Sean Murphy had a wart so he blasted it off with a shotgun
For five years Sean Murphy was driven to distraction by a painful blemish that no amount of creams, ointments or doctors' appointments could cure.
So he came up with his own radical and permament procedure to remove the stubborn wart forever - he blasted it with a 12-bore shotgun.
But not only did the blast take off almost his entire finger, it also left him facing 15 years in jail for the illegal possesion of a firearm.
Yesterday, with only a stump to show for the middle of his left hand, and a suspended 16-week prison sentence, he insisted he had no regrets.
“I’m happy with that,” he said outside Doncaster Magistrates’ Court, South Yorkshire.
“I know I could have gone to jail for up to 15 years for a firearms offence. My solicitor did a very good job.
"The best thing is that the wart has gone. It was giving me lot of trouble.”
Richard Haigh, defending, said Murphy, 38, had been “a victim of his own stupidity when domestic pressures got to him”.
Mr Murphy decided to open fire with the Beretta after fortifying himself with several pints of beer. He settled down outside his caravan, took aim and opened fire.
Police heard about his unconventional treatment and launched an investigation.
Murphy, who lives in the town, told the bench he had found the Beretta under a hedge earlier in the year.
Having decided to use the Beretta, he administered the “anaesthetic” of Yorkshire bitter.
He stretched out his left hand, pointed the end of the barrel at its intended target, and used his other hand to hold the stock steady. Then he pulled the trigger.
Murphy denies that the beer affected his aim. He insists the fault lay with the weapon’s recoil.
'I didn't expect to lose my finger as well when I shot it, but the gun recoiled and that was it,’ he said.
'The wart was gone and so was most of my finger. There was nothing left of it, so no chance of re-attaching it.'
Murphy had been a security officer at Markham Grange Nurseries, Doncaster, at the time he applied the Beretta treatment in March. He has since lost his job.
In court he pleaded guilty to theft of the shotgun by finding, and a second charge of possessing a firearm without a valid certificate.
In addition to the suspended prison term, his client was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid community work and pay costs of £100.
South Yorkshire Police are still trying to discover how the Beretta found its way to the hedge where Murphy found it.
They know it was stolen in a burglary two years ago, but have no further record of its passage through the criminal underworld.