Belfast Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOHN CAS­SIDY

A SCHOOL­BOY told po­lice that he “started to cry” when he found his daddy 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 in the trial 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.

Belfast Crown Court heard yes­ter­day how Mr Car­son’s son told po­lice that on the day of the mur­der, he and his dad’s fi­ancee had been out shop­ping for new clothes for his bed and she had bought him a game.

He said that he was sit­ting in the liv­ing room with her when his dad came home.

“I was play­ing with my game when my daddy came home. He bought me two Easter eggs, two Square bars, a bot­tle of wa­ter and two Kin­der eggs,” the boy re­called.

“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 male, who he said had “dark hair, brown or black I don’t know... he was out­side look­ing.”

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.

Asked to de­scribe the firearm, the boy said it was a “shot­gun with two cir­cles at the top”.

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 box... my 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 ‘Car­sie’ ly­ing on the floor and “she was cry­ing”.

The trial con­tin­ues.

Stephen Car­son was shot dead in his home. In­set, ac­cused, Fran­cis Smith

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