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Woman dies one year after shooting in Portugal

PUBLISHED: 10:13 27 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 07 September 2010

Sanchez Manning ONE year after being shot while living in Portugal, an English teacher has died in St Mary s Hospital after catching pneumonia, an inquest has heard. Kirsty MacGowan, 59, had been teaching in Lisbon for three years when she became embroile

Sanchez Manning

ONE year after being shot while living in Portugal, an English teacher has died in St Mary's Hospital after catching pneumonia, an inquest has heard.

Kirsty MacGowan, 59, had been teaching in Lisbon for three years when she became embroiled in a bitter dispute with her neighbour Manuel Julio Da Encarnacao Botelho.

After one particularly stormy row outside her Portuguese home in December 2007, Mr Da Encarnacao Botelho attempted to attack Ms MacGowan and her friend Carina Charneca with a walking stick.

When the pair tried to get away, Mr Da Encarnacao Botelho pulled out a handgun and opened fire on them.

"Manuel stepped back, took a pistol out of his pocket and pointed it in the direction of Carina Charneca, who was still carrying her son," Coroner Paul Knapman told Westminster Coroner's Court on Wednesday.

"Manuel fired shots in her direction but did not hit anyone. Carina must have run up the road with the purpose of going to get her older son who was fleeing with Kirsty MacGowan.

"She then saw the aggressor shoot in the direction of her friend Kirsty and saw her fall to the ground."

Ms MacGowan - who owned a home in Ossington Buildings, Marylebone - was shot in the head. She was rushed to a hospital in Lisbon, but doctors were unable to remove the bullet lodged in her head.

She never recovered consciousness and remained at the hospital in a vegetative state.

In February 2008, her daughter Kate MacGowan brought her back to St Mary's hospital in Paddington.

Less than a year later she contracted pneumonia and died at the hospital on January 23 this year.

Describing her mother in a statement read to the court, Kate MacGowan said: "Kirsty MacGowan enjoyed her life to the full. She had many friends and a tremendous social life."

Following the attack, Mr Da Encarnacao Botelho became involved in an armed stand off with Portuguese police in which he shot himself.

A translated account of the attack in December 2007 from the Portuguese ministry of justice presented to the court read: "Kirsty MacGowan was murdered by this man Manuel Julio Da Encarnacao Botelho and then he shot himself."

Mr Knapman recorded a verdict of death by pneumonia following a missile head injury.


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