency not requested you to do this? You weren’t independently telling these people to prepare to stop a red Orion, were you?
A. I was asking them to prepare to stop the red Orion, yes.
Q. Because you’d been told by TCG?
A. A possibility. It had not been any harder than a possibility at that stage.
Q. But the point is AB or AA from TCG had told you to get your crews on site in the area so that they would be able to stop a particular vehicle that had been acting suspiciously at Whiterock Leisure Centre; is that right?
A. They were in the area, yes, but there were also other vehicles mentioned, my Lord, other than the Orion.
Q. Would you please listen to the question, Officer M, and answer the question. You didn’t spontaneously tell these crews to go to check out a red Orion that was acting suspiciously at Whiterock Leisure Centre. That tasking came to you from TCG?
A. We never checked, my Lord, Whiterock Leisure Centre. That was done by others.
Q. Is it not the case that TCG tasked or asked you to check out this vehicle?
A. The only time that we got a request on that vehicle is after five o’clock when it left Arizona Street. We were never given a task to check for the vehicle in Whiterock Leisure Centre or anywhere else, my Lord. We did not physically go and look and check for it.
Q. You mean it didn’t actually happen?
A. It was checked for by officers, surveillance officers. It was not checked by uniformed police officers which the HMSU are. HMSU did not go to Whiterock Leisure Centre to check for the vehicle.
Q. Now, Officer, you know exactly what I’m asking you and you know why you’re saying this. If we have officers, such as Officer A and Officer B, describe receiving a radio transmission about a red Orion acting suspiciously at Whiterock Leisure Centre and then, that is Officers A and B being told to prepare to stop the vehicle and check out the occupant, that’s something that came from you, isn’t it?
A. That would be correct, yes.
Q. Yes. And that’s something that you had got from TCG?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Because, as you said earlier in response to Mr Doran, you don’t decide to stop vehicles off your own bat, you have to take your directions from the TCG?
A. That’s correct, yes.
Q. Right. So we have got a task from TCG to you, right, go and check out this suspicious vehicle?
A. Not in Whiterock Leisure Centre.
Q. Well
A. The only time I got a task to stop that vehicle was after it had arrived back into Arizona Street in and around five o’clock in the evening.
Q. Are you trying to draw a distinction between a task to actually stop and then it actually happening?
A. Could you repeat the question, please?
Q. Are you trying to draw the distinction of some kind between a task to stop a vehicle that doesn’t actually materialise and a task to stop a vehicle that did materialise?
A. Yes.
Q. Right. Well, you know perfectly well that that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about tasks that occurred earlier in the day, that were issued earlier in the day?
A. There were, the tasks, the only tasks started at five o’clock. Discussions were made in relation to the car travelling on the Monagh Bypass, but there was no tasking. If it was it was rescinded very quickly, hence nothing in the log.
Q. We have been through this on the last occasion. But just to summarise the position, is it right, well we know it’s right, that officers in call signs 8 and 12 were told over the radio to go out to intercept vehicles and then subsequently those instructions were rescinded on at least two occasions before the time when they actually intercepted this red Orion?
A. Yes, they were sent out of the stations in preparation in the event that they were tasked and those taskings didn’t come and subsequently were put back into their stations.
Q. Right. So on at least two occasions instructions because I don’t want to get bogged down in semantics here insofar as there is an issue about the meaning of certain words. But on at least two previous occasions before the one that led to the shooting, these officers in these call signs were instructed to go out to intercept vehicles and then they didn’t actually intercept the vehicle.
A. They were tasked out, my Lord, to be in a position that if they were requested to put in a stop on a vehicle they were out and ready but the tasking never come.
Q. Right. So when they are sent out and you issue an instruction over the radio for them to leave a certain place, to go to some other place to be ready to stop vehicles, are you saying that none of that should be recorded by Officer Q?
A. That’s correct, my Lord, because at that stage I’m only putting officers out on the ground in anticipation. I have not received a direction from my tasking agency at that stage to actually ‘we want this vehicle stopped now’, and as soon as that happens then it goes into a log.
Q. Well, the Court will look at these instructions and the evidence of other officers to see whether, in fact, that’s correct, whether or not these sort of tasks were issued. But are you saying then that really Officer Q was sitting there all afternoon doing nothing and you thought that was fine?
A. That’s the normal practice, my Lord. Yes, the officer is there to start a log as and when required and on occasions you could sit for hours, a whole day and not complete any log.
Q. And when the officers are just, the location of particular officers is not significant either of where they are at any particular time, that that won’t recorded?
A. No.
Q. Why exactly were you looking to see the log the last time in order to see where the officers were prior to this tasking that led to the shooting?
A. To refresh my memory because I couldn’t recall then where I had my call signs. I had five call signs out I think at that stage.
Q. Why did you call during your evidence last time to see the log in order to answer the question about where the officers were in circumstances where that’s not the sort of thing you would expect to be in the log?
A. But the log will never, the log it was the debrief I should have been asking for as opposed to the log.
Q. But you didn’t ask for the debriefing notes, you asked for the log. You wanted to see the log. Why would you ask to see the log when there’s nothing in the log about this sort of thing?
CORONER: Sorry, when was this? When is he asking for this?
MR MACDONALD: This is during the examination when I was asking about the deployment at page 18 I think it is.
CORONER: So you are asking why did you not ask for the debriefing notes rather than the log?
MR MACDONALD: No, the question is yes, in circumstances where the officer is now saying it would be in the debriefing notes.
MR MACDONALD: Of course the debriefing notes themselves are supposed to come from the details that are in the log, aren’t they?
A. Yes, the log is used what we try to do then is corporate memory as to where everybody was prior to that.
MR MONTAGUE: My Lord, I don’t wish to interrupt my learned friend’s flow, but at line 17 the witness gives an answer to Mr Macdonald in response to Mr Macdonald’s question at 16:
“So why do you not see that in the log?
Answer: It’s probably in the debrief notes”.
MR MACDONALD: Yes, I think after you initially asked for the log in order to see, to get the answer to the question and then when it doesn’t appear in the log you are asking for the debrief notes; is that right?
A. Sorry, could you repeat the question, please?
Q. When you are asked you’ve said today that you wouldn’t expect details in the log about the location of the officers, that’s not relevant, it’s only when you are actually asked to go and stop a vehicle that you would have any kind of response log noted. But when I was asking you questions before on a previous occasion about the location of the officers before the tasking you wanted to see the log because you expected to see in the log the answer to your question or my question?
A. I honestly can’t remember why I asked for the log.
Q. Well the simple answer is you asked to see it because you thought at the time you asked it that all the relevant details would be in the log?
A. No, the relevant details should have been in the debrief note. I don’t know, I can’t explain, my Lord, why I asked for the log.
Q. At the time those are the words you used when you said you couldn’t explain why these details weren’t in the log. It’s not that you were saying you wouldn’t expect them to be in the log, you were saying I can’t explain why it’s not in the log, there’s a lot going on. You can’t explain that?
A. The detail, my Lord, if I can explain how an operation is run and how it works? There’s a lot of traffic, voice and radio, there’s a lot of noise and not everything gets put into the log. But on this occasion I wouldn’t have expected anything in the log before we were actually tasked by the tasking agency and that was shortly after five.
Q. So all that goes in the log you say is an actual event essentially to actually stop a vehicle?
A. That’s correct. Once I have got a tasking, a confirmed tasking from the tasking agency then the log commences.
Q. The first entry in this log, if you have a copy of this log, it should be in the core bundle at tab 3. Do you see do you have tab 3 there?
A. I do, yes.
Q. Do you see the first entry?
A. I do, yes, my Lord.
Q. It’s just a statement “blue Sierra mobile”; right?
A. That’s correct, yes.
Q. Five minutes before anything else is said?
A. Well, at one stage the blue Sierra was of interest to us and we were actually considering a possible stop on it or a red Cavalier was also mentioned.
Q. What has that got to do with it?
A. That’s the first time that we had, the log started on the blue Sierra, that was the first, it wasn’t the Orion was the first car we were told we were possibly going to stop, it was the blue Sierra. Hence at three minutes past five “blue Sierra mobile.”
Q. No, but you only enter details in this response log when you are going to actually stop a vehicle?
A. That’s correct.
Q. And that instruction is not going to be rescinded?
A. Well at that stage that’s what I thought was going to happen. We had three vehicles of interest at that stage in Arizona Street.
Q. So you actually enter in details of what you think might happen?
A. No, we were actually told that it’s going to stop the blue Sierra, but it didn’t come out of the
Q. No, no. Sorry, finish the answer.
A. Sorry. It didn’t come out of the street. It was mobile down the street. It wasn’t mobile out of the street.
Q. There’s no instruction here to stop the blue Sierra at 5.03, is there?
A. My Lord, there’s a lot happening and this log is only a précis of what’s going on. It’s an indication that a blue Sierra with an English registration number is mobile.
Q. You see, it makes sense to have a reference to the blue Sierra being mobile if you’re providing information as you go along to the crews so they understand what’s happening around the place; right?
A. The crews were getting updated of what going on. There was a constant feed being sent to the crews on the ground from the operations room.
Q. This is the part of the updating process “blue Sierra mobile”?
A. Yes, that probably is correct.
Q. Right. And that’s why it’s in the log?
A. It’s in the log but it’s also discussed that the Sierra if it come out would have been stopped.
Q. But there’s not suggestion here that the Sierra is going to be stopped, is there?
A. No, my Lord. As I stated before, there was a lot happening in the operations room. There’s a lot of noise and this is only a précis. But yes, we had discussed it with the tasking agency of the possibility of stopping this. In fact, it was directed that it would be stopped if it come out.
Q. Yes, but, Officer M, you had been discussing throughout the entire afternoon from after one o’clock the possibility of discussing a variety of vehicles, at least four different vehicles were identified as possible targets; isn’t that right?
A. Yes.
Q. And all the officers on the ground were being kept up to date during the afternoon about these different possibilities of which vehicles were going to be stopped and where they were going to be stopped; isn’t that right?
A. They were possibilities, but this was confirmed on the Sierra.
Q. But that’s the point, this is not a confirmed stop on the Sierra?
