Monday 18 December 2017

Gunshot survivor has no memory of attack

Jessica Magee

A MAN who was shot in the head and chest in Limerick two years ago has told a court he remembers nothing of being attacked.

Daniel Philips (20) was giving evidence at the trial of the suspected gunman at the Central Criminal Court.

Shane Mason (30) of Seán Heuston Place, Limerick, has denied attempting to murder Mr Philips at St John's Square in the city on May 24, 2010.

He has also pleaded not guilty to three charges of causing serious harm to Mr Philips, and possessing a firearm and ammunition with intent to kill him.

Mr Philips made his way very slowly to and from the witness stand to give evidence, which lasted only a few minutes.

He agreed with Ms Úna Ní Raifertaigh, prosecuting, that he knew he had been shot on the evening in question but said he couldn't remember anything about it.

Mr Philips also agreed that he had enjoyed full health before the shooting and had given gardaí permission to look at his medical records.

The court heard that Mr Philips had been driving through St John's Square with two friends at about 9.30pm on 24th May, 2010, when he was shot in the head and chest by a lone gunman who fled the scene on foot and then by bicycle.

Medical evidence read out in court confirmed that a fragment of bullet was lodged in the bone of Mr Philip's skull, while a second bullet was visible in his chest, between his heart and liver.

The jury heard that following surgery, Mr Philips remained in a coma for a little over a month, but has since made what doctors described as a “remarkable recovery.”

The jury was told that having spent over six months in hospital and in several rehabilitation centres, Mr Philips is now living with his aunt and uncle and studying for his Leaving Certificate.

Dr Pearse A Grace, consultant vascular surgeon at Limerick's Mid-Western Regional Hospital, said Mr Philips has been left with a drop foot since the shooting and wears a splint on one leg.

He said Mr Philips is “occasionally forgetful, has slurred speech when tired, and has some difficulty with balance” but predicted that “in the long term he will make a full recovery.”

“He has an excellent appetite and looks terrific,” the surgeon added.

The court heard that Shane Mason had been arrested about an hour after the shooting wearing a bullet proof vest.

Gardaí also said spent cartridges and bullets were found at the scene that had been fired from a Glock semi-automatic pistol, although the gun itself was never recovered.

Judge Garret Sheehan thanked Mr Philip for attending the trial, which continues tomorrow before a jury of seven men and five women.

The trial is expected to last a further two weeks.

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