Man who shot on duty on Garda receives nine years imprisonment
A Garda Emergency Unit employee who was shot and killed in a raid on the home of a criminal said not a day goes by if he does not think of other colleagues who have been killed on duty.
Sergeant Paul McManus was at the back of a house that had been secured for a drug search when Charles Moore, 48, fired a shot that hit the officer in his left forearm.
The Garda read his testimony of the victim’s impact during Moore’s verdict hearing in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday and spoke about how lucky he is to be alive while some of his other colleagues have died on duty.
“Not a day goes by that I do not think of the families of these colleagues,” Sgt McManus went on, before adding that he did not know whether it was “luck” or “divine intervention” that made Moore’s weapon to block that tomorrow.
He said he was “physically shaken to the core” after hearing of Garda Colm Horkan’s death in Roscommon in June 2020, and said news of his shooting “sent me to a very dark place”.
Sgt McManus said he felt “great relief” and “great guilt” all the time.
Commenting on the effects of the shooting on his young children, he said, “In the weeks that followed, they were restless in their own home because they thought the bad man was coming into their own home.”
He added that one of his children kept a toy gun next to their bed.
He said he was sorry for bringing this into the lives of his children and his wife. “She had no choice that I brought this to her door. I can only apologize. “
Moore of Barnwell Drive, Ballymun, had pleaded guilty of possession of a semiautomatic pistol without a legitimate purpose, five rounds of ammunition for no legitimate purpose, of a semiautomatic pistol intended to endanger life, of having five rounds of ammunition intent to endanger life, recklessly firing a firearm, and attacking a garda in his home on December 7, 2017.
After a three-week trial last June, he was convicted on all charges. He has 18 criminal records, including one for possession of drugs for sale or delivery and assault that causes harm.
Judge Martin Nolan said it was “a common occurrence” that Moore’s house was attacked by “criminal elements” prior to December and Moore obtained the gun to defend himself.
“Unfortunately, he seemed to have spent the night on alcohol and drugs, so that when he arrived he was unable to properly assess the situation.”
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“While he was drunk, he heard someone or noticed activity in the back yard. The gardaí were obvious and they wore the appropriate clothing, ”continued Judge Nolan. He said that if Moore had been able to properly assess the situation, he would have realized that his home was armed gardaí.
“He had a gun available and he fired the gun and met Gda McManus,” said the judge.
The judge said he accepted that Moore had no intention of shooting and injuring a garda, “but he was unable to make such an assessment due to his drunk condition.”
Judge Nolan sentenced Moore to nine years in prison for the offense of endangerment and considered the other charges.