A. Yes, the log mightn’t reflect that, my Lord, but it had been discussed and it had been confirmed if the Sierra was out of the street it would have been stopped.
Q. Are you saying that at 5.03 the instruction went out to stop the blue Sierra?
A. Yes, it was a car that was of interest to us.
Q. No, no, no. Are you saying that at 5.03 an instruction went out to stop the blue Sierra?
A. The crews were informed, yes, if the Sierra, if the Sierra was mobile and out of the area it was to be stopped, yes.
Q. At 5.03?
A. That’s when the instruction was issued, yes, hence the log starting at 5.03.
Q. Why was a fresh instruction issued at 5.08, five minutes later in relation to the Orion?
A. My Lord, if I can just give you an example of what was happening at that stage on the ground? We had five or six males persons moving about and we were getting transmissions in relation to all that movement. We have at least three vehicles of interest moving in the area and we were giving the transmissions in relation to all of those movements.
Q. You see the way, what’s entered there after the reference to the red Orion on the fourth line, “both stopped if possible”?
A. That “both” is not the Sierra, my Lord. That is a Cavalier that’s not even in the log and the Orion. A red Cavalier at that stage, my Lord. So there’s a lot of activity, there’s a lot of radio transmissions.
Q. So, in fact, there’s no instruction anywhere here, or note of any instruction that the blue Sierra was going to be stopped?
A. That’s correct, there’s not, my Lord.
Q. Even though there’s an entry for the blue Sierra being mobile at 5.03?
A. That’s correct, my Lord. This is a possibility, as I stated.
Q. Do you see how on the face of it this log looks as if started with an entry about something that, according to your evidence, would not be relevant, just the mere fact that a car is mobile somewhere?
A. Yes, I can understand and see that, yes, my Lord.
Q. And you see how it looks as if this has been, this entry has been, both these entries may have been written at the same time. Do you see you have got “blue Sierra mobile, red Orion reversing out, both stopped if possible”. That looks like something that’s been written, both stopped, that’s both the Sierra and the Orion?
A. Yes, I can see that and I can understand that, but it’s not what actually was happening, my Lord. The “both” referred to a red Cavalier and the red Orion, it did not refer to the blue Sierra and the Orion.
CORONER: How would you know that “both” referred to the Cavalier if it hadn’t been mentioned before?
WITNESS: The Cavalier had been mentioned but there was that much going on it wasn’t in the log. It’s in the debrief, my Lord.
CORONER: Yes, but we have the blue Sierra, then red Orion and then it says “both stopped if possible”. The natural meaning of that would be that the “both” would refer to the blue Sierra and the blue Orion.
WITNESS: Yes, I understand and I appreciate that, but it’s not, my Lord.
CORONER: Okay. Well then if the “both stopped” is in relation to the Cavalier and the Orion, there’s nothing in respect of stopping the blue Sierra, just simply that it’s mobile.
WITNESS: It had been discussed but, as I said, a lot was happening. The log keeper had a lot to listen to and he hasn’t put it in the log, my Lord.
CORONER: Well he had five minutes from 5.03 to 5.08 if those were made separately to insert “blue Sierra mobile, stop”.
A. Yes, I appreciate that, my Lord, but there were, as I said, transmissions coming in and five and six persons on foot and three vehicles moving.
MR MACDONALD: The position now is there was never an instruction given to stop the blue Sierra?
A. It had been given originally but no, the blue Sierra was never stopped. It was
CORONER: Sorry just be careful, if you ask the question, Mr Macdonald.
MR MACDONALD: There was never any instruction to stop the blue Sierra and you say that actually, yes, there was an instruction given to stop the blue Sierra?
A. My understanding and my recollection was yes, it had been tasked to stop the blue Sierra if it come out of Arizona Street.
Q. And where is the instruction about that in the log?
A. It’s not in the log, my Lord.
Q. Why is not in this log?
A. As I have stated, my Lord, there are a lot of transmissions, a lot of noise. The Cavalier or the details of the Cavalier aren’t in the log either, my Lord.
Q. I think we’ve agreed this period from one o’clock to five o’clock was actually a period of quite intense activity, especially from three o’clock to five o’clock?
A. There was very little happening, my Lord, between one and three. In fact, I don’t think there was anything happening.
Q. I think that’s why I qualified myself, but certainly from three to five?
A. Three to five, yes, the activity started from three, after three, after half three I would suspect, my Lord.
Q. And there were a lot of transmissions to the officers on the ground about what was happening and where they should go to stop vehicles and then they should come back and not stop the vehicles, transmissions about those issues; right?
A. There was transmissions, my Lord, in relation to what surveillance was seen and it was being transmitted back to the ground to my officers, yes.
Q. And when none of that is being recorded by Q sitting close to you at the desk, maybe beside you at the desk, that didn’t cause you any concern?
A. No.
Q. How did you ever think that you were going to reconstruct the events of that afternoon in circumstances where something might happen as it did?
A. Reconstruct from our log from when it’s actually asked for a stop. We could have been there for days, my Lord, and no log kept. It’s only when we’re actually asked by the tasking agency that a log commences.
Q. But you had to rely on your collective memories subsequently in order to work out what had happened during the course of the afternoon, isn’t that right?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Because all that was relevant what had happened during the course of the afternoon, especially from three o’clock?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. That’s why it’s all recorded in the debrief and you went through it in the debrief?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. So why would you not, what, a log, a contemporaneous log of everything that was going on that afternoon?
A. My Lord, there is a log kept on the surveillance, the surveillance operators keep their own log and what we have found is if the two logs are in, not in complete agreement re times and movement, et cetera, that that can undermine a case for the surveillance log. So we only put in our log a reaction log as and when we are directed by the by the tasking agency.
Q. When you came to have your debrief you weren’t relying on any army surveillance log, were you?
A. That’s correct, no, my Lord, we were not.
Q. You were relying only on your collective memory?
A. At the time, yes, that’s correct, my Lord.
Q. And all the details of the registration numbers of the various vehicles and the call signs that were going to different places as appears in the briefing notes, that all just comes from collective memory?
A. The point up until that, yes, that’s correct, my Lord.
Q. And for the last time then I’m going to ask you why you don’t think it would be better to have a contemporaneous log of all these transmissions going on?
A. That is kept in a surveillance log and, as I said, my Lord
Q. Sorry, that’s not an answer to the question because the army surveillance log doesn’t record your transmissions to your HMSU units on the ground?
A. No, it does not, my Lord.
Q. Therefore, that’s not an answer to the question. So why would you not have your own log?
A. We do only keep a log from the time that we are asked, my Lord.
Q. You see, the TCG officer yesterday gave evidence, whereas before he had said that there was a separate, there was a HMSU log and a TCG log, in fact three versions of the TCG log, he was saying yesterday for first time that actually there wasn’t any separate TCG log, they just took all their details from the HMSU log. Does that not make it all the more important that there should be actually someone keeping a log during the course of the afternoon, during the course of this operation?
A. Yes, there should have been, if that had been the case, yes, there should have been a complete log, but the surveillance is a complete log from start to finish.
Q. Can I suggest to you that there was actually a complete HMSU log at one stage that recorded what happened during the afternoon?
A. That’s not the case, my Lord, no.
Q. And that what’s been presented as the entire log is actually only a part of the log?
A. No, my Lord. It’s the entire response log from the time they were requested. It’s the only log.
Q. Was there something said in those transmissions on the log for that afternoon that you don’t want to be revealed?
A. That’s incorrect, my Lord, there’s nothing.
Q. Like, for example, was there some reference to a particular individual you might have been interested in that afternoon?
A. There was no person named at any stage in this operation, only car details, my Lord.
Q. I am just wondering whether you thought there was somebody in this vehicle that was eventually stopped other than the person who was actually in the vehicle?
A. That’s not the case, my Lord, no.
Q. You remember the press coverage the next day, don’t you, after this incident?
A. Not entirely, no, my Lord.
Q. Well can we take it that you haven’t
A. The next day, my Lord, I hadn’t been to bed for 32 hours. I had been on duty on another operation and I don’t even know if I had time to see the news or not.
Q. Right. Can we take that you haven’t been involved in too many incidents where officers under your command have actually shot dead someone?
A. In command on an operations room only twice to my knowledge.
Q. Twice. So it was of some interest to you what had actually happened?
A. Yes, of course it was.
Q. And indeed how it was being presented to the public what had happened?
A. No, my Lord.
Q. It wasn’t?
A. My Lord, as I stated, I was already deployed on another operation. I was already back in an operations environment. You don’t have TVs in the environment, my Lord.
Q. You had been involved directly in previous shoot to kill incidents as they were described, or incidents that were investigated by Messrs Stalker and Sampson; is that right?
A. I have been involved in incidents that have been investigated by Mr Stalker, yes, my Lord, but they are not shoot to kill.
Q. You knew the furore about those incidents?
A. I do, yes, my Lord.
Q. And are you saying that you weren’t interested in seeing what the response was to this particular incident ten years later?
A. My Lord, yes, I would have been interested, but I can’t remember seeing any news bulletins or any media coverage on it. As I stated, I went out immediately back on to an operations desk, worked through the night and into the next day.
Q. Right. But whenever you did eventually go back on to duty or surface generally, were you not interested in the response to this incident and how it was being presented to the public?
A. My Lord, I came back off duty 32 hours after the event. I made my interview notes with the CID and I went home and got into bed.
Q. Were you aware that there was press coverage of this incident?
A. I would have expected and I was probably aware, yes, there was press coverage, my Lord.
Q. And are you aware that it was being suggested that the killing or the death of Mr Jordan appeared to be the result of a botched security operation?
A. I was unaware of that, my Lord.
Q. You never heard that at the time?
A. As I stated, my Lord, I did my duty a further 32 hours, I did my debrief note with the CID and I went home to bed.
Q. Yes, but whenever you surfaced. Did people not talk in the HMSU about this incident?
A. I can’t recall that being the case, no, my Lord.
Q. You can’t recall people talking about it?
A. I can’t honestly recall, no, my Lord.
Q. You never saw any press report and you never heard tell of any press report suggesting that the operation which you had been in command of as the HMSU officer, the senior HMSU officer was being described as a botched security operation?
A. No, my Lord, I was unaware of that.
Q. Right. Now if you just look at some of the, I’m not sure if I have exactly the same documents as everybody else, but if you look at tab 4 in the core bundle.

