Friday 24 March 2017

Lawyers bullied me, assault victim tells court

Barry Duggan

A FORMER postgraduate student who was assaulted by a university lecturer yesterday lashed out at the legal system after claiming he suffered bullying and racial intimidation from lawyers in the High Court.

Hooman Reyhani (44), whose leg was broken by University of Limerick (UL) lecturer Dr Frederic Royall (53) in a friendly soccer match, said his family underwent an "absolute nightmare" in the High Court before agreeing to settle a civil case.

Mr Reyhani -- an Irish national with an Iranian background -- fell and broke his leg in two places after he was punched by Dr Royall near the end of a six-a-side match at a UL sports complex on August 3, 2007.

At Limerick Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Mr Reyhani said he reluctantly agreed a civil settlement with Dr Royall in the High Court, last October, as neither he nor his family could no longer be in the same room "as people with no human values or dignity".

He described the two-day hearing before Judge Brian McMahon as an "absolute nightmare".

Dr Royall has pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Reyhani causing him harm and the case was listed before Judge Carroll Moran for sentencing.

The court heard the civil settlement -- for an undisclosed sum -- must be paid to the injured party by February 15.

The defendant's barrister said money was being assembled and the matter would be cleared over the next couple of days.

Asking to make a statement to the court, Mr Reyhani said no money had been paid yet.

Mr Reyhani told the judge that Dr Royall's defence team engaged in "malicious and devious" efforts to deflect attention from the crime in the High Court hearing.

Fiction

He said he was the victim of "continuous bullying, racial intimidation and hurtful accusations by the defence".

"We were falsely accused of making a complaint about the gardai," Mr Reyhani said.

He added that this was fiction and expressed his gratitude to the gardai for their work and professionalism in his case.

Mr Reyhani, who received a PhD in electronic engineering from UL, said the lecturer's defence engaged in "pathetic efforts" to deflect attention from a serious crime that left him with life-damaging injuries.

"The defence has relied purely on fiction . . . enough is enough," he said.

Interrupting Mr Reyhani's allegations, the judge noted that both he and Dr Royall were adequately represented in the High Court and said he had "to presume the case was conducted properly".

Mr Reyhani said he was not remotely satisfied with the settlement agreed in the High Court.

He said he would not deal with "evil people" and would not accept the money from Dr Royall.

Judge Moran adjourned the sentencing of Dr Royall -- who heads up UL's School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication -- to February 17.

Irish Independent

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