Saturday 18 November 2017

Man pleads guilty to attempted murder of best friend

* Patrick McCann (20) shot Luke Wilson (19) in the eye

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
Victim: Luke Wilson

Niamh O'Donoghue

A Dublin man is to be sentenced later for shooting his lifelong friend causing him to lose his eye.

Patrick McCann (20) of Decies Road, Ballyfermot pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Luke Wilson (19) at Liffey Gaels, GAA club, Memorial Park, Inchicore on January 13, 2013.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life at the same place on that date.

Detective Sergeant Michael O’Brien told the court that Mr Wilson had made an arrangement to meet McCann that day at the Memorial Park.

Det Sgt O’Brien said McCann and Mr Wilson knew each other “since they were in nappies.”

When they met in a secluded area of the park Mr Wilson said McCann was rooting around in the bushes and noticed he was quite jumpy.

He said they decided to walk back to a footbridge and that McCann was fiddling around in his jacket and took out a gun.

One shot hit Mr Wilson in the neck and he fell to the ground and then McCann shot him in the right arm.

Mr Wilson said he then felt another shot and could hear ringing in his head.

He said McCann was standing over him when he was shot in the arm and head.

Mr Wilson said McCann went to shoot him again but heard the gun jam.

He said McCann was bent over him and it felt like he was searching his pockets before he took off.

McCann dropped his mobile near where Mr Wilson lay and he rang ‘999’ on it believing it was his own phone. 

Mr Wilson told emergency services he was shot and he thought he was going to die.

He dragged himself to a nearby footbridge and a jogger came to his aid.

Mr Wilson was brought to St James’s Hospital and later to the Eye and Ear Hospital for treatment.

He initially did not name McCann as the individual who shot him, the court heard.

Paul Carroll BL, prosecuting, said that Mr Wilson did not want to provide a victim impact statement to the court.

Mr Carroll told the court that a medical report said Mr Wilson had wounds to his face, neck, right forearm and that the bullet effectively destroyed his right eye, which was completely gone.

The court heard he had associated cerebral stroke, palsy in his right arm, permanent scars, damage to vertebrae and may require further surgery.

McCann was nominated as a suspect in the case and was arrested in Ballyfermot that day, the court heard.

Det Sgt O’Brien said there was strong support to connect McCann to the shooting of Mr Wilson because of firearms residue and it was also part of the prosecution’s case that the phone call to emergency services was made on his mobile.

When interviewed McCann denied any knowledge of the shooting or that he was involved in it and when it was put to him about the gun residue he persisted in his denial.

The court heard McCann had previous convictions for possession of drugs and sale and supply of them for which he received 12 months probation.

He also was sentenced to two years in jail for theft and aggravated burglary but was on bail when the shooting of Mr Wilson was committed.

Mr Carroll said the Director of Public Prosecutions submitted that the offence was at the higher end of the scale.

Det Sgt O’Brien agreed with Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, McCann had a drug problem and was intellectually challenged.

McCann said he was asked to carry out the shooting because of his outstanding drug debt and was in fear, Mr Dwyer told the court.

A report before the court stated that McCann was threatened he would be shot if he did not shoot Mr Wilson.

“This was a person who committed this offence over concerns he had for his own well being,” said Mr Dwyer.

He said his client came from a decent family but had trouble throughout his whole life.

He said McCann was left with his paternal grandparents when he was eight and later with his uncle. The court was told he was present when he uncle died.

Mr Dwyer said McCann lost his child last year due to a late miscarriage at 26 weeks.

He said his client was using drugs and alcohol since he was 12 years old.

Mr Dwyer said the aggravated burglary related to the theft of two bottles of vodka from an off licence.

Mr Justice Paul Carney will sentence him next week.

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