Northern Ireland

Police officer charged with assaulting republican linked to DCI Caldwell shooting

Brian Carron pictured before an appearance at Dungannon Court in 2018.  Picture by Pacemaker
Brian Carron pictured before an appearance at Dungannon Court in 2018. Picture by Pacemaker

A police officer is being charged for allegedly assaulting a high profile Co Tyrone republican linked to the shooting of senior PSNI detective John Caldwell in Omagh.

Brian Carron (38) is currently a remand prisoner in Maghaberry, charged with the attempted murder of Detective Chief Inspector Caldwell in February.

From Claremount Drive in Coalisland, Carron had complained to the Police Ombudsman he was assaulted by another officer on October 18, 2020.

The Belfast Telegraph reported the officer has now been charged and will appear in court later this month.

In 2019, charges against Carron for possessing firearms, explosives and articles for use in terrorism had been dropped.

It had been part of an investigation that was linked to the murder of PSNI officer Ronan Kerr in 2011, although not directly linked to his death.

The charges were reported to have been withdrawn over evidential issues.

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Carron has made multiple complaints about how stop and search powers were used against him, including claims that his 13-year-old son was handcuffed by the PSNI.

The senior republican is now among seven men jointly charged with attempted murder of DCI Caldwell, including Jonathan McGinty (28) from St Julian’s Downs, Gavin Coyle (45) from Killybrack Mews and Matthew Joseph McLean (33) of Glenpark Road, Gortin.

Three men from Deverney Park in Omagh are also charged – Robert McLean (28), James Ivor McLean (72) and Alan McFarland (47).

Carron and Coyle are further accused of belonging to the IRA, while Matthew McLean, McFarland and McGinty are accused of preparing for acts of terrorism by the provision of vehicles.

Earlier this month, another three men were remanded in custody on charges surrounding an apparent claim of responsibility by the New IRA for the attempted murder of DCI Caldwell.

The letter, which was also said to have contained a threat to police, had been placed on a wall on Central Drive in Derry.

William McDonnell (36) of Balbane Pass, Derry, Caolan Brogan (23) of Bluebellhill Gardens, Derry, and Tiarnan McFadden (25) of Carnhill, Derry, have all been charged with possession of articles for use in terrorism.

Police have said that CCTV, aerial surveillance and telecommunications evidence links the men to placing the letter on the wall on the evening of February 26.