(To the Court) I’ve just realised that tab 4 in the core bundle is different from the one I have. Do we have exhibit J2? Sorry, maybe it’s here, sorry, yes.
(To the witness) If you look at tab 4 and look at yes, it is the first document in tab 4, J2?
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. You see in the first paragraph, this is a report from the Ulster Newsletter?
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. On Friday 27th November?
A. Yes, I see that, my Lord.
Q. And the first paragraph it suggests that the RUC killing of IRA member Pearse Jordan appears to have been the result of a botched security operation?
A. Yes, I see that, my Lord.
Q. And that never came to your ears?
A. This is the first time I have seen this newspaper clipping, my Lord.
Q. And is it the first time you have heard tell of this suggestion in the press?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord. I have not seen this before.
Q. And what about the next paragraph: “For three hours after the Belfast shooting on Wednesday, officers at the scene believed their undercover patrol had killed a different man”?
A. My Lord, I can’t comment on that. I know nothing about this.
Q. So, you hadn’t heard tell of this until I just pointed it out to you?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And people in the HMSU weren’t talking among themselves about how the press have got completely the wrong end of the stick here, this wasn’t a botched operation and we didn’t kill the wrong man?
A. No, my Lord. I’ve no memory of any of that type of discussion going on.
Q. You see these are quite serious allegations, aren’t they?
A. I can see that, yes, my Lord.
Q. It never came to your ears?
A. That’s correct, my Lord. As I say and other officers were deployed immediately into a completely separate operation.
CORONER: Just so I’m clear, you, after this operation you were off, you were working for how long did you say?
WITNESS: I was on duty for 32 hours until the CID come. I then stayed on duty with them until I gave my interview notes, which I believe was approximately an hour and a half, and then immediately after that, which brought us almost to six o’clock the following evening and then immediately after that, my Lord, I returned to my home and went to bed.
CORONER: So when you would you back in at work?
WITNESS: The next day. Yes, the day after, back in at eight o’clock.
CORONER: So you’re in work the day after, and who do you work with in HMSU?
WITNESS: All the officers that are attached to the unit in Belfast.
CORONER: And they presumably would have had an opportunity to read the newspaper or listen to the television?
WITNESS: Some of them would have, some of them would have been in the same position as me, my Lord.
CORONER: And they would have known that you were in charge of this particular operation?
WITNESS: That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
CORONER: And no one said to you ‘do you know, Officer M, they’re making out the case that that was a botched operation’ asking, you were the one who was directly at the centre of it, they had an opportunity to speak to you and no one said a dickie bird?
WITNESS: Nobody mentioned it, no, my Lord.
CORONER: Would you agree with me that your experience would be that when something of a controversial starts, something of a controversial nature happens and an officer is involved in it, then his fellow officers are likely to ask him for his version of events to find out whether or not the press has, as in many cases, misrepresented what has occurred?
WITNESS: That’s correct, yes, I would have expected that, my Lord.
MR MACDONALD: You see, the next article at the same tab 4 is more specific than the first one. It is not just talking about a general botched operation, but it refers to the possibility of a mix up of a radio message. Do you see the one I’m referring to, there’s a head line: “Cop radio mix up, clue to death of IRA scout”?
A. Yes, I see that, my Lord.
Q. And the first paragraph says: “A mix up over a radio message may have led undercover cops to shoot dead IRA member Pearse Jordan as revealed last night”.
Right. Now, you were the person who was directly responsible for the radio messages; isn’t that right?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. So this is really a direct allegation that you were involved in a mix up, may have been responsible for a mix up which led to this death?
A. Yes, I can understand that, my Lord, but there was no mix up. I got clear instructions from the tasking agency to stop the red Orion and that’s the instructions that were passed. I don’t understand how there could have been a mix up.
Q. It goes on to say: “Police believed Jordan was a Provo’s pathfinder scouting for a safe route for a car packed with explosives which was following behind sources claimed last night”. I’m going to come to that issue shortly. But it goes on to say: “An interception squad misunderstood a radio alert from a surveillance team watching the house where the bomb had been assembled. They rammed the wrong car”.
And it talks about it being a bungle. But the interception squad, of course, was the HMSU call sign; isn’t that right?
A. That would have been correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Call signs 8 and 12. Right? Sorry I was talking over you, it was my fault. What was the answer to the question?
A. Yes, the interception squad would have been HMSU officers.
Q. Yes. And although the press referred to this as a radio alert from a surveillance team, they wouldn’t get a radio alert, the HMSU call signs don’t get the radio alert from the surveillance team as such, they get it through directly from you?
A. They get it, yes, it comes into the ops centre and it comes from me back out of the ops centre to them.
Q. So this is a direct allegation that you in some way were responsible for this, you or the HMSU call signs on the ground who had misunderstood the message?
A. That would appear to be the case, yes, my Lord, but I have no knowledge of this about being a pathfinder or a car packed with explosives.
Q. Have you heard this is all completely new to you for the first time today?
A. That’s correct, my Lord, I haven’t seen this before.
Q. Now, I think we’ve agreed that the crews had been deployed at least twice that afternoon to intercept vehicles but those orders had been rescinded; is that right?
A. Yes, they had been put out in anticipation that they might have been requested to stop the vehicle.
Q. And you didn’t actually know why you were being asked to deploy your call signs in order to stop the Orion on this particular occasion, which led to the actual stop?
A. Just clarify when you are speaking about, please, my Lord?
Q. You didn’t know the reason why you were now being told to actually stop this vehicle. Previously you had been asked to stop but then it had been rescinded. This time you were being told to actually stop it, go ahead and stop it?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And you didn’t know what the rationale for that was?
A. Well I knew that the vehicle was of interest to us, my Lord. It had been seen twice in Arizona Street and we wanted to stop the vehicle and identify the driver and wait out for instructions. In the past, my Lord, in such situations those instructions could have been to allow the vehicle to go on its way or it could have been to arrest the driver of the vehicle, which has happened in the past and then subsequently carry on searches.
Q. Yes, but previously the task had been to prepare to stop and then not actually stop. This was an escalation to a new level, go ahead and actually stop?
A. This was a confirmation at this stage, yes, stop the vehicle.
Q. You had always been aware of this vehicle being of interest during the course of that afternoon?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. You didn’t know the rationale for actually stopping it on this particular occasion?
A. Well I knew that it had been sighted twice in the area of interest to us and it was now required to be stopped and the identity of the driver obtained.
Q. We all know that. But you didn’t know the rationale for actually stopping it?
A. I knew the reason, yes. The reason was to stop the car as, as …
Q. Yes, but the reason for stopping it on this occasion as opposed to the previous occasions?
A. The reason on this occasion was to identify the driver and to do it as casually as possible because I was aware there was an ongoing surveillance operation.
Q. It might be quicker just to refer you to what you said to the Coroner on the last occasion. If you look at page 8 of the transcript for 4th October, page 8. Have you got that?
A. Yes, I have, my Lord.
Q. At line 11 the Coroner ask you the questions:
“What was it, I wonder, that changed the order at that stage from prepare to stop to actually stop?” Your answer was: “There was a direction from TCG staff. I am unaware of what their rationale was to increase it at that stage”?
A. Yes.
Q. Is that not the case any more?
A. I wasn’t physically told the rationale but I assumed the rationale and it was explained and told that the car was required to be stopped, it was to be stopped as casually as possible and the driver to be identified.
CORONER: I think we are getting, I think we are getting confused.
MR MACDONALD: We are at cross purposes.
CORONER: At cross purposes, Officer M. I think that if I put it this way, what Mr Macdonald is asking you is that the car had been of interest to TCG surveillance, et cetera, for a period of time. What was the factor that tipped the balance into requiring it to be stopped? Why was it to be stopped at this particular time as I understand is the question that is being asked.
MR MACDONALD: Yes, my Lord.
CORONER: So what suddenly this car was of interest, what suddenly, why did the decision suddenly come to, or what was the reason behind the decision suddenly to require the car to be stopped?
WITNESS: I would assume, my Lord, we had at least two other cars of interest. We had five or six people of interest in the area. I would assume that the car was required to be stopped in order that we could identify and confirm or deny that it is actually involved in the transmission or transport of munitions.
MR MACDONALD: Right. So that means you weren’t actually told anything?
A. I was told to stop the car casually, yes.
Q. You weren’t told why it was being stopped this time?
A. No.
Q. No?
A. My Lord.
Q. Which is consistent with what you said the last time, that there would not have been a discussion?
A. No.
Q. Looking at line 17. So would that not have been a discussion that would have been discussed with you by TCG and your answer was no?
A. No, there wasn’t a discussion.
CORONER: You got, you had the nod from TCG to stop the car but you’re not, as far as I understand it, you’re not aware of what reason suddenly required TCG to have the car stopped. It could have been surveillance evidence, it could have been a number of other things, but you don’t know what that was?
WITNESS: That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
MR MACDONALD: And you revisit this at page 16 or the Coroner revisits it at page 16, the top of the page. There’s a direction coming from the TCG, you didn’t know what the rationale was and you said: “I knew it was part of an operation but no, I don’t know exactly why”?
A. Mm hmm.
Q. Right?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Is that still the case?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. At line 15 I asked: “They were aware of background and a range of possibilities but they had no particular information” this is the crews on the ground “had no particular information about the importance of stopping this vehicle or the driver if the driver were to leave the vehicle?”
And you said: “No, the rationale was to stop the vehicle and identify who the driver was and wait for instructions”.
Is that still the case?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. In other words, you had no information that this vehicle was carrying a bomb, did you?
A. I had no indication, no, my Lord.
Q. And, in fact, you would normally expect two cars to be involved in a convoy if either of them was carrying a bomb; isn’t that right? Isn’t that a normal procedure?
A. That was usually the norm, yes, my Lord.
Q. And that’s why there’s a reference in the press reports to a scout or pathfinder?
A. I can’t comment on the press report, but I would assume that is correct, yes.
Q. Because the procedure commonly adopted at this time by the IRA and other paramilitary organisations was that if they had a bomb in a car they would want a clean car ahead of it as a scout car; isn’t that right?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Well if cars were going to be stopped the first car to be stopped would actually be the scout, the empty clean scout car, that’s the rationale?
A. That would be their rationale, yes.
Q. This vehicle, of course, was travelling on its own as far as you were aware?
A. At that stage, yes, my Lord.
Q. Which is why all you were doing was to, or you were asking the crews on the ground just stop it, find out who the driver is and then wait for instructions?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And can we take it that that’s why you actually expected this car to pull in and stop because of the fact that it would be a clean car?
A. I expected the car to stop for a number of reasons, but that’s one of them. The other reasons being, my Lord, it was a single person driving the car and therefore wouldn’t have been under any pressure from anybody else in the vehicle.
Q. And it was not an active service unit?
A. I didn’t know any of that, my Lord.
Q. But you didn’t believe it to be containing a group of IRA men going on some sort of active service?
A. My Lord, some of the scouts that we have stopped in the past have been armed. Some of the vehicles that we have stopped with only one person in them have contained munitions and primed bombs.
Q. That may be so on other occasions, and nobody is underestimating the general threat that was ever present during that period. But on this occasion with this particular vehicle the reason why you honestly expected the car to pull in and stop was because you had actually no information to suggest there was anything untoward about it, apart from some general belief that it had been acting suspiciously earlier on?
A. And we had also seen it on two occasions at Arizona Street
Q. Yes.
A. where we had a lot of foot movement and we also believed at that stage we had IRA look outs in the area. So yes, it was coming from an area of importance to us.
Q. And that was the height of it?
A. That’s correct, yes. It was coming from an area that is of importance. We have got movement of vehicles, movement on foot and we have got intelligence and there’s possibly a move in munitions.
CORONER: But, Officer M, if you thought for one moment that this was a primed bomb travelling down this particular built up area at the rush hour, the last thing you’re going to do is to ram it with a police vehicle which could set the bomb off, kill all the policemen, the person in the car and a lot of passers by. So is that not right?
WITNESS: That’s correct, my Lord. There had been a different tactic from the word go, there wouldn’t have been the casual.
CORONER: You couldn’t have, you couldn’t have thought that there was a risk that the car was containing a primed bomb because the act of ramming it is completely contrary to that risk, i.e. it would realise the risk?
WITNESS: Yes, there is a strong possibility of that, my Lord, but we have had to do it in the past where we have had to physically stop a car.
MR MACDONALD: And you remember on the last occasion you gave the impression that you weren’t familiar with the suggestion that stopping from behind was a high risk strategy.
A. That’s correct, but I’ve addressed that in relation to what I meant by stopping from behind.
Q. But you were, in fact. So this happened on the same date 4th October, page 17. You remember at line 17, sorry, at line 14 I was suggesting that you would know perfectly well that stopping a vehicle from behind gives rise to obvious risks. Line 17 you said the safest way is to stop a vehicle is from the back?
A. That’s correct, my Lord. A stop from the back from the flashing of the lights and, as I have indicated at the very start from the material that I produced my Lord, that is
Q. I will come to that in just a moment. The next question at line 21: “Is stopping a vehicle from behind not a high risk strategy?
It’s not, no sir.
I will come back to that in due course. But you’re familiar with those terms, aren’t you? The suggestion that stopping a vehicle from behind is high risk strategy?”
And you said you would like it explained a little more to you?
A. Yes, I wanted to know exactly what, were you talking about the forced stop, were you talking about the stop from behind.
Q. But you knew perfectly well what I was talking about, didn’t you, when you were saying that?
A. No, my Lord, I did not, that’s why I asked for it to be explained to me.
Q. These terms came from the McConville report, didn’t they?
A. That term was used, yes, my Lord, in the McConville report, but it was for a different tactic.
Q. I mean the report by the Ombudsman, Police Ombudsman into the death of Mr McConville?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And that was I don’t want spend any time on this, but just for the record you will find this at part C volume 3 is the report, paragraph 14.11?
CORONER: What page is that?
MR MACDONALD: It’s internal page 75 in the report itself. I’m not sure there is pagination in the bundle. Paragraph 14.11, it is page 75. I am obliged to my friends.
CORONER: Page, I have been given two copies, redacted copies of the McConville interviews, is it something else?
MR MACDONALD: It’s the actual statement under Section 62 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998, report on the circumstances of the death of Mr Neil McConville on 29th April 2003. It is internal page 75, paragraph 14.11.
MR MACDONALD: Page 75, my Lord.
Q. Now you see there it’s suggested stopping a vehicle from behind is a high risk tactic which should only have been used when other options had been excluded. If, as suspected, the suspects were armed they would be highly unlikely to be compliant with a police command. As they were ordered to overtake the vehicle at speed these officers were exposed to extreme danger.

