herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Feud dad had weapons haul for his safety

FEAR: Gun victim's hatchet and hook

A FATHER of four who was shot at in front of two of his children had a slash hook, a hatchet and a cut-throat razor on him for his own protection.

John Paul Ward (29) only avoided being hit in the head because he was bending down at the time when the gunman let off the shots.

The matter was before the court after a judge ordered a pre-sentence report. Judge James McDonnell ordered Ward to continue working with the probation services and adjourned sentencing to a date in March.

The defendant, of MacUilliam Green in Tallaght, had admitted before Tallaght District Court to three counts of possession of dangerous weapons.

The first incident took place at MacUilliam Avenue, Tallaght shortly before 4pm on February 11. Gardai stopped Ward driving a black Volvo S40 and found a hatchet between the passenger seat and the gearbox.

Ward was stopped and searched again at the Fortunestown Inn car park at 12.15pm on August 3.

A large slash hook was found in the front of the car, and when Ward was searched he was found with a cut-throat razor concealed in his tracksuit bottoms.

Ward told gardai the weapons were for his own protection due to a feud with another family.

Defence solicitor Michael Hennessy said Ward started carrying the weapons after he received a very serious threat to his life in 2011.

The court had heard Ward was shot at in November and he spent four days in hospital. He still had several pellets in his back, and Mr Hennessy said Ward only avoided being shot in the head because he was bending over when the shots were fired.

Judge McDonnell adjourned sentencing to a date in March.

hnews@herald.ie

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