Saturday 1 October 2016

€60,000 for garda who suffered broken nose and jaw in two attacks

Saurya Cherfi

Published 10/02/2016 | 02:30

Garda Thomas Finnerty gave up Gaelic football after back injury. Pic: Courts Collins
Garda Thomas Finnerty gave up Gaelic football after back injury. Pic: Courts Collins

A garda who suffered a fractured jaw and a broken nose after he was punched in the face and head-butted in two separate incidents has been awarded €60,000 damages in a High Court compensation hearing.

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Garda Thomas Finnerty (32) told the court that in August 2011 he had been patrolling on a bicycle in Ballyfermot, Dublin, when he seized a car which had no tax or insurance. Shortly afterwards he realised the driver had given a fake identity.

Barrister Ivan Daly, for Gda Finnerty, told the court that the garda chased and caught up with the driver and told him he was being arrested. The driver became agitated and punched him several times, knocking him down.

The court heard Gda Finnerty got up and pepper-sprayed his attacker before the arrival of colleagues who took the man into custody.

Gda Finnerty said he then felt dizzy and fell, hitting his back against a parking bollard.

X-rays later revealed he had a broken jaw.

He also suffered lower back pain which required anti-inflammatory medication.

Mr Daly told Mr Justice Bernard Barton how, on a separate occasion in January 2012, Gda Finnerty was dealing with an incident in which a pizza delivery man had been given a forged €50 note while delivering to a house in Kilmainham.

When the delivery man told the customers the note was a fake, they took the pizza and the note back and closed the house door on him.

Gda Finnerty said he went to the house and was speaking with a woman about retrieving the note when a man came to the door and had head-butted him, breaking his nose.

Mr Daly said the injury left a deviation to Gda Finnerty's nose as a result of which he suffered a nasal breathing restriction.

Gda Finnerty sued the State for damages in relation to both incidents.

Awarding him a total of €60,000, Judge Barton said Gda Finnerty had been a very active man who had given up Gaelic football following his back injury.

Irish Independent

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