And there is further discussion about this being dangerous. And at the end of the paragraph it says: “There are occasions when such tactics are necessary but only after careful consideration of other options. There is no evidence in this case that such careful consideration took place”.

So when I asked you that question about you being familiar with stopping from behind is a high risk strategy, you knew that’s exactly what was said in the McConville report because you were involved in the McConville. I’m not saying you were responsible for what happened at the scene or anything of that kind, but you knew perfectly well that this was a reference in the McConville report?
A. My Lord, this tactic that was used in Mr McConville’s death is a completely different tactic. This is not, this is a tactical vehicle stop. There is when we had intelligence that there were armed people in a vehicle about to go and commit a murder. It’s a completely different stop scenario to what happened in 1992. That stop started off as a stop from the back and then was escalated because of the driver’s failure to stop and responded to by the police who then put in a short pursuit and again, because of the actions of the driver, was responded to again by the police with a forced stop. And by that, my Lord, it was a slight touching of the vehicles, it was not a ramming.
Q. Yes. Well, we’re not going to go through this all again, but is it not the case on the last occasion you were pretending not to know what I was talking about when I was referring to this stopping from behind being a high risk strategy?
A. That’s correct, my Lord. I was talking to the fact of the stop from behind. As I’ve explained a stop from behind to me is the flashing of the lights and the requesting of the driver to pull over. The tactic that’s being talked about in 2003 is a technical vehicle stop which is a completely different thing and I was asking for clarification as to exactly to what the counsel was referring to.
Q. Right. And you’ve not referred us all to the additional material that we have in part C, volume 3. That’s the material you referred to this morning; is that right?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Including reference to chapter 23?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And of course, all this relates to regular stops under the Road Traffic Order, doesn’t it?
A. That’s what we were attempting to do on that occasion in 1992. It was a casual stop to identify the driver.
Q. No. What you were attempting to do had nothing to do with the Road Traffic Order, did it, Inspector M? You were trying to give the impression that it was a stop for the purpose of a defective rear light, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the Road Traffic Order, did it?
A. No, that’s correct, my Lord.
Q. It’s a terrorist operation or anti terrorist operation?
A. Yes, using the guise of the lights as the means to stopping it casually.
Q. Right. So none of the guidance concerning the Road Traffic Order has any application here, does it?
A. Yes, it does, my Lord.
Q. Well, is this all not to do with stopping people for regular road traffic offences?
A. Yes, using the exact same tactic, my Lord. We’re alive to the fact that it might be something other than that, but we’re using the exact same tactic.
Q. Yes. And what may be appropriate for a regular driver who may have a defective rear light wouldn’t be appropriate for someone who you may have some suspicions about?
A. Initially, yes.
Q. And when it’s suggested by an inspector in the Road Policing Development Department that it’s always preferable to stop vehicles from the rear, that really doesn’t apply to the sort of situation we’re talking about here, does it?
A. To identify the driver of a car and not to expose the methodology or to expose an area of interest to us, yes, it is applicable.
Q. Very well. Now, I think you accepted yourself on the last occasion that you could have had vehicle check points here, regular vehicle check points to stop this vehicle?
A. You need time to set up, my Lord, and it could have been an option.
Q. Yes.
A. At one stage.
Q. In fact, you suggested it yourself, didn’t you? Looking at 4th October page 21, the answer at line 6?
A. Mm hmm.
Q. After we’d discussed the various possibilities that may have been considered or not, you said you didn’t consider that this was going to resolve into a high speed car chase, “if that had been the case then I would have put vehicles, my vehicles further out to allow for coverages for VCPs. VCPs cannot be set up at the drop of a hat. You need time”.
But you were recognising that this was something that you could have done?
A. If I had had time and extra manpower, yes. There’s a lot of things that could have been done and one of them could have been looking at the possibility of using VCPs.
Q. But if you had anticipated the possibility of the driver not complying with the instructions you would have taken a different option and your answer was:
“I would have put the crews in different locations possibly, yes.
And yes, can you see how you could be regarded as being at fault in failing to anticipate that obviously eventuality?”
And your answer was: “At this point yes, I can see that now”?
A. Yes, my Lord, I can see those points. But what I’m saying is the driver was on his own and therefore was under no peer pressure. The time of day and the location for the VCP, or the stop from the rear, the fact that the car and its occupant were unaware that they were a subject of a surveillance operation, the fact that the police operation was done at speed and with overwhelming numbers, that all was taken into consideration as to why we used that tactic or why I directed that tactic and the possibility where the stop went in, the car would have been traveling at a relatively slow speed and it is both recognised that it’s physically and mentally harder for a driver not to comply with police in those circumstances. And the tactic also, the actual tactic involved, my Lord, looks to the possibility of noncompliance from the driver and that’s why we use the speed for surprise and overwhelming numbers very quickly to dominate.
CORONER: It looks, Inspector M, as if you did not consider or did not think that the driver was not going to stop in response to the request to pull over. Everything indicated to you that he would respond, single driver, et cetera, rush hour traffic, he would respond.
WITNESS: That is correct, yes, my Lord.
MR MACDONALD: Now can we move on to the debrief? You know from the last occasion that I suggested to you that the purpose of the debrief on this occasion and indeed generally
A. Sorry, could you repeat? I didn’t hear, sorry.
Q. Sorry. Can you hear me?
A. Just about.
Q. Right, sorry. The purpose of the debrief on this occasion was essentially to make sure that everyone was singing from the same hymn sheet?
A. No, that is not the fact, my Lord.
Q. Now, you’ve already admitted it on the last occasion that you yourself had taken part in debriefs where that was the object of the exercise?
A. I had taken part in a debrief in 1982 where it was stressed to me by senior officers that it was necessary to cover the life of a source by not telling the truth.
Q. Well so I don’t have to spend too much more time than we have to on this. At page 56 of 4th October I asked you at line 15, do you have that?
A. I do, yes, my Lord.
Q. Line 15: “Have you ever taken part in debriefs where the object of the exercise was to conceal the truth, fabricate a fictitious account and ensure that all the police officers involved told the same lies?”
And your answer was: “Yes, sir, I have”.
CORONER: To be fair, Mr Macdonald, on the next page he does qualify it by saying that the purpose was to protect the source’s live.
MR MACDONALD: I am going to come to that and deal with it.
Q. So you had been involved in that exercise before but on, as my Lord has pointed out, on that occasion you suggested that the only reason you had done that was to protect the life of a source; is that right?
A. That is correct. It was stressed very strongly to me by senior officers that it was necessary to protect the life of a source.
Q. Of course that was in circumstances where you were making the false statement, and on (inaudible) you, but all the officers here, every single officer involved in that operation on that occasion was doing the same thing; isn’t that right?
A. That’s correct. The three of us made the same cover story to get us to the location but the actual incident was not covered by that cover story.
Q. This particular incident that we’re talking about in the first instance is the hay shed incident at Ballynery; is that right?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. But the context was that you were making a statement to the CID; isn’t that right?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. This wasn’t something that you were announcing to the press, this was within the context of a statement to other police officers?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. You didn’t need to protect the life of the source, if there was a source, from other police officers, did you?
A. It was stressed to me very strongly that was the case, yes, my Lord, that I had to protect the fact it was a Special Branch operation and that was to protect from all.
Q. But there would be no danger to the life of a source by revealing the truth to the CID, would there?
A. My Lord, I can’t answer that question. That’s something that the officers in command at that level need to answer.
Q. And, in fact, you did subsequently explain why you told these lies?
A. That is correct, my Lord. After a period of time and having sought legal advice from a senior QC.
Q. But that didn’t endanger the life of any source, did it
A. I am unaware
Q. you actually done?
A. I am unaware of what had been put in place in the interim, my Lord, to protect that life or what had been done to remove that source from danger.
Q. I want you to look at the Stalker/Sampson report which deals with this issue. And I think we have these in volumes 4 and 5. We will probably need both of them. This is something I didn’t ask about on the last occasion because I wasn’t permitted to do it, which is why I’m doing it now with you. It should be two volumes. I am using a different volume. What does it say on the spine of yours?
SPEAKER: Ballynery.
CLERK: The Stalker report?
CORONER: Are you giving 4 and 5? Yes, volumes 4 and 5.
MR MACDONALD: It should be in volumes 4 and 5, my Lord. I’m using a different copy.
Q. Now do you have that document which was headed: “The investigation of circumstance into the shooting incident at Ballynery Road North”.
Is that on the front page of it?
A. Yes, I have that, yes, my Lord.
Q. Right. So if you could just then to
CORONER: Just hold on a second until I make sure I have got the right one. Yes, I have it now.
MR MACDONALD: On the facing page, the front pages should refer to the investigation of circumstances into the shooting incident at Ballynery Road North. This is an investigation by the Greater Manchester Police.
Q. And if I can ask you then, Officer, to turn to Section 13, paragraph 48. It should be at page 104, internal page 104. It is paragraph 13.48. Do you have that?
CORONER: Sorry, para, page?
MR MACDONALD: Para 13.48.
MR DORAN: I am going to pass another volume forward to your Lordship just in case that’s not the correct one. I think we have identified the correct volume.
CORONER: I do have it actually. Yes.
MR MACDONALD: Officer, do you have that?
A. Yes, I do, my Lord.
Q. Right. Now, I appreciate that in fairness to you, you might not have read this before?
A. I have never seen this document before.
Q. Never seen it before. Right. But I’m taking you to it so I can ask you a question about whether or not it was the truth even to say that the reason why you didn’t tell the truth the first time was because you wanted to protect the life of a source. Right? That’s the context in which I am taking you through this.
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. Now, looking at 13.48 there is reference to a meeting in response to a radio transmission at the monitoring post and, according to officers, they are mentioned there, it’s stated that he could hear voices and metallic noises coming from the hay shed and one officer invited another one to enter the radio room and one was questioned over the radio as to the exact nature of the noises coming from the hay shed. In response an officer relayed the sounds coming from a listening device over the secure radio link to the speaker in the control room.

This was all about, this section is all about the listening device that was in that hay shed at Ballynery; is that right?
A. It would appear to be, yes, my Lord.
Q. And it goes on in a statement an officer recorded from what I have heard I deduced from what I heard I deduced that two men were in the barn cocking and possibly cleaning the rifles. One instructed the other to cause the surveillance operators from E4A to make a pass of the hay shed.

Now that’s where you come in; is that right?
A. That’s incorrect, my Lord, no. That is a surveillance operator, not me.
Q. Not you. Right. At 13.52 the surveillance support unit were directed to the hay shed. Is that you?
A. Sorry, what paragraph is that again?
Q. 13.52?
A. That’s correct, that would have been HMSU.
Q. That’s you. They are directed to the hay shed on the instructions of P2 by P10, the sergeant relayed to the uniformed officers on the ground what was being heard from the hay shed.

Now you’re the uniformed officers on the ground; is that right? Sorry, you are one of the uniformed officers on the ground; is that right?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. I think you were the sergeant, were you?
A. I was one of the sergeants, yes, my Lord.
Q. But the point what’s being said here is that the sergeant relayed to the uniformed officers on the ground that what was being heard from the hay shed. In other words, you were being told what was actually being heard from the listening device in the hay shed; right?
A. My Lord, I can’t remember. All I can remember is being told to go to the hay shed. I can’t remember any of these transmissions.
Q. It seems to be suggested in this report that you were being told what was being heard in the hay shed, in other words this was nothing to do with protecting the life of the source at all. There wasn’t a source who had provided information they are people doing things in the hay shed. This was a listening device that had been placed there some time earlier, a bug?
A. My Lord, I was unaware of where the information was coming from whenever I was being directed to that hay shed.
Q. I think you also claimed on the last occasion that you had told senior officers the truth about all this and they told you to lie and that they accepted all this, that you had told them the full truth and they had told you the lie. Do you remember saying that? It’s at page 60 of 4th October. Do you remember that?
A. My Lord, this bundle only goes to one
Q. Sorry, the transcript. I am sorry for going between different volumes, I am just trying to deal with what you said on the last occasion. You see at page 60 of 4th October, line 8.
“Did they accept, that’s the senior officers, did they accept that you had told them what had really taken place?”
And you said: “Yes, they did, as far as I recall”?
A. That’s my memory of it, yes, my Lord.
Q. But if I could take you to 13 point, this is back to the Stalker/Sampson report, 13.182?
CORONER: I am sorry, Mr Macdonald, what was that?
MR MACDONALD: It’s the Stalker/Sampson report, the same report, my Lord, at 13.182.
MR MACDONALD: Now you see in that paragraph in respect of the debrief the allegation was put to I think we can use that name freely now, can’t we?
Q. The allegation was put to Anderson that he and another officer known here as P2 had told P24, that’s you. You were P24 in this, did you know that?
A. No, my Lord, I was unaware of that.
Q. You take it from me that you are P24. To give the account referring to the gunman in the field and this was done to mine is still redacted here and the fact that it was, presumably conceal the fact was a planned operation. Anderson denied that allegation saying that he did not remember having that conversation with P24. With you. Furthermore when it was alleged that P24 had said that he had not seen anyone with a rifle and that Anderson had been told so, the superintendent replied ‘nobody said that to me’.
Do you see that? So Mr Anderson for one was denying, he was one of the senior officers you are referring to, is it?
A. I don’t believe he is, my Lord. I can’t remember the officers, but if it’s the Mr Anderson that I am thinking of he is a CID officer. I might be confused, my Lord.
Q. Well I think you might be because there’s no suggestion, I think the suggestion is there were two officers involved here, two senior officers. But if you go to the next paragraph 196, paragraph 13.196, that deals with what P2 said. He is another senior officer you can take it from me. For present purpose you can take it from us that he is one of the two senior officers who seems to have been involved in this.

“The allegation was then put to P2 about a cover story had been invented referring to the man with the rifle. He replied ‘I was not part of that’. He vehemently denied that he had instructed P24 to make that reference”.

So the two senior officers who seem to have been at the top of this process denied that they, that you had told them the truth or they had told you what to say?
A. That’s not to my memory, my Lord. I recall the two officers and I recall them telling us we had to have a reason to be at the barn and that’s the reason that they presented to us.
Q. Now you gave evidence about all this, this incident at a trial, didn’t you?
A. I did, yes, my Lord.
MR MACDONALD: I see, my Lord, it is just about to turn one o’clock. That might be a convenient point.
CORONER: Somebody’s phone has gone off as well.
MR MACDONALD: Perhaps your Lordship would rise until two o’clock?
CORONER: Yes, we will say two o’clock. Two o’clock.
WITNESS: Okay, my Lord. Thank you.

(Lunch adjournment)

MR MACDONALD: My Lord, the witness hasn’t been asked yet to return to the court room, unfortunately.
MR MACDONALD: If Officer M could be brought back in, please? I think he is on his way.

