A MAN who sparked off a huge manhunt after claiming he had been shot has admitted it was actually a botched suicide attempt.

Dad-of-four Philip John Morris, 45 faces the prospect of a statutory minimum five-year prison sentence for possessing a sawn-off shotgun.

In May police launched a huge inquiry and made media appeals for help to trace a gunman and searched the surrounding countryside and mountains after Mr Morris was found shot in the chest in his vehicle in Llangollen.

But police later announced they were no longer pursing the inquiry.

On Friday Morris of Clawdd Poncen in Corwen was in the dock at Mold Crown Court and admitted that between May 21 and May 26 he perverted the course of justice by falsely claiming to the police that he had been shot by a stranger.

Morris also admitted possessing a prohibited weapon, a sawn-off .22 rifle on May 19.

He says he had tried to kill himself by shooting himself in the chest.

But it all went wrong and he was so embarrassed he claimed that he had been shot by someone else, the court was told.

Tony Rose, defending said Morris had been suffering from depression and anxiety.

He said a psychiatric report was needed for the defence to try and establish that the sentencing judge should find exceptional circumstances not to impose the statutory minimum sentence.

Judge Dafydd Hughes agreed and adjourned sentence until October.

Morris underwent emergency surgery at the Maelor hospital after claiming he had been shot in his Land Rover near the Chainbridge Hotel.

He spoke to the Leader in the time between the inquiry being abandoned and charges being issued.

At the time, he told us he had bought the gun at a car boot sale and was sorry for the problems caused to the people of Llangollen.