Gun­man shot by po­lice spat at of­fi­cers who tried to give first aid

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

A GUN­MAN who was shot by po­lice af­ter he crossed him­self and raised his weapon to­wards them then spat at of­fi­cers as they per­formed first aid on him, a court has heard.

Sa­muel Houli­han, 24, quickly drank three-quar­ters of a bot­tle of whisky as he sat in a taxi sur­rounded by armed of­fi­cers who sus­pected he had car­ried out an armed rob­bery.

His ter­ri­fied taxi driver had to flee from his minibus, con­vinced he was about to be shot by his pas­sen­ger or be caught in the cross­fire dur­ing the in­ci­dent in Bishop Auck­land, County Durham, in May, Durham Crown Court heard.

Houli­han was shot through the taxi win­dow and was ex­tremely lucky to only re­ceive a flesh wound to the shoul­der, the court heard. Houli­han was due to be sen­tenced af­ter ad­mit­ting pos­sess­ing a firearm with in­tent to cause fear of vi­o­lence and pos­sess­ing a firearm when pro­hib­ited.

But his se­ri­ous men­tal health prob­lems meant he must now be as­sessed in hospi­tal and the hear­ing was ad­journed.

Richard Ben­nett, pros­e­cut­ing, said that on the morn­ing he was shot, Houli­han had bought an air pis­tol af­ter ly­ing to the as­sis­tant that he was not banned from own­ing a firearm.

He was warned in the shop to keep it out of sight or he could be caught in a po­lice firearms in­ci­dent. Judge Christo­pher Prince heard vic­tim state­ments from the trau­ma­tised taxi driver who said he can no longer pick up strangers, and two armed of­fi­cers, named only as C2 and C4, who feared they would be shot.

Houli­han, whose pre­vi­ous of­fences in­clude dress­ing up as a PCSO, will be sen­tenced next year.

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