Wife warned murdered policeman of danger hours before attack
The widow of the police officer who was murdered by dissident republicans warned her husband to beware of an attack as he left home for his last shift.
Kate Carroll was so concerned after the shooting of two soldiers on Saturday night, she told PC Stephen Carroll to be extra vigilant, a local councillor told the Guardian.
Junior McCrum, Democratic Unionist party (DUP) councillor for Banbridge, where the Carrolls have lived for more than 20 years, visited the grieving widow this morning.
He said: "She told me how they had been joking and laughing before he left, and that she had told him to be careful because of Saturday's events. He told her not to worry and that he would be okay."
Friends of the couple told the Press Association that Mrs Carroll hugged her husband and said: "Now you look after yourself."
The 48-year-old gave her a reassuring smile before turning to walk out the door. "Don't worry about me," he called back. "I'll be grand. They won't get me."
Yesterday, his widow spoke of her loss in a newspaper interview. Twelve hours after hearing of her husband's death, Kate Carroll her husband's killers had destroyed her life.
The couple had been due to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary next year and PC Carroll, the first officer from the Police Service of to be murdered by terrorists, had spoken of his plans to retire from the force and start a new career as a personal trainer.
Speaking at the home she shared with her husband in Banbridge, Co Down, Kate Carroll, a teacher at a local college, said: "A good husband has been taken away from me, and my life has been destroyed.
"And what for? A piece of land that my husband is only going to get 6ft of. These people have just taken my life as well."
She was informed of her husband's death at about 11pm last night, as she waited for him to come home from his night shift.
PC Carroll had been studying part-time through the Police Rehabilitation and Retraining Trust for a degree in sport science. He began working towards his aim of becoming a personal trainer four years ago.
Before embarking on a distance learning degree in sports science with Manchester Metropolitan University, he had completed a higher national certificate course, passing with four distinctions and six merits.
In an interview in a Rehabilitation and Retraining Trust newsletter in 2007, he spoke of his hopes for a career outside the force.
"Once I complete my degree, I hope to become a personal trainer when I retire in 2010," he said. "Having got the bug for studying, I might even contemplate doing a master's degree.
"I want to encourage other people within the police service who are also retiring under the severance scheme to avail of the opportunities for training with PRRT."