Wednesday 26 April 2017

Furrier ordered to pay €9k damages after punching animal rights activist

Laura Broxson leaving court after she was awarded damages.
Laura Broxson leaving court after she was awarded damages.

Ray Managh

A furrier, who punched and injured a young woman during an animal rights protest outside her shop, has been told to pay the protester €9,000 damages for personal injury arising from the assault.

Judge Matthew Deery proceeded with the claim of Laura Broxson (24), in the absence of the defendant, Marie Murphy, furrier of A Store is Born, Clarendon Street, Dublin.

He had been told that due to a breakdown in communications in the office of the solicitor representing Ms Murphy, she had not turned up for yesterday's hearing.

Judge Deery decided to go ahead with the case when barrister Anthony Lowry, for Ms Broxson, said Ms Murphy's solicitor had been served on November 1 with notice of the trial and this was the third time the incident had been processed through the courts.

He said Ms Murphy had been convicted in the District Court but this had been overturned in a Circuit Court.

It was unacceptable that the court should be told at the last minute that she now did not know of the civil trial.

Ms Broxson, of Burnell Green, Northern Cross, Malahide Road, Dublin, told the court that when she was 18 she set up NARA -- the National Animal Rights Association.

ANGRY

On December 19, 2009, she and a number of animal rights supporters had been protesting with posters and handing out leaflets outside Ms Murphy's store in Clarendon Street when the assault took place.

Ms Murphy, shouting and angry, had come out of the shop and shoved and punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground. She received injuries to her lower lip, left knee and arm.

Psychologist Dr Tony Bates told the court he saw the incident as he walked past the shop. Ms Murphy had come out very red and enraged and had hit Ms Broxson in the face, knocking her down.

He had kept walking but had given evidence in both of the earlier court hearings.

Several of Ms Broxson's fellow protesters also gave evidence of seeing Ms Murphy assault her.

Judge Deery said the protesters had not been blocking the entrance to the shop and there was independent evidence from Dr Bates of Ms Murphy having come out in a very aggressive fashion.

Ms Murphy was upset that the protest was taking place outside her premises but she was not entitled to assault Ms Broxson as she did.

He also awarded court costs against Ms Murphy.

Irish Independent

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