Friday 28 April 2017

Cousin of Irish soccer star blasted by shotgun in his garden

Steve Finnan. Caps: 53
Steve Finnan. Caps: 53

David Raleigh

A cousin of former Ireland and Liverpool star Steve Finnan was shot in his garden as his children slept.

Dramatic evidence of the gun attack at Sean Finnan's home, at Byrne Avenue, Limerick, was disclosed at the Circuit Court.

John Lysaght, a painter and labourer who admitted aiding and abetting the shooter, was given a four-year suspended sentence.

Lysaght, a father-of-one with an address in Askeaton, Co Limerick, pleaded guilty to one count of the reckless discharge of a sawn-off shotgun on December 12, 2013. Although he did not handle or fire the gun, Lysaght admitted the charge "by common design".

Mr Finnan sustained 20 pellet wounds after being fired on. Two shots were fired by a gunman referred to as "Mr X".

Lysaght (27), along with the other man, approached Mr Finnan around 9.30pm as he and his partner Leanne Casey stood smoking in the garden.

"The gun went off and a spatter of pellets hit the house," State prosecutor John O'Sullivan said. In total, 24 pellets sprayed the house when shots were fired at Mr Finnan (30).

"The first shot winded him; he then ran in fear for his life. The second shot hit him in the hand," Mr O'Sullivan said.

"There were children upstairs in bed at the time, including a four-week old baby and a two-year-old child."

Lysaght told gardaí he was "a bag of nerves" and had consumed five or six bottles of beer beforehand. He said afterwards he changed "into girls' clothes".

Lysaght had previous convictions for violent disorder, and assault causing harm.

Judge Tom O'Donnell accepted Lysaght was "an aider and abetter rather than the chief protagonist". Suspending the entire four-year sentence for a period of four years, Judge O'Donnell said: "I'm giving you a substantial chance."

Irish Independent

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