Tuesday 17 October 2017

'I can't live normal life' gun victim tells court

Left: Daniel Philips was shot in the head and spent a month in coma<br/>
Right: Shane Mason was found guilty of attempted murder
Left: Daniel Philips was shot in the head and spent a month in coma
Right: Shane Mason was found guilty of attempted murder

Natasha Reid and Jessie Magee

A YOUNG man who was shot in the head on a city street has told how the injuries robbed him of an independent life.

Daniel Philips (22) spent a month in a coma after he was shot by Shane Mason (30), who is due to be sentenced in the Central Criminal Court.

Mason had 179 previous convictions and was on bail when he attempted to murder Mr Philips. He is currently serving three years in prison and is due for release in January.

The trial heard that bullet fragments were removed from Mr Philips's skull and chest, but he has since made a remarkable recovery and is studying for his Leaving Cert.

"I can't see myself going out to live independently," he said, adding that he had some good days, but that the bad days were really awful.

Shooting

"My memory is very bad, and I have to be reminded to take my medication. I can't play sport, drive a car, drink alcohol or go to a disco because of the lights."

Mason (30), of Sean Heuston Place, Limerick, had denied shooting Mr Philips, who was driving a car through the city's John's Square on May 24, 2010 -- Mason's 28th birthday.

However, a jury found him guilty of attempted murder by unanimous verdict after a trial of two-and-a-half weeks.

Mr Philips was in court with his family yesterday for Mason's sentencing hearing. He had prepared a victim impact report, which Detective Sergeant Kevin McHugh read out on his behalf.

"Before the incident, life was brilliant," he said, explaining that he had been living with his girlfriend, playing soccer for a club and was studying for his Leaving Cert.

"I don't remember anything about the incident," he said. "But it turned my whole life upside down."

Det Sgt McHugh said no clear motive had ever been established for the attack, which saw Mason fire about six shots at the car driven by Mr Philips.

Mr Justice Garret Sheehan adjourned sentencing until October for preparation of an educational report on the defendant.

Irish Independent

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