A MAN who was shot three times for wearing a T-shirt with the image of US President Barack Obama says he is pleased that the assailant pleaded guilty to the crime. Dube Egwuatu says he is “relieved” that his almost two-year quest for justice is finally over after gunman Peter Mahoney pleaded guilty to racially aggravated wounding and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. “I feel relieved that something that could have been a tragic situation has been handled by the justice system,” he said. Egwuatu was buying a mobile phone top-up card at his local off license in Norwood, south east London in October 2008, when the gunman Mahoney confronted him about his shirt. Mahoney then launched into a barrage of racial remarks menacingly saying that “I f***ing hate n*****s. According to Egwuatu when he left the shop his attacker was waiting for him. He followed Egwuatu to his car where he told him “I f***king kill n*****s one by one,” before shooting him with a gas-powered ball bearing pistol three times, hitting the thirty-six year old in the face, hand and shoulder. “I felt fear. I felt my life flash before me that I was going to die and not see my family that was on my mind,” he recalled. Egwuatu was able to alert the police of the attack and he was taken to hospital and later sent to have a piece of metal removed from his jaw. “I was terribly shocked, I couldn’t believe it. After the attack I contemplated carrying a weapon to protect myself if I was ever to run into this man again,” he said. However, police were able to catch Mahoney a month later after gathering foresnsic evidence. Mahoney was charged with racially aggravated common assault, wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and having a firearm with intent to commit wounding. Initially Mahoney pleaded not guilty to his crimes but changed his plea. He will be sentenced this Friday after police found he had committed other offences after the incident. Despite the trauma of the incident Egwuatu hopes to be able to move forward with his life. “I do a lot of praying. Everyday I try as much as possible to take one day at a time. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger,” he said.

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