Q. Officer M, I had been asking before lunch about the hay shed incident at Ballynery and I just want to finish with that incident by reference to the judgment that was given in the subsequent trial. Do you remember that there was a trial of Martin McCauley subsequently?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And you gave evidence at that trial, didn’t you?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Because you had been involved in discharging rounds at the hay shed?
A. That’s correct, my Lord. I was faced with a person with a rifle and feared for my life.
Q. Yes. Now I just want to refer you to the judgment of Kelly LJ in that case.

(To the Court) This should be found, my Lord, at part C, file 6, item 7. I say should be because in my bundle what we got was actually the transcript of cross examination but not the actual judgment itself, so we do have extra copies of the judgment if it’s not available to everybody.
MR MACDONALD: Now, if you could turn to page, it’s 284 on my copy. I’m not sure if it’s 284. Are there numbers on the bottom right hand corner of yours?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Right. 284?
A. Yes, my Lord, yes.
Q. Now the second last paragraph from the bottom you see where it refers to Mr Harvey?
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. Right. It says: “Mr Harvey attacked the credibility of the police evidence”.
And that included your evidence of course, didn’t it? You gave evidence on oath during that trial?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. As P24?
A. No, my Lord, as witness W.
Q. As what, W?
A. Sorry, X, my Lord.
Q. Is it X, was it?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord. Apologies.
Q. In any event, it says: “Mr Harvey attacked the credibility of the police evidence. His attack had many prongs but fundamentally it was that their untruthfulness was motivated and invented to justify undisciplined, unwarranted and unlawful shooting…”
Which is as you know what is being suggested in the present case involving Pearse Jordan, that there was an unjustified shooting?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And you had given evidence on oath that it was entirely justified in that case in the hay shed case?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And your integrity was challenged in that case, wasn’t it, as you can see from the next sentence? “In a detail that implied commendable industry and thought, Mr Harvey challenged their integrity, the consistency of their evidence and its improbability in the light of the forensic and medical evidence and otherwise”?
A. Yes, I see that paragraph.
Q. I’m taking you to this because it’s a useful summary of what took place in that trial and we don’t want to get bogged down in the detail of the another trial. But your integrity was challenged and your consistency was challenged, wasn’t it?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. At some length. And the judge went on to say in the next paragraph that it wasn’t necessary for him to resolve all the issues in the case but, at the bottom of the page:
“It is necessary for the purposes of this case to say that I have some reservations about the credibility and accuracy of certain parts of their evidence. Unfortunately they enter the arena of credibility under a cloud, the cloud that initially each of them knowingly made a false allegation in first witness written statements to the effect that P24 had seen a man armed with a rifle enter the hay shed and that on seeing this had said so to P32 and P33”.

You, of course, being P24, you may not know that, but I think you were X in the trial but you were subsequently referred to as P24 in Stalker/Sampson and this comes from the Stalker/Sampson material.

So, what’s being referred to is you having allegedly seen a man armed with a rifle and, of course, that wasn’t true as we now know?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And the judge pointed that out and summarised that you’d been directed to the hay shed on Special Branch information and to disclose this would have put their informant in danger of his life. So you were suggesting during this trial also that it was because of the risk of endangering an informant that you had made up that story?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord. I didn’t make up the story, I was directed by senior officers.
Q. Yes. But anyway, you withdrew that allegation and then carrying on:
“All three maintain at this trial that save for this single untruth and its embellishment, the remainder of their initial statements of 25th November 1982 is a completely true account of what happened after they arrived at the hay shed as is their evidence before me”.
So you were suggesting that that was the only untruth that you told and everything else that you said in your statements about that incident was completely true?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. The judge went on to say though:
“I have, however, in the light of the forensic evidence, some of the medical evidence and otherwise, doubts as to whether this is so. My two principle areas of reservation about their evidence are in respect of, first where they fired their shots from into the barn and, second, as to whether they did see the accused and Tighe holding and pointing rifles”.
Do you remember that evidence that you gave?
A. Yes, I remember the evidence I gave.
Q. So you understand that the judge was expressing doubt about the reliability of that evidence?
A. Yes. In relation to where I was actually standing, yes, my Lord.
Q. Well not just about where you were standing, but whether or not the accused Martin McCauley and the deceased Michael Tighe were actually pointing rifles at you at all. Was that not one of the issues that you were cross examined about?
A. I believe it was, yes, my Lord.
Q. Yes. And there’s some discussion then on the rest of page 285 about the number of empty casings discovered. We don’t need to go into all that. But over the page then at 286, half way down then there is the assertion that both Tighe and the accused each held and pointed a rifle in their direction. There is considerable doubts about this?
A. Sorry, my Lord, whereabouts on the page, please?
Q. I am sorry. Page 286, about two thirds of the way down. It’s the first new paragraph there. Do you see it?
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. Just beside the punched hole probably. So this was a reference to your assertion that both Tighe and McCauley had each held and pointed a rifle at you?
A. The only person that I seen pointing a rifle and the only person I gave evidence as seeing pointing a rifle was Mr McCauley.
Q. But the judge had considerable doubts about that too, didn’t he?
A. He had doubts as to where exactly I was standing, yes, my Lord.
Q. Well it’s not
A. As to whether or not I could have seen Mr McCauley with the rifle.
Q. Whether or not anybody pointed a rifle at you at all?
A. No, I believe it was in relation to where I was actually standing as to whether or not.
Q. Well you see the discussion about this in that paragraph. The judge explains why he had considerable doubts about all this.
“These rifles were without ammunition. It’s possible that the accused and Tighe might have held and pointed unloaded rifles at the door to intimidate or frighten off an intruder or passer by set to disturb them. But what if the intruder was the police who had announced his presence and ordered them out? Perhaps in these circumstances they might point the unloaded rifles at police if they thought they were armed only with revolvers and the threat of apparent superior fire power of rifles might cause them to retreat. But these slender possibilities seem to me to lose all substance and can hardly be apposite to a time after gun fire had been directed on to the shed. The police witnesses maintained that the accused and Tighe each reappeared each holding and pointing a rifle a second time after they had fired in, into”
I’m not sure if there’s something missing there “after bursts of gun fire is something I find difficult to accept. In particular, the evidence of a doctor cast considerable doubt as to the accuracy of the police evidence as to the position of the accused when he was shot and the evidence of Dr Press some doubt though less on the position of Michael Tighe when shot”.

And then his conclusion was:
“Having regard to my reservation about the weight of the evidence of these three police witnesses” that is you being one of them “I believe the proper course for me at this trial is to exclude their evidence”.

Now in fairness to you, he went on to say:
“This is not be taken to mean that I disbelieve their evidence completely or have reservations about its entirety. I shall therefore assess the case against the accused on the evidence that’s common case or what the Crown have called the uncontested evidence and the inferences that maybe drawn from it”.

So in other words, although you had given evidence on oath about a number of matters concerning this incident, apart from the reasons why you arrived at the hay shed in the first place, it was all excluded by the judge after he heard your testimony and all the other testimony. Do you now accept that you weren’t actually telling the truth at this trial?
A. No, I do not, my Lord. I was telling the truth and my recollection of where I was standing and what I seen and what I done, my Lord.
Q. So you’re still saying under oath now that what you said to the judge on that occasion, though it was not accepted by the judge, is actually true?
A. Yes, I did see Mr McCauley with a weapon. I had already challenged and fearing for my life I opened fire on.
Q. Now can I move on then to the Tullygally Road East incident? This is in the Stalker/Sampson report, which can be found at part C, volume 5. Now just by way of background, this was an incident on 11th November 1982 where three individuals were shot dead; is that right?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord, three members.
Q. Now just for everyone’s note, you dealt with this on the last occasion at day 9, pages 38 to 42. I’m not going to take you back to them unless I’m required to, but in broad terms is it fair to say that on that occasion you claimed to be unsure of the details of what Mr Brannigan was saying at his trial and why Mr Brannigan was acquitted at his trial? Is that a fair summary?
A. I was not at Mr Brannigan’s trial.
Q. Right. Is that why you were saying that you didn’t really know what his defence was about and why he was acquitted?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Yes. I just want to take to you this report starting off at paragraph 14.118. If you can turn to that. It should be at page 94. Do you have that?
A. Yes, I have page 94, my Lord.
Q. Now 118: “When the members of the Special Support Unit arrived at Gough Sergeant P24” that’s you “took them with the exception of P26 and P24 into an office”.
Now there were a number of officers here involved here, including a Mr Brannigan; is that right? Officers who fired shots at the scene?
A. Yes, I believe so, my Lord.
Q. Yes. So you took them into an office for the purpose of establishing what had occurred. That was a debrief; is that right?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Then over the page at 14.122:
“Constables Brannigan and Robinson confirmed that P24” that’s you “that they too had heard the same sounds coming from the car and this is after the car had stopped and that each of them had placed a similar interpretation on them as that which had been expressed by Montgomery. Robinson said that as a consequence he again fired at the Escort. Brannigan, contrary to what he was eventually to say, also admitted shooting at the car at the crash scene”?
Right. So, is that correct?
A. No, my Lord. Constable Brannigan never said to me that he’d fired at the crash scene.
Q. And where do you think the Stalker/Sampson got that information from?
A. That come from an interview with myself when there was a discrepancy in the wording. It is interview notes that I made to the Sampson team and they, if memory serves me right, and I explained this, my Lord, they meant Sergeant Robinson and Constable, or Sergeant Montgomery and Constable Robinson and not Brannigan.
Q. They misunderstood what you were telling them?
A. If they had been, as counsel is suggesting, my Lord, they were here specifically to investigate those incidents, that would have been they’re experienced officers from a major police service and if that had been the case, my Lord, they would have been making very much of it. There was nothing made of that comment and there was nothing ever said or done in relation to that comment. It was a mistake in the wording.
Q. Yes. You see, the significance of all this was that Mr Brannigan at his trial denied ever firing any shots at the crash scene; isn’t that right?
A. Again that’s my knowledge of it now, my Lord, yes.
Q. But you knew all the time that he had told you that he had fired at the crash scene?
A. That’s not correct, my Lord, no. He had never, he had said to me he had fired at the car but not at the crash scene, not when the car had physically come to a stop. He never mentioned that to me.
Q. Moving to paragraph 15.6 at page 124.
CORONER: Sorry, what was that reference?
MR MACDONALD: 15.6, my Lord, at page 124.
WITNESS: Sorry, my Lord, I don’t have a page 124. It goes to 131.
Q. Say that again?
A. My pages only go up to number 131.
Q. Yes. Well before that 124?
A. Okay. Yes, apologies, my Lord. I have that now.
Q. Yes. Paragraph 15.6:
“What can be completely discredited is Brannigan’s denial that he fired his weapon at the crash scene. The evidence of Dr Renshaw conclusively shows that this officer is lying in this aspect and that he did indeed kill Toban after the car had crashed and when the deceased had been attempting to alight from the Escort. Montgomery and Robinson corroborate Brannigan in this deceit by denying that he fired at that crash scene”?
Of course this is the reason why Mr Brannigan was acquitted.
“But it is significant” in the next sentence “that the first documented account given by Brannigan to Sergeant 24” that’s you “is that he did, in fact, shoot at the car after it had crashed”.
You say that was just all a misunderstanding?
A. I have no knowledge. If that had been the case it would have been reported. I have no knowledge of him ever saying to me that he fired after the car had come to a stop.
Q. Yes. Just to complete this, if I can ask you to look at the Sampson report, volume 2, appendix A?
CORONER: So where is this?
MR MACDONALD: This should be in volume 4 of your Lordship’s bundle.
MR DORAN: Tab 2.
MR MACDONALD: Tab 2. It’s the Sampson report, volume 2, appendix A. It should be page 15.
CORONER: What page is it?
MR MACDONALD: It should be page 15, my Lord.
MR MACDONALD: Yes. Appendix A, paragraph 3.8. Tab 2, my Lord.
MR MACDONALD: Or tab 3 perhaps, my Lord.
SPEAKER: Yes, it is tab 3.
CORONER: Page 15.
MR MACDONALD: Page 15, paragraph 3.8. This is Mr Sampson’s summary of all this.
“Sergeant P24 was, at the time of the operation, in charge of special support unit officers on the ground and shortly after the shooting incident had occurred he spoke to Brannigan. That officer told P24 that he had fired at the crash scene. Had P24 been interviewed during the course of either the initial CID investigation or during Mr McAtamney’s inquiry this crucial evidence may well have been available and necessarily would have undermined the cautioned statements of each of the three officers subsequently charged with the murder of Toman”.

