Court hears son of Stephen Carson cried when he found his murdered dad

Stephen Carson. Picture by Alan Lewis
Stephen Carson. Picture by Alan Lewis

A SCHOOLBOY told police that he "started to cry'' when he found his father lying on his back and his hand covered in blood seconds after he was shot in their home.

The nine-year-old's video recorded interview with PSNI detectives was played yesterday to the jury sitting on the trial at Belfast Crown Court of three men accused of the murder of Stephen Carson.

David James Francis Smith (35) and Michael Lawrence Smith (39), both of Monagh Drive, and Francis Gerard Patrick Smith (42), of Glenmurray Court, all in west Belfast, deny murdering Mr Carson.

Francis Smith further denies possession of a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances while Michael Smith has pleaded not guilty to carrying a firearm with intent to commit murder.

The 28-year-old was blasted to death with a shotgun as he hid in the bathroom of his home in Walmer Street off the Ormeau Road in south Belfast on February 25, 2016.

Mr Carson's son told police that on the day of the murder, he and his father's fiancee had been out shopping for new clothes for his bed and she had bought him a game.

He said he was in the living room with her when his father came home with treats.

"My daddy went into the bathroom. I heard people banging on the door. Then they came in and the man with the gun pointed it at us and told us to 'sit down and don't move'.''

The young boy said that a total of three men came into the house while a fourth remained outside.

He told detectives that one of the men "sprayed us with pepper spray.'' He said his dad's fiancee "couldn't see and I got some in my throat.''

The schoolboy described the gunman as a "bit taller'' than the other two males. He said he had his mouth and nose covered and was wearing a dark green rain coat and boots. He said a third man was armed with a hammer which had a "red handle''.

The jury heard the boy, now aged 11, tell detectives that the gunman was shouting about "the wee tout'' as he stood in the living room.

The witness told detectives that the gunman then went to the bathroom and "shot my daddy''.

He said after the shooting, the gunman shouted: "Come on quick, get into the car, the cops are coming'' and the three men left the house.

During his 50 minute interview, the witness said that after the shooting he went to the bathroom.

"The door was open a wee bit. I was trying to push the door but I couldn't get in. I saw my daddy and started to cry.

"We had a dog box in the bathroom and he was lying on the dog daddy was lying on his back on the dog box.

"I saw a lot of blood and his eyes were open. He was lying there with his hand on his chest.''

He added that his dad's fiancee then came to the bathroom, saw him lying on the floor and "she was crying''.

The trial continues.