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Saturday 18 November 2017

Gang suspected for shooting man in front of his brother

By Ken Foy Crime correspondent

A low-level criminal who was shot in the leg may have been targeted by a local crime gang rather than dissident Republicans, gardai now believe.

Paul Norton (25) is making a good recovery from his injuries after being shot as he left a flat with his younger brother Eric (21) in Cromcastle Court in Coolock at 10pm on Sunday.

The gunman left the scene in a white Volkswagen Golf and gardai are now working on the theory that the shooting was a result of a bitter local dispute rather than a hit by an IRA splinter group.

The victim's brother Eric was beside Paul when he was shot but he was not injured in the incident.

It is the latest non-fatal shooting in the Coolock area after 21-year-old Jason McCormack was shot in the lower leg at Moatview Avenue housing estate on the night of November 13.

This incident happened less than a week after his pal Carlo Moloney (22) was shot at the Ferrycarrig Park estate.

The Herald can reveal that the latest shooting victim Paul Norton and his brother Eric are well known to gardai.

In November, 2009, Paul Norton was jailed for three years after he admitted being part of a five-man gang who ‘bottled out' of robbing a B&Q store in Swords but managed to take €1,000 cash from a Ladbrokes shop in an ‘opportunistic' raid.

The garda explained that the gang fled the B&Q but later robbed €1,000 cash from a nearby Ladbrokes an imitation firearm.

Gardai said a number of patrol cars were already in the area because of the earlier attempted robbery and soon tracked down the raiders heading towards Malahide.

One garda noticed an occupant of the Mazda throw an imitation handgun from the car before it was stopped on the Malahide Road.

At a court appearance in June 2009, Norton admitted before Swords District Court to |possession of stolen property, driving without insurance or |a driving licence and the |fraudulent use of a registration plate.

The charges related to the fact that gardai had stopped the motorbike he was driving which had been stolen in May, 2008.

In court, Norton said he bought the motorbike “from a fella in town” for €800, saying he should have easily realised it was stolen as it had been |hot-wired.

The gun victim's brother Eric was given a three-year suspended jail sentence at Dublin Circuit Court last month after he attacked an elderly taxi driver, stole his car and then crashed it at at Cromcastle Park in May, 2012.

kfoy@herald.ie

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