At paragraph 3.10.
CORONER: Sorry, do you want to put that to the witness?
MR MACDONALD: Yes, I am going to ask.
Q. Just so you understand where I am coming from, Officer M, that’s what’s being suggested. And then at 3.10:
“P24 was not seeking to conceal his participation in the incident or the evidence he could offer. Indeed the Sergeant says that prior to this inquiry he was simply never asked about his involvement. Clearly had he been spoken to and this information in particular elicited from him at an early stage then it well have had a profound effect on the course of the trial”.

Now, it obviously would have been better if you’d been formally interviewed about this but, of course, what I’m suggesting to you is that you knew perfectly well that you had this information and that it was of crucial relevance at this trial but that you decided to conceal it or withhold it from the investigators?
A. That’s not the case, my Lord. All these reports are stemming from that one interview with that one sentence with misunderstanding, “they”. The word “they”.
CORONER: Which word are you referring to?
WITNESS: It was a subsequent interview that I made with the Stalker inquiry team, my Lord, and these reports are all stemming from that interview and that one sentence. But I did not know that Constable Brannigan had fired at the car when it was stationary. I was aware he had fired when the car was on the move.
MR MACDONALD: So this is just a misunderstanding on the part of the Stalker/Sampson team?
A. That’s correct, my Lord.
Q. And you remember the last occasion I took you through the Mullacreevie Park episode and the false overtime claim?
A. I’m aware, yes, my Lord.
Q. I don’t think I need to go through that again. It was dealt with on the last occasion.
CORONER: Sorry, that’s which incident is that?
MR MACDONALD: Mullacreevie Park, my Lord.
Q. Essentially in that case Mr Brannigan had to be inserted into the whole incident to fill a certain role that had actually been occupied by a completely different officer; isn’t that right?
A. My Lord, I had no input into that operation other than signing the constable’s F40, his overtime form in good faith.
Q. Well to cut a long story short, you signed, you countersigned an overtime claim form in circumstances where you knew that the officer hadn’t actually been on duty at the time?
A. I did not know at the time of signing that form that the officer had not been on duty. I signed that form as a sergeant in the RUC like any other sergeant presented with a form by a constable who had stated he had had authority to work and I signed it in that faith that he had worked it. I was unaware at the time that I signed it that that was not the case.
Q. Even if that’s right, you subsequently did become aware that he hadn’t actually been on duty for those 40 hours?
A. I had become aware, yes, my Lord.
CORONER: And what did you do when you became aware?
WITNESS: I reported it to my supervisor who was then Inspector V.
MR MACDONALD: V for Victor?
A. Yes.
Q. Yes, or he’s known in this inquest as V?
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. And he told you not to worry about it?
A. He explained to me that it was required again as part of a cover for a source’s life.
Q. And you let it go?
A. I had reported it, my Lord, yes.
Q. Now there were debriefs after these three incidents, isn’t that right? That’s Ballynery Road, Tullygally Road and Mullacreevie Park?
A. My Lord, as I stated, Mullacreevie Park I wasn’t there. I assume there was a debrief, but on the other two occasions, yes.
Q. But the feature of all these, the debriefs after all these incidents was that every single officer who was either involved on the ground or involved subsequently or involved with Special Branch or HMSU or had anything to do with it, made up a fictitious account in order to conceal what had really happened?
A. No, my Lord. The cover story was purely in relation to the barn was why we were at the scene. What happened on the ground was not made up.
Q. I think you agreed this on 5th October last, 2012 at page 51 that the false accounts were agreed by every single officer and then every single officer made statements in line with the false accounts to the CID; is that right?
A. I’m sorry I was trying to find the document you’re speaking of. I didn’t hear the question.
Q. It’s the transcript of your evidence on 5th October 2012?
A. Sorry, what page number, my Lord?
Q. 51.
A. 51.
Q. Line 8.
A. Yes, my Lord, I have 51.
Q. You see how I ask you the same question then? The false accounts were all agreed by every single officer and every single officer made statements in line with the false accounts?
WITNESS: Sorry, it’s not
MR MACDONALD: Sorry, my Lord.
CORONER: Just locate it.
MR MACDONALD: Friday, 5th October 2012, which was Day 9. Page 51.
WITNESS: My Lord, that’s not on my page 51.
Q. It’s not on your page 51. Have you got the right day there? Look at the top right hand corner. Does it say Friday, 5th October?
A. No. Apologies.
Q. Do you have that now?
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. At page 51 line 8, do you see the question and answer there?
A. Yes, my Lord, I see them.
Q. Right. And then I followed that up with another question at line 16:
“Was this practice of conducting these HMSU debriefs prior to CID interviews ever criticised to your knowledge or reviewed?”
And you said: “After every incident it is debriefed and to my knowledge it was never reviewed or commented upon”.
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Now, and again in fairness to you, you may not have been aware of the contents of the Sampson report, but if I could ask you to look at the Sampson report volume 2.

(To the Court) Again this should be in the Court’s volume 4, C4. Volume 2 of the Sampson report. Page 83. This is volume 2, appendix B.
CORONER: Could somebody give me a reference?
MR DORAN: Yes, it’s the same report, my Lord, as was being referred to a few minutes ago at page 83.
CORONER: And what page number is it?
MR MACDONALD: Page 83, my Lord. It should be volume 4, C4. Tab 4. Tab 3.
MR MACDONALD: You see at the last paragraph in that page:
“The debrief is held by senior special Branch officers within a matter of hours of the incidents were, in my view, quite a regular and should not have taken place”.
Do you see that.
A. Yes, my Lord, I see that.
Q. And there’s a discussion about that. And over the page to page 84 there’s some suggestion about what happens when the SAS are involved in an incident and the fact that they have to give statements in a certain way. But then the recommendation at the bottom of page 84 is that:
“The policies and practices of the RUC should in the future reflect the paramountcy of the CID investigations which includes the preservation of evidence and the questioning of suspects and witnesses free from any constraints placed upon that investigation by Special Branch”.

Then at page 92. I am going to take you to another couple of passages and then ask you what you know about this. Page 92, dubious procedures of investigations. Do you have that?
A. I do, yes, my Lord.
Q. “In each of the incidents officers directly involved were removed prematurely from the scene and ill advisedly debriefed by Special Branch officers. The vehicles were wrongly removed. When such shooting incidents occur there should be no debriefings of officers before interviews with the CID unless on the explicit instructions of the chief officer who will accept responsibility”.

And then finally at page 101, item 19. Do you have that?
A. I do, yes, my Lord.
Q. This particular section, this is Chief Constable Sampson’s comments on the recommendations that have previously been made by Mr Stalker. Right. So the previous recommendations that I’ve read out to you come from Mr Stalker and these are Mr Sampson’s recommendations at page 101.
“The removal of men, vehicles and weapons from the scene followed by a Special Branch debrief before they were made available to CID officers, I agree with the recommendations made by Mr Stalker on this issue”.

Now the first question I have for you in relation to this issue is whether you were aware of the contents of this report in relation to that issue?
A. This is the first time I’ve seen these documents is today, my Lord.
Q. Sorry, are you finished?
A. Yes.
Q. Whether or not this is the first time you have seen these documents, were you aware of the contents of these documents, specifically the recommendation that had been made that this practice of having internal HMSU debriefs before the CID appeared on the scene, whether that should be discontinued?
A. This is the first time I’ve seen the recommendation. I have heard of the recommendations, my Lord.
Q. Right. Well does that mean that despite these recommendations there was actually no review of that practice within HMSU?
A. No debriefs since 1982 have taken place with any Special Branch officers present.
Q. No, but since 1982 you had, in fact, been having debriefs before CID appeared?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord. The process for the debriefs remained right up until 2003 and beyond and was commented on by the PONI investigation who found it very helpful.
Q. Sorry, found what helpful?
A. The overview that our debrief presented to them.
Q. Sorry, are you saying that the Police Ombudsman praised HMSU for having internal debriefs before CID were involved?
A. They were present at that debrief, but the process was exactly the same and they passed comment on it, my Lord.
Q. Which Police Ombudsman report are you talking about?
A. I am talking about the shooting incident into Mr McConville.
Q. Right, that was a completely different state of affairs altogether, wasn’t it?
A. But the process was exactly the same, my Lord.
Q. You say the process was the same, was the Ombudsman present during the debrief in the Jordan incident?
A. Sorry, who present?
Q. The Ombudsman, any police ombudsman?
A. Ombudsmen weren’t to the fore in 1992, my Lord, but there was no CID present at the debrief.
Q. No CID present and nobody from the independent Police Complaints Commission or anything of that kind, this was a purely internal HMSU?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Now the McConville episode that you’re talking about was a debrief at which the Ombudsman did have a presence?
A. The Ombudsman was present, yes, my Lord.
Q. Right.
A. But the process was exactly the same. We went through the process as we would have done any other debrief and had done for any other debrief.
Q. With the minor exception that there was an independent person present to witness what was going on, namely the Ombudsman or Ombudsman’s representative?
A. Ombudsman, yes, my Lord, but the process and everything that happened would have happened and did happen as all debriefs up to that point.
Q. So to go back then to 1982 when we know objectively there was a recommendation to the Chief Constable that there should be a review of this practice of the HMSU having these internal debriefs without and before CID being present; right? We know that as a fact?
A. I am aware of that, yes, my Lord.
Q. Right. The question I have for you is whether there was any discussion, whether you became aware of any review actually taking place about this practice?
A. My Lord, as I stated, I have only seen these recommendations now for the first. This is the first I have heard of them.
Q. It’s my fault. The question is really whether or not the Chief Constable complied with the recommendation to review this practice of having internal HMSU debriefs after shooting incidents before the CID were allowed to become involved in finding out what had happened, before the CID were allowed to interview the officers involved. Do you understand?
A. I do, my Lord.
Q. Right.
A. I’m unaware if the Chief Constable did or did not have a review.
Q. You are obviously not privy to what was going through the Chief Constable’s mind, but you would know what happened within HMSU after 1982?
A. After 1982, my Lord, there was no debriefs with Special Branch but the debrief process remained within HMSU.
Q. Right. Well, first of all, just so we’re not confused about this, HMSU is actually a part of Special Branch, isn’t it?
A. A uniformed part of Special Branch, yes, my Lord, at that time.
Q. So all the people present at these debriefs are actually Special Branch, aren’t they?
A. HMSU officers technically were Special Branch officers, yes, my Lord, but uniform Special Branch.
Q. Right, that’s the first point. The second point is that the real issue here is whether the officer, the HMSU officers involved in a shooting incident should be allowed to confer with each other during the course of a debrief before being interviewed independently and separately by the CID. Do you understand?
A. My Lord, conferring was allowed in the English situation but we disallowed it. It was a debrief of all officers present. It wasn’t independent crews. It was everybody and it was run and documented.
Q. But the point is that after 1982 and after the Stalker/Sampson recommendations HMSU carried on having these internal HMSU debriefs without CID being anywhere next or near the place; isn’t that right?
A. That’s correct, my Lord.
Q. Yes.
A. We had debriefs and if the CID weren’t present then we run the debriefs.
Q. And that’s what happened after the shooting of Pearse Jordan, didn’t it? There was an internal HMSU debrief at which CID played no part?
A. I have been informed, my Lord, that CID were going to be delayed for quite some considerable time and that time turned out to be 23 hours.
Q. Yes.
A. And therefore they were not present at that debrief.
Q. Yes. But you went ahead and conducted a debrief with all the officers involved in the shooting?
A. That is correct, my Lord. As I stated I had a number of issues over and above the actual event. I had a concern for under car booby trap and I had a concern reference the arrested person and his custody clerk.
Q. And this was done before CID were able to interview any of the officers?
A. That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And during that debrief the first officer who gave an account of what happened was Officer A; is that right?
A. I can’t remember the sequence, but I don’t believe it was Officer A.
Q. Well, do you want to look at the debriefing notes?
A. Yes, please, my Lord.
Q. There’s a core bundle and there are debriefing notes. If I could start with Q’s debriefing notes at tab 1.
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. And you see on the very first page there’s a list of letters with cyphers and then on the next page is entitled something, 6.45, 25th November 1992; right?
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. The third page at the top says something from TCG both vehicles came out together. Do you have that?
A. I do, yes, my Lord.
Q. On that page go down about two thirds of the way down. This looks to be page 120 in my papers. You will see the description that was given.
“A out of vehicle. Saw him running across the road. A saw another car coming. A not aware who. A saw driver. A saw driver spin round. A fired a short burst”.
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. And you can take it from me, unless I am corrected, that a similar passage appears in Officer V’s notes in terms of the sequence in which the officers gave their accounts. Just for every one’s note, it appears in paragraph 21 of V’s debrief notes at tab 6 that Sergeant A gave his description of what took place. So do you now accept that Sergeant A was the person who gave an account first?
A. I do, yes, my Lord.
Q. And he gave that account of the driver spinning round
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. before he shot him. And all the other officers
CORONER: Sorry, where is that?
MR MACDONALD: Sorry, my Lord. This appears in Q’s notes in the core bundle, tab 1 on the third page at two thirds of the way down: “A saw another car coming. A not aware who. A saw driver spin round. A fired a short burst”.
CORONER: Yes. Whose notes are those?
MR MACDONALD: That’s Officer Q.
MR MACDONALD: And also Officer V his notes appear in the same core bundle at tab 7.
MR MACDONALD: And the third page at paragraph 21 it’s recorded that Sergeant out of police vehicle. Approximately 75 feet above St John’s Church. Saw driver run across the road country wards at an angle towards the general direction of Andersonstown. Sergeant saw another car traveling city wards. I was also aware of the driver Orion who spun round on the road towards him. Sergeant fired at this person who he noticed was clutching his wrist, arm”.

