North West Wales

'Embarrassed' Denbighshire suicide man's shotgun claims

A man tried to kill himself with a shotgun, but he failed and blamed someone else when it went wrong, a court heard.

Philip Morris, 45, of Corwen, Denbighshire, admitted perverting the course of justice and having a sawn-off shotgun. Sentence was adjourned.

Morris' claims sparked a huge manhunt around Llangollen last May.

Caernarfon Crown Court heard police were now investigating alleged frauds "over many years".

Morris' guilty pleas were based on that he was embarrassed when he tried to kill himself and it went wrong.

His claims last May led to a search for the "gunman" in countryside and mountains near Llangollen, involving a police helicopter, armed officers and dogs.

Morris needed surgery after he shot himself in the chest in Llangollen.

Elen Owen, prosecuting, alleged that police were now investigating alleged frauds of insurance companies and others "over many years".

"There are at least 18 such claims well in excess of £45,000 going up to £50,000," she said.

"Two of the incidents were shootings when he claimed to have been shot by persons unknown."

She said the file, dating back to 1988, involved not only insurance companies but health and local authorities, and that it would take a long time to collate details.

Tony Rose, defending, said that the allegations were known to police before the case came to court.

The sentencing hearing was adjourned until next month while further inquiries are made.

Morris was remanded in custody.