Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Condemned to Death; Decades off My Life after Gun Attack

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Condemned to Death; Decades off My Life after Gun Attack

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY

PEPPERED with more than 150 pellets on his doorstep, shooting victim Joe Clarke today revealed the X-rays which condemn him to an early grave.

This never-before-seen picture shows the damage done by the gun attack which could send the former oil rig worker to an early grave.

Joe was blasted by two men brandishing sawn-off shot guns when he opened the door to them in December 2007.

But the five men accused of plotting his murder never faced trial after the actions of officers from Durham Police caused the case to collapse.

And now almost four years on from the horror shooting in Consett, Joe remains peppered with the steel or lead pellets that entered his back, head and neck, and penetrated all his vital organs still in his body.

And the dad is today coming to terms with medics' predictions the attack could take quarter of a century off his life.

The 33-year-old said: "I have lost everything.

"I have been told that all the pellets lodged inside me will take 25 years off my life and the gang that shot me are still walking the streets."

Joe was shot when he opened the door of his home in Fairways and was confronted on the lawn by the gunmen who opened fire as he attempted to run away.

Joe's back was sprayed with 150 pellets.

But he somehow still managed to scramble away and only escaped possible death when a neighbour pulled him to safety inside their own home.

Eight months after the attack, which is alleged to have stemmed from a row with his former girlfriend, five men were charged with conspiring to murder him.

But their trial collapsed when police methods, including raids on the defendants' solicitor Paul Donoghue's home and reading files, were called into question.

The solicitor was suspended from CKM Solicitors in Consett and was eventually charged with perverting the course of justice for allegedly telling one of the suspects to get rid of mobile phones. …

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