'I wasn't given a chance to make myself decent' - Student was 'humiliated' after security men broke into toilet
Published 09/06/2016 | 02:30
A student who claimed he was "humiliated and degraded" when security men broke into a toilet cubicle he was using in Heuston Train Station has won damages in the Circuit Civil Court.
Daniel Masterson told Judge Jacqueline Linnane his trousers were round his ankles and his genitals were exposed as he tried to protect his privacy after security guards pushed in the door and accused him of smoking and taking drugs.
Barrister Tom Horan told the court the then 19-year-old had been defamed and had his privacy breached in the incident on April 24, 2013.
Mr Masterson from Latsey, Canningstown, Cootehill, and a student at Cavan Technical Institute, said he had been at the Dublin train station to see off his brother, Shane, and had then gone to the rest room.
As he was sitting on the toilet bowl the door, which he had locked, was pushed in on him and up to five security men accused him of smoking and taking heroin, which he had never done in his lifetime.
They had ushered him out.
"I wasn't given a chance to make myself decent. My trousers and underpants were down and my genitals were on show," he told Mr Horan.
He said one of the security team shouted: "F***ing drugs, F***ing drugs", after they had burst open the door.
Mr Masterson denied he had been smoking and said he had never taken drugs in his life. He had felt abused and violated during the incident.
The proceedings took a dramatic turn when defendants STT Risk Management and STT Corporate Security Limited called security guard Igoris Kozlovas to give evidence.
He told the court he and a colleague had opened the toilet door when they had seen smoke rising from the cubicle.
"The man inside was in his forties or fifties," Mr Kozlovas said.
"I have never seen the man before the court in my life before. It wasn't him. It wasn't him."
Judge Linnane, who heard there had been several hours difference between the time Mr Masterson said he had been defamed and the incident involving Mr Kozlovas, said the defence case that Mr Masterson's claim was a fabrication, had "evaporated" in the witness box when Mr Kozlovas was called.
She awarded Mr Masterson €10,500 damages and his legal costs.