Young dad guilty of shooting woman as she watched TV
Published 29/11/2016 | 02:30
A young father has been convicted of a shooting which left a woman fighting for her life with a bullet wound to the neck.
Gavin Sheehan (29) was convicted of the reckless discharge of a firearm and assault causing serious harm to Ciara Sheehan (21) by a Cork Circuit Criminal Court jury.
Mr Sheehan, who is no relation to the injured party, was convicted by a unanimous jury vote after three and a half hours' deliberation following a week-long trial.
He had pleaded not guilty before Judge Sean O'Donnabhain and the jury of seven women and four men to a total of four charges.
The defendant, of Laurel Ridge, Shanakiel, Cork, denied assault causing serious harm to Ms Sheehan on May 15 last at Hollywood Estate off Cork's Blarney Road.
He also denied the discharge of a firearm on May 15 at Hollywood Estate, being reckless as to whether any person was injured or not.
The jury convicted him by unanimous vote on all four charges.
Judge O'Donnabhain remanded Mr Sheehan in custody for sentencing on February 14 next.
The defendant remained silent as the verdict was delivered but shook his head as he looked towards his family in the public gallery before being taken into custody.
The court was told by Donal O'Sullivan BL, for the State, that victim impact statements will be involved and instructions are required in relation to two of the charges from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Ms Sheehan suffered a bullet wound to her neck as she sat in a property that night watching TV alongside her boyfriend.
The young shop worker and Cork College of Commerce student was inside a friend's home when she was injured shortly after 12.30am.
She had to be rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH) where she underwent emergency surgery.
Ms Sheehan is now making a good recovery.
The defendant had also denied possession at his Laurel Ridge home of a Smith & Wesson Model 6096 semi-automatic pistol with a reasonable inference that he did not have it for a lawful purpose.
Mr Sheehan was also charged with possession of a round of 9mm calibre ammunition, with a similar inference he did not have it for a lawful purpose.
The charges were brought under the Firearms Act, 1964 and the Firearms and Offences Weapons Act, 1990.