Then the other officers who were in call sign 8 and 12 listened to Sergeant A give his account, isn’t that right?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Before they gave their accounts?
A. That would be correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And you see how if the officers were minded to support Sergeant A, they were in a position to give accounts that either supported his account, corroborated his account or, alternatively, did not undermine his account?
A. That would be correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And that’s a danger that you knew to exist way before 1992; isn’t that right?
A. No, my Lord. The accounts are given and documented.
Q. Yes, but you had always been aware there was a danger, if officers were allowed to confer together or be present at the same debrief listening to the account of the officer responsible for a shooting, that they could give an account that would corroborate that account or at least not undermine it?
A. I would have a concern if they were in small numbers, but this is an open forum with everybody present. But, yes, if all the officers in that room were so minded, it’s not beyond possibility, but you would need all the officers. It’s not small group of a car crew or one or two officers involved, it’s everybody in the one room.
Q. Right. Well first of all there was nothing open about this, is there, because it’s limited to the HMSU; isn’t that right?
A. It was limited because of time, my Lord. If the CID had been present they would have been at that debrief.
Q. And as for the difficulty of all officers having to agree to this, was that not exactly the feature that you had agreed had happened before with HMSU, that all the officers present did agree with a false account?
A. That’s correct, in 1982. But I had learned from my experience in that incident as did other officers and that was never going to happen again, my Lord.
Q. The point is that there was a track record here in the HMSU of, first of all, making up fictitious accounts of shootings and, second of all, all the officers covering for all the other officers; isn’t that right?
A. First of all, my Lord, there was no fictitious making up of accounts. It was a cover story as to why we were in certain areas.
Q. Well, there was a tradition, I’m not arguing with you about this, there was a tradition of making up stories, cover stories?
A. That had happened once in 1982.
Q. Well it happened three times in a space of three weeks, didn’t it?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And there was, of course, a culture of HMSU officers protecting each other; wasn’t there?
A. That’s incorrect, my Lord. An honest debrief was run after every event, should it be an arrest, a search and sadly on occasions when somebody has lost their life, but it’s the same process.
Q. Well the whole object of the cover ups in 1982 was to frustrate any external inquiry into the conduct of the HMSU; is that right?
A. That’s incorrect, my Lord. It was, the cover ups were for the protection of a source as directed by senior officers to us.
Q. Well, the story about protecting a source only applied to one of the three incidents in 1982; isn’t that right?
A. I don’t know how many sources were involved but yes, in my own personal experience it was to protect the life of the source.
Q. You see I want to suggest to you that this culture of protecting the HMSU and frustrating external inquiries into their conduct continued right through the time of the Jordan incident right up indeed to the McConville incident?
A. That’s incorrect, my Lord. If I may, I would draw your attention to the bundle of documents I produced this morning to show my helpfulness to that inquiry to Mr McConville and that was throughout all inquiries, my Lord, not just to that particular incident?
Q. Yes. You claimed on the last occasion to have cooperated with the McConville inquiry, didn’t you, the Ombudsman’s inquiry into the McConville shooting?
A. I did and I do, my Lord.
Q. And if I could ask you to look at the McConville report at bundle C3, chapter 12?
MR MACDONALD: Do you have that?
A. I do, my Lord.
Q. You see there’s some discussion about the background to this?
A. Sorry, which part of 12 are we talking about?
Q. Sorry?
A. Sorry, which paragraph in chapter 12?
Q. 12.1 to start off with. There were at least four officers with the detective superintendent in the Belfast control room and there was a Sergeant EE. He was accompanied by Inspector NN, who was the senior officer in charge of the HMSUs. That’s you, isn’t it, NN?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And at 12.2 a statement was provided by Inspector NN; right?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. 12.5: “The issue of tactical advice became of importance to the inquiry as a clear contradiction was emerging between what Detective Superintendent BB was stating and the statements of Officer NN and EE. Letters were be sent through the PSNI stating that Police Ombudsman’s investigators wished to interview Officers NN and others with a view to clarifying some issues and to take further witness statements from them. No response was received to the request from any of the officers”?
CORONER: What paragraph is that you are reading from?
MR MACDONALD: 12.5, my Lord, at 61.
WITNESS: My Lord, in relation to the letter on 14th October 2004 I made inquiries with the RUC PONI liaison office at headquarters in relation to that and they never received that letter, therefore it could not be transmitted to me that I was actually required by PONI who subsequently sent another letter in January which I did respond to.
MR MACDONALD: Well that’s what the report goes on to say.
“No response was received to this request and further letters were sent on 6th January 2005. Sergeant EE and Inspector NN then refused to be interviewed or make a further statement but agreed to respond in writing to questions asked”.
Do you think that was cooperating fully?
A. My Lord, at this stage it was a disciplinary action. There are directions from my police federation in relation to how to respond when you are then subsequently the subject of an alleged breach of duty.
Q. Well the fact is you refused to be interviewed, didn’t you?
A. That’s in the directions of the police federation, my Lord. But I did ask for what clarification was required and I did produce written answers to that clarification.
Q. Yes, that appears in paragraph 12.6 that written questions were provided and there was a response in writing from you; right?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Then turning to 12.10, page 63?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. “Inspector NN was interviewed under disciplinary caution?”
A. That is correct.
Q. “Refused to answer the vast majority of the questions?”
A. Because the vast majority of the questions, my Lord, were not directed to the alleged breach of duty, and once those questions come round to what was on my OMB3 form, which is the complaints form, the alleged complaints form then I answered fully.
Q. So the Ombudsman here misunderstood again the reasons for the questions and the fact that you couldn’t answer the question?
CORONER: Sorry, you refused to answer them. What was the reason you gave?
WITNESS: My Lord, I was served, and again it is in the bundle of papers that I gave this morning, that I had failed to fill out of a pro forma. I was being disciplined or questioned under a disciplinary taped interview as to why that form had not been filled out. The regulations from the federation and from the Northern Ireland Office are that I am obliged to answer questions in relation to that alleged failure in duty and that’s exactly what I done. I answered fully.
MR MACDONALD: So when the Ombudsman says that you refused to answer the vast majority of questions, that’s because the Ombudsman really didn’t understand that you weren’t in a position to answer the vast majority of questions; is that what you’re saying?
A. It was explained. I had a federation representative with me and it was explained to the interviewees or interviewers, sorry, exactly what I was prepared to do and that’s exactly what I did do. I answered every question that was put to me in relation to the alleged duty and, in fact, I gave quite a lengthy answer in relation to those facts.
Q. Paragraph 12.12 it says:
“During the course of the interview the contents of his written response to questions was read to him. This was a computerised typed PSNI report form. This had been sent through his line manager where it was handed to the Police Ombudsman’s investigator. Inspector NN claimed the version the investigators had read was not his original statement but had been altered and words deleted”.

So at this stage you’re now suggesting that someone in the Ombudsman Office has changed your statement and deleted parts of it; is that right?
A. My Lord, I had almost 30 years service at that stage. This is the first time I had been interviewed for discipline by the Ombudsman. I was stressed and three times in that interview the interviewers told me that the questions had to be altered or changed. I was making the inquiry. Also my report had originally been dated 20th and the one presented to me was the 28th. Taking all these facts into consideration, I asked why this was so and I was subsequently informed that the interviewer was reading of a previous draft that he had done of the questions and was using them as interview notes. I also found that the alterations that I had authorised had been sent to the PONI office and re dated the 28th, which explained the difference in the date of my response and on finding those facts out, my Lord, I made no complaint.
Q. Well, it wasn’t quite that simple, was it? You made a complaint orally first of all during this interview that somebody in the Ombudsman’s Office had altered your statement, deleted parts of it, essentially falsified it and changed the date, and then following that interview at paragraph 12.13, you had your solicitor send a letter?
A. Sorry, which paragraph, my Lord?
Q. 12.13. You had your solicitor send a letter restating that complaint about the information being altered in your statement; is that right?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. But then as things developed at paragraph 12.16 there was a meeting at which the head of C4 branch stated his belief that, in fact, the officers had amended these reports themselves, these statements themselves?
A. My Lord, that’s correct. I changed several words in my draft, but I was expecting it to go forward under the same date but it wasn’t the case. I arrived into a taped interview. I was stressed about the interview, and then I am informed by the people interviewing me that on three occasions their questions had also been altered or changed. I was merely asking on trying to find out why this was so.
Q. Well you weren’t just asking. You were alleging that the Ombudsman’s investigators were falsifying your statement?
A. That’s the letter that went from the federation solicitors, but yes.
Q. That is the federation’s fault then really, not yours?
A. Well I had a federation representative with me and they drafted the letter, but I am asking the question, as I have indicated, on three occasions in that interview I was informed that the questions that I was being asked at the interview were different from those that I had been supplied with.
Q. This came to a culmination at paragraph 12.17 where you eventually accepted that you had made the amendments yourself and you withdrew the allegations that you had previously made; is that right?
A. I had become aware, yes, it had been re dated but I had also been informed why the questions from Police Ombudsman’s Office had been changed and it was an earlier draft and being used as interview notes and I was more than content then, my Lord, and nothing further was done.
Q. During the process is it the case that you were actually obliged to answer disciplinary questions concerning yourself but not necessarily questions concerning other officers; is that the way it worked?
A. Again, my Lord, I never had a disciplinary investigation before. My understanding, and it remains to be my understanding, I am obliged to answer the allegation put to me in the disciplinary form, which is the OMB3 and that disciplinary form stated that I had failed to fill out a pro forma and that’s what the disciplinary interview was about, was the failure of me allegedly filling out that pro forma.
Q. But when you were asked questions about the roles of other officers, you declined to answer those questions, didn’t you.
A. That’s correct, my Lord.
Q. Yes, because you didn’t want to undermine anything that the other officers were saying?
A. That’s incorrect, my Lord.
Q. But you see the pattern here all the way through this period from 1982 at the latest up to 2005 where HMSU officers are having these internal debriefs, CID are not present, then they back each other up and in your case McConville you weren’t prepared to answer any questions about any other officer?
A. My Lord, I was asked in the McConville about firearms tactical advice. I had explained it orally to one of the investigators and subsequently asked to make a statement as to what I had said orally. I did that. Subsequent to that I was then asked further questions in relation to that, I answered those and then it is alleged that I hadn’t filled out a pro forma.
Q. In other words, what I am suggesting to you, Inspector M, is that there would be nothing new or strange about the HMSU getting together, making up an account of how a shooting incident occurred and then everybody backing each other up?
A. That’s totally false, no.
MR MACDONALD: Can I just have one moment, my Lord?
Q. Just one last matter. Is it right that ordinary police units when they have radio transmissions, making or receiving radio transmissions that those transmissions are recorded on a tape recorder of some kind or recording device?
A. As far as I’m aware that is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. But HMSU don’t record their transmissions?
A. That is correct, my Lord. It’s a direction from the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office.
Q. And why is that, do you know?
A. I am led to believe, my Lord, it is to protect the life of sources, it’s to protect methodology and capability.
Q. Yes. Well maybe you are not the person to ask then about this, if this is a direction from above. But these recordings would be kept within the police service, would they not?
A. I have no idea, my Lord, in relation to how those tapes may or may not be kept.
MR MACDONALD: Yes. Thank you very much, Officer M.
WITNESS: Thank you.

