AN illegal immigrant became a paraplegic after he was shot in the chest while fleeing from police, shortly after sneaking into Hong Kong to find a man who owed him money, the High Court heard yesterday. Wong Ping, confined to a wheelchair for life, was sentenced to eight years' jail for arms offences. Deputy Judge Jones said that being wounded while trying to avoid capture was not a mitigating factor. He did accept that Wong's condition would result in greater hardships in prison. Wong, 32, arrested almost immediately after he arrived in Hong Kong on March 21, admitted one count each of possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence, and possession of a firearm with intent to commit an arrestable offence. The Crown dropped a third charge - using a firearm with intent to resist arrest. Prosecutor Alain Sham told the court two policemen patrolling Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, asked Wong to produce his identity card but he pushed them away. He struggled but was subdued. A loaded pistol which had been in his possession was found on the ground. Wong admitted to police that he bought the pistol for protection and that he came to Hong Kong 'to make money'. Police contended that during the scuffle, Wong pulled out the gun and an officer opened fire, hitting him in the chest. Wong denied this in court, claiming that he did not produce the weapon. Wong's counsel John Wright said his client had been swindled by a Hong Kong man who disappeared with 200,000 yuan (about) HK$182,200) Wong borrowed from a bank as his share in a business venture. Wong came to Hong Kong to look for the thief and also to make money. However, Mr Wright said, Wong lost the man's address and was wandering the streets when police stopped him.