A JUDGE heard today (Monday, October 11) about a bizarre twist in the case of a man who shot himself in the chest then claimed to be the victim of a gunman. 

Philip Morris, 45, of Clawdd Poncen, Corwen, has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and having a sawn-off shotgun.

A giant manhunt in countryside and mountains near Llangollen had involved a police helicopter, armed officers and dogs last May before he owned up.

Morris had submitted a basis for his guilty pleas that he had tried to kill himself but it went wrong and he was so embarrassed that he claimed to have been shot by someone else.

Yesterday Elen Owen, prosecuting at Caernarfon crown court, revealed 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 added. "Two of the incidents were shootings when he claimed to have been shot by persons unknown."

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

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

The sentencing hearing was adjourned until next month. This was "for further inquiries to be carried out," commented Judge Dafydd Hughes.