Q. Just a few matters, please, Officer. You were making two points about the debrief in respect of other matters that were concentrating your mind in respect of the arrest and in respect of the under car booby trap device that was reported to you as being found?
CORONER: Let make it absolutely clear, Mr Montague, we are now back to the debrief in respect
MR MONTAGUE: Yes, I am sorry, my Lord.
CORONER: I am sorry, Officer M.
MR MONTAGUE: Sorry, you are quite right, my Lord.
CORONER: Just so you understand, you’re going back now to the incident that’s under consideration, what happened with Pearse Jordan.
WITNESS: Thank you, my Lord.
MR MONTAGUE: And you’re making the point about two other considerations that were relevant to the debrief?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And could you explain to my Lord how they were relevant to the debrief?
A. Firstly, my Lord, the officers had stated during their searches they had come across, at 5.38 I think, that they had found an under car booby trap and possibly others behind it. I had concerns that if that was the case, I either had to issue or have issued a warning to security personnel in Belfast, or possibly wider, that a car bomb campaign was either about to start or was in the process of ongoing. That’s important for the lives of security forces throughout the province and I needed to confirm if it was an under car booby trap.
WITNESS: The second point
MR MONTAGUE: How was the debrief going to assist that?
A. The officers then would be able to give me a description or physically tell me what it was. It transpired subsequently not to have been a under car booby trap but possibly a timer power unit.
Q. We will come to that presently in the course of the evidence as it unfolds.
CORONER: What did you say it was?
A. Timer power unit my Lord.
MR MONTAGUE: And there are photographs of the device, my Lord.
CORONER: It was a time.
MR MONTAGUE: Time and power unit. Timer and power unit. Timer power unit.
Q. Which would be used for what purpose?
A. It can used for a number of purposes, my Lord. It’s normally used for the priming of or setting the timer on car bombs, mortar attacks, booby trap bomb, if you wanted to leave it on a timer.
Q. And was this information that was disclosed to you as a result of the debrief?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And then the second factor is in relation to the arrest that had been made?
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. What is the relevance of it to that, the debrief to that arrest?
A. It gave a consolidated summary for the CID officers who had been investigating that particular arrest and it included the fact that a balaclava had been found. The details of the person arrested, who owned the location where the suspect device had been found, other persons present.
Q. Now then if we move away from the debrief on the day in question in relation to the death of Mr Jordan and go back to where we finished off where Mr Macdonald was asking you about the PONI investigation into the death of Mr McConville. Now you have exhibited a number of documents to the Court or to a bundle and you wish to rely on those, including a post incident log?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. And that starts at page 13?
MR MONTAGUE: Of the additional bundle, my Lord, that was provided this morning. It is a small, small file saying “Officer M additional material”.
MR MONTAGUE: And this goes through to page 21.
Q. What’s the purpose of bringing this log to the Court’s attention, please?
A. My Lord, some of the requests that I was getting from the Police Ombudsman’s Office I was returning answers within six and seven minutes. Some of the other things I was having done as quickly as possible on the same day, and if it couldn’t be done explanations were being sent as to why they couldn’t be done.
Q. So, for instance, if we turn to page 15, the first entry just on the subject of debrief, if you read that entry, please. 11.40 hours, 1st May 2003. Have you got it?
A. Yes, 11.40, page 15.
Q. Yes. If you read that entry and then tell my Lord what the significance of that is?
A. That’s the process that was in place for officers who had been involved in a traumatic incident to seek medical help and that was me making arrangements for that to be done.
Q. Yes. And then you have already drawn the Court’s attention to page 22, and this is confirmation from PONI that you identified yourself as providing tactical advice during Operation Trill?
CORONER: Sorry, what page are we on now?
MR MONTAGUE: Page 22, my Lord.
WITNESS: That’s correct. I identified myself as being one of the officers who had given tactical advice during that operation.
MR MONTAGUE: And you have exhibited, just over the page at 23, the relevant extracts from the interview in which that is acknowledged by the investigator, the PONI investigator?
A. That’s correct, my Lord.
Q. And you’ve highlighted that?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord.
Q. Why do you, why are you at pains to bring this to attention of the Court?
A. Because in the PONI report it states that nobody indicated that they had been responsible for giving tac advice during that operation.
CORONER: Sorry, say that again?
WITNESS: During the PONI investigation and subsequent report it is reported that nobody, no police officer had identified themselves as having given tac advice in relation to Mr McConville’s incident.
MR MONTAGUE: That was a criticism?
A. That was a very damming criticism, yes.
Q. And you want to exhibit this material to show that it’s fundamentally mistaken?
A. That is correct, yes, my Lord. It’s both, I had in writing and verbally from that investigation that that’s not the case.
CORONER: Well whenever the report was published did you draw that to the Ombudsman’s attention?
WITNESS: I sent in a very large comment page in relation to the Ombudsman’s report, my Lord.
CORONER: Did you get a response?
WITNESS: I got very little response, my Lord.
MR MONTAGUE: Did you take issue with a number of the findings of the Ombudsman that the Court has already heard this afternoon?
A. Yes, my Lord. It runs to about 13 or 14 pages.
Q. Then at page 25 and subsequent, 25 and 26 you have referred to extracts from a document and you’ve highlighted matters that are illegible on my copy. I’m not sure about my colleagues.
CORONER: What page are we at?
MR MONTAGUE: Page 25, my Lord.
MR MONTAGUE: Now, from where have these extracts been taken, please?
A. These are issued by the police federation in relation to what is expected of an officer if you are under an investigation by a PONI investigation team.
MR MONTAGUE: My Lord, is your copy perhaps like?
CORONER: It’s hopeless.
MR MONTAGUE: Hopeless. Well we will get you a clean copy.
WITNESS: I have the original.
Q. You have the original. And what is that that you’re holding up? Just hold it up. So what is it exactly?
A. It’s an aide memoire for officers and it was issued by the Police Federation in Northern Ireland.
MR MONTAGUE: I wonder if that could be shown to the Court, please?
Q. And whilst my Lord is looking at this document, could you explain what is a regulation notice, a regulation 9 notice and its significance, please?
A. Again this is the first time that I’d come under investigation but it lays out, I’m led to believe, the actual allegation against you, against the police officer.
Q. And the PONI report criticised you for the manner in which you conducted yourself during the course of their interviews?
A. They did, yes, my Lord.
Q. And what is the relevance of this document to your conduct during those interviews?
A. My Lord, it highlights the fact that I wasn’t obliged to answer the majority of the questions that were put to me and I was not being obstructive. I answered fully in relation to those that were on the regulation 9 form.
MR MONTAGUE: Thank you very much.
MR DORAN: There are no further matters that I want to pick up on at this stage, my Lord.
CORONER: Thank you, Officer M. There are just a couple of matters that I want to ask so I can understand. First of all, are munitions and explosives, are they different? Munitions are guns and explosives are bombs, if I can put it that way?
WITNESS: Yes, my Lord. It is so officers I know technically legally it is not different but it is to let officers know that there is a difference.
CORONER: And you say munitions and explosives, I should understand them to be different, one is guns and the other is explosives?
WITNESS: That is correct yes, my Lord.
CORONER: So in relation to the two calls signs 8 and 12, what information did, I think it was call sign 8 have about the vehicle which was asked to stop? Where would it have got that information?
WITNESS: That information would have been passed from the operations room, my Lord.
CORONER: And who gave that information?
WITNESS: That would have been possibly transmitted by R.
CORONER: So it would have been information from HMSU?
WITNESS: Yes, my Lord. It was coming from their operations, our operations desk.
CORONER: And therefore that would be information that you would have known, so just whenever the decision was taken to stop the red Orion, what information did or was communicated to call sign 8 as to what was the position with the red Orion?
WITNESS: Yes, the officers were aware at that stage that this car had been seen at least twice at Arizona Street, had been acting suspiciously prior to that at the Whiterock Leisure Centre. The officers were informed to have it stopped as casually as possible so we could identify the driver.
CORONER: Yes. But they didn’t have any information that it was carrying, there was a suspicion but they didn’t have any information that it was carrying munitions or explosives?
WITNESS: None at that stage, but obviously whenever the car sped off that suspicion probably arose.
CORONER: Now just so I understand the log. If I went to the, at this time had the log that was kept by Q, what did that comprise of? What did it comprise?
WITNESS: HMSU is a reaction log from the moment we are asked to do something, my Lord.
CORONER: Yes. Well first of all is it in a notebook?
WITNESS: No, my Lord, it is, at that stage it was in, the document was a loose leaf document and it’s as you see it in front of you, the lines, et cetera. If I might just find it.
CORONER: Yes. Well where is it kept? I mean I can understand if it’s in a notebook to start at page 1, you go through it and nobody can rip out a page, because if a page is ripped out it’s missing. If I went on 25th November 1992 would there be another log starting going right to the bottom of the next page or what would happen? How would that have been completed.
WITNESS: The log is individual pages, my Lord.
WITNESS: As loose leaf like this. I believe possibly now they’re bound into books and numbered, but at that stage it was loose leaf as you see in your bundle in front of you, my Lord.
CORONER: It doesn’t have sequential numbers on the top or on the bottom?
WITNESS: No, my Lord.
CORONER: Right. So how do you know that this was the start of the log in respect of this incident?
WITNESS: I was there, my Lord, from shortly after one and it’s the first time that we’d confirmation from our tasking agency that we were required to do something and our logs starts from those points.
CORONER: Yes. But, for example, a possibility would be that there was another page. It’s a long, long time ago, another page might have been lost. Can you look at the previous document that commenced on 25th November 1992 say up to lunchtime on that date?
WITNESS: No, my Lord, these are all loose leaf.
WITNESS: So they are written on as required, so the previous operation or the one coming behind it is not in sequence.
CORONER: Do we know when the previous operation ended? I mean it must be done, presumably kept on a time basis, are they?
WITNESS: Sorry, my Lord?
CORONER: They are kept in chronological order.
WITNESS: No, they are kept for individual operations, my Lord. Not every day would we keep a log.
CORONER: So, where then are these individual sheets for an individual operation stored? How do you see decide how to keep them?
WITNESS: My Lord, the blank sheets are normally or were normally kept in the operations room.
CORONER: Yes. What about the completed sheets, where are they put?
WITNESS: The completed sheets would have been put with the bundle in relation to that particular operation and then locked into a secure cabinet within a secure room.
CORONER: Were they put in a ring binder or how are they retained? Are they just left loose in a folder or what’s the position?
WITNESS: I am not sure, my Lord.
CORONER: I’m just trying to get a picture as how they are kept. I mean are they punched, for example? I mean these are punched but I mean are the originals punched?
WITNESS: I don’t know. It is down to the log keeper. Some may have been. Normally, my Lord, they wouldn’t have been punched. They would have been either stapled together or kept together with the rest of the documents for that operation.
CORONER: It does seem it has been stapled together, but one doesn’t know whether that has been stapled for the purpose of this or whether they were stapled at the time.
WITNESS: If my memory serves me right, my Lord, if there were more than one or two pages they would have been stapled.
CORONER: Stapled in chronological order?
WITNESS: That would be correct, yes, my Lord.
CORONER: Do you know what the thinking was as to why they didn’t have a notebook, if I can put it that way, for these incidents that anyone came on, you just put them down, made a note of the time that you entered it on and they’re all in one book in chronological order?
WITNESS: No, my Lord, I don’t know why that wasn’t.
CORONER: The purpose of the debrief, as I understand, is to go through exactly what happened; is that right?
WITNESS: Yes, it is to obtain a brief account of what happened, my Lord.
CORONER: And you use the log notes to provide a form, so you go through what’s in the log notes to provide a form to the debrief?
WITNESS: That’s correct, yes. You use the log as a basis for your debrief.
CORONER: But in this case you don’t have any notes at all up until 5.03 so, yeah?
WITNESS: That’s, yes, my Lord.
CORONER: So, the information behind then is solely dependent on your memory or the memory of the operatives, although, as you say, an awful lot was going on. Is it not easy in those circumstances to miss something?
WITNESS: On this occasion there was quite a bit of activity going on.
WITNESS: Lots of vehicles, lots of people.
CORONER: Is that not all the more reason why you’d want a log so that you could come in and say ‘well, such and such happened at that particular time’? Because you’re not going to remember, for example, when you decided that or when it was thought that you were going to stop car A, although you may have ultimately decided not to do that. But that information wouldn’t be available purely from your memory, it would be very hard to remember the time.
WITNESS: That’s correct, yes, my Lord.
CORONER: Yes. Thank you very much, Officer M. You are free to go.
THE WITNESS: Thank you, my Lord.
CORONER: Thank you for coming.