Man shot in legs after repaying €200 debt

A MAN shot over a €200 debt yesterday bared his wounds to a judge.

The wounded man, Mark Kerwin, 20, of Brackvoan, Bruff, Co Limerick, had travelled into Limerick to pay back a cash debt.

Before the Circuit Court in Limerick was Liam ‘Lika’ Casey, 26, of Hyde Road, Ballinacurra Weston. He pleaded guilty to possession of a gun in suspicious circumstances on January 30 last.

The court heard he shot Mr Kerwin after the money had been handed over.

Casey, it was claimed, produced a sawn-off shotgun and shot Mr Kerwin in both legs with a single blast.

As he lay wounded, Casey told him: “I’ll be back to finish the job later.”

Mr Kerwin, who spent five weeks in hospital showed his wounds to Judge Carroll Moran, who said they were very severe, traumatic injuries.

Sgt Gearoid Thompson said both men were known to each other. On the day of the shooting, Casey contacted Mark Kerwin by mobile phone about the debt.

After getting the call, Mark Kerwin tried to make contact with a garda at Bruff Garda Station who was off duty. He told another garda that ‘Lika’ Casey had threatened to kill him and his mother and their house would be burned down in a dispute over money.

Later that afternoon, Mark Kerwin’s mother drove him into Limerick and he proceeded to a meeting place near Carey’s Road. He handed over €200 to Casey who counted it.

Casey told him: “Alright, go on.”

As Mark Kerwin walked away, Casey called him and when Kerwin turned around he was hit by one shotgun blast in both legs.

The victim was able to identify his attacker to gardaí who came on the scene. Casey was arrested at his home a short time later.

A sawn-off shotgun was also found near the scene.

John O’Sullivan BL, for the state, said Mr Kerwin still has pellets lodged in his legs and asked him to show his wounds to the judge.

On seeing the wounds, Judge Moran said there was very disfigured scarring to the victim’s legs.

Imposing a seven-year sentence, he said Casey had previous convictions including one for a firearms offence. He backdated the sentence to January 30 last when Casey was arrested and taken into custody.

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