Friday 18 August 2017

Boyfriend jailed for shotgun attack

Victim of Spanish horror says 10-year prison sentence 'could have been better'

Tom Worden and  Grainne Cunningham

A WOMAN whose Spanish boyfriend blasted her with a shotgun expressed disappointment last night with his 10-year jail sentence for attempted murder.

Michelle Massey (26) lost a kidney but miraculously survived -- despite being hit at close range in the home the couple shared on the island of Lanzarote.

Eulogio Jose Ramon Bernal (46) then shot himself in the face in a bungled suicide bid. The bloodbath happened in front of the couple's six-month-old son Ruben.

Michelle, from Moyross, Limerick, underwent emergency surgery and spent four months recovering from horrific injuries before returning to Ireland.

She flew back to Spain to testify against her ex-partner at a trial in the Provincial Court in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

Last night -- just moments before getting on a flight to Ireland from the trial -- Ms Massey said the sentence "could have been better".

Ramon Bernal was given the sentence on Friday afternoon.

The court heard how he drank whiskey and beer for three hours while the couple watched Barcelona play Manchester United in the Champions League final in a bar on May 27, 2009.

They returned to their home in the village of Mancha Blanca, near Tinajo, on the north of the island, at 11pm, where a row broke out.

Rage

Ramon Bernal, a keen hunter, picked up his Zabala Hermanos calibre-12 shotgun in a drunken rage and told Michelle: "Not even God can get you out of this." He blasted her once in the abdomen in a bid to kill her, the court was told.

In the sentencing report the three judges wrote: "He took the shotgun with the intention of taking her life. He took several cartridges, put two of them in the chamber and armed it, heading towards the front room where Michelle was with a niece of the accused who had just arrived.

"After telling them nobody was getting out of there, he took the shotgun and, without warning, shot Michelle in the abdomen.

"She fell to the floor and the accused left her lying on the floor bleeding and pointed the gun at her again."

The terrified niece, called Maria, ran out of the house with six-month-old Ruben in her arms and called police and an ambulance. Ramon Bernal, who had no previous convictions, then turned the gun on himself.

Michelle, who is scarred for life, was rushed to Lanzarote General Hospital where doctors saved her life.

Her right arm was shattered in the attack and surgeons removed her left kidney.

The judges ordered Ramon Bernal to pay Michelle €8,470 in damages and not to go within 500 metres of her or their son for 15 years.

He admitted shooting Michelle but denied attempted murder. His lawyers argued his ability to think straight had been "profoundly affected" by alcohol.

Irish Independent

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