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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2007, 13:15 GMT
Man jailed over nail gun fantasy
Russell in bed with an image of an  X-ray showing his injuries
Russell shot himself with a nail gun to claim compensation

A man who shot himself with a nail gun then pretended a gang had attacked him has been sent to prison after admitting perverting the course of justice.

David Russell, 38, of Widden Street, Gloucester, told police he had been set upon by three men and shot seven times.

He later pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and at Gloucester Crown Court the judge jailed him for two-and-a-half years.

In court he was described as "a very convincing fantasist".

Russell had claimed thousands of pounds in compensation, saying he was unable to work after being shot on 11 August - but police became suspicious of his account of the attack.

The court also heard that Russell - a man who told "audacious lies" - had made an identical claim in Bristol three years ago.

'Sick joke'

Julian Kesner, prosecuting, said: "He injured himself twice, was operated on twice and, in connection with the first incident received over 4,000 from the criminal compensation board."

After the last incident in August, Russell was left with five two-inch (5.1cm) nails stuck in his ribcage - one an inch (2.5cm) from his heart - and two more buried in his forearm.

He claimed the gang, which he described as two black youths and a mixed-race man all aged in their late teens to early 20s, grabbed him from behind.

Russell had told the police the mixed-race man who was wearing a black and white bandana pushed a 10-inch (25cm) long orange and black nail gun against his chest and fired it repeatedly.

He said he had stumbled backwards and swung for his assailant in self-defence before two more nails were blasted into his arm.

He was taken to the Gloucester Royal Hospital, where doctors performed an hour-long operation to remove the nails the following day.

The nails hit his forearm with such force that the tips were bent as they hit the bone.

Russell told reporters from his hospital bed that the attack was "like some kind of sick joke for these kids".

"These people must be caught and punished. It could have been my wife with our baby or anyone else innocently minding their own business," he said.

David Russell was described in court as a very convincing fantasist

Guilty plea over nail gun claim
03 Oct 07 |  Gloucestershire
Man charged over nail gun claim
27 Sep 07 |  Gloucestershire
Muggers attack man with nail gun
13 Aug 07 |  Gloucestershire

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