Man guilty of attempted murder in Limerick
A LIMERICK man has been found guilty of attempted murder by unanimous verdict, after a trial of 2½ weeks at the Central Criminal Court.
Shane Mason (30) of Seán Heuston Place in Limerick had denied shooting teenager Daniel Philips in the head and chest as he drove through John’s Square in the city on the evening of May 24th, 2010.
It took the jury almost three hours to find Mason unanimously guilty of all four charges of attempted murder, causing serious harm and possessing a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life. Mason has been remanded in custody and will face sentencing on July 30th, when a victim impact statement will be presented in court.
CCTV footage showed Shane Mason cycling past the Square Bar at 9.24pm on the night of the shooting and cycling back in the other direction at 9.28pm, placing him at the scene of the crime when it was committed.
He had been wearing a blue T-shirt and dark tracksuit bottoms, fitting a description of the gunman given by five witnesses.
Shane Mason’s blue T-shirt and navy tracksuit bottoms were found damp in his girlfriend’s washing machine in nearby Brennan’s Row later that night.
Two witnesses saw the gunman putting the gun down the front of his trousers after he had fired about six shots towards the car driven by Daniel Philips.
Gunshot residue was found on both Mason’s hands and on the waistband of his boxer shorts when he was arrested around an hour after the shooting, wearing a bullet-proof vest.
During their deliberations, the jury asked for statements made by three key witnesses to be read out to them again. One witness, Martin McNamara (22), who had been living on John’s Square for a few weeks, told gardaí he saw the gunman get off a bike, take out a black handgun and start shooting at a black Volkswagen Passat which was “screeching” to a halt and then reversing.
Daniel Philips, now aged 20, also gave evidence. The jury heard he had no memory of being shot.
The court heard he spent a month in a coma after bullet fragments were removed from his skull and chest, but had since made a remarkable recovery and was studying for his Leaving Certificate.