Man blasts wart (and finger) off with shotgun

A court has heard how a man used a shotgun instead of ointment to get rid of a wart  – a drastic decision which cost him his finger and landed him with a suspended jail sentence.

Sean Murphy, of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, appeared at Doncaster Magistrates Court this week with only a stump for a left middle finger after firing a 12-bore Beretta at his stubborn five-year-old wart.

The 38-year-old had been out drinking before resorting to the unconventional wart treatment on 13 March, the court heard.

However, he denied that the beer affected his aim and blamed his now missing finger on the recoil.

The man, who claims to have found the weapon in a hedge months earlier, pleaded guilty to theft and possession of a firearm without a valid certificate – an offence which carries a maximum 15-year jail term.

Library image: Sean Murphy claims he found the shotgun in a hedge.
Library image: Sean Murphy claims he found the shotgun in a hedge.


Police are investigating how exactly the Beretta came to be under the hedge. It is alleged that it could have been used during a local burglary in 2009.

[Video: Drunk intruder found on family's living room floor]


His defence said he was the “victim of his own stupidity.”

The former security guard told the court that he was happy with the decision he made: “[The wart] was giving me a lot of trouble. It was as big as my thumbnail. I’d tried all sorts of things, but it wouldn’t go.”

“I didn't expect to lose my finger as well when I shot it, but the gun recoiled, and that was it. The wart was gone, and so was most of my finger. There was nothing left so no chance to re-attach it.”

District Judge Jonathan Bennett said: “This was a most unusual way of treating a wart. I don’t know what was going on in your mind.”

Murphy was slapped with a 16-week suspended prison sentence, 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay a £100 fine.

South Yorkshire Police were unable to comment in time for publication.

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