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John Paul Wootton to take legal action over prison move

John Paul Wootton
Connla Young

ONE of the men convicted of the murder of police officer Stephen Carroll is threatening legal action in a bid to force authorities to transfer him away from the high-security Maghaberry Prison.

John Paul Wootton (30), who is currently serving an 18-year term, wants to serve the remainder of his sentence at Magilligan Prison in Co Derry, which is a medium security facility.

He and fellow Co Armagh man Brendan McConville, who is serving 25 years in Maghaberry, were convicted of the murder of Mr Carroll, shot dead as he responded to a 999 call in Craigavon, Co Armagh, in 2009.

Wooton left the prison's Roe House, which holds the majority of republican inmates, several years ago.

Now considered a Category B prisoner, he is currently held in the jail's Davis House,

Family members say they and trade union activists held a protest outside the Co Antrim prison last weekend to highlight his demands for a transfer.

It is understood Wootton wants to serve the remainder of his sentence at Magilligan in order to have access to educational and other opportunities.

Part of the protest was to highlight claims that he has been refused participation in prison support programmes, educational mentoring schemes or allowed to sit on prison committees.

Solicitor Gavin Booth, of Phoenix Law, who has sent pre-action correspondence to prison chiefs, said delays by authorities in responding to his clients request for a transfer "is well outside the bounds of what could be considered reasonable or lawful".

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Prison Service said: “We do not comment on individuals.”

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