Monday 5 December 2016

Student left scarred in attack by club bouncer

Saurya Cherfi

Published 06/10/2016 | 02:30

Student Elaine Bennett from Cork, who will be scarred for life after an assault, leaving court Pic: Collins Courts
Student Elaine Bennett from Cork, who will be scarred for life after an assault, leaving court Pic: Collins Courts

A student who was left scarred for life after a vicious attack by a nightclub bouncer has been awarded €15,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

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Elaine Bennett (28) told her barrister Mark O'Connell that she had been celebrating New Year 2014 with friends when they went to Krystle Nightclub in Harcourt Street, Dublin.

She said her friends had gone inside while she stayed outside for a cigarette. When she had wanted to get in, she was refused entry because, according to bouncers, she was "too drunk". She had drunk seven glasses of wine that day.

Ms Bennett, who is from Cork, said she left the area but came back half an hour later as her friends were inside and she was alone on the street. She was refused entry a second time.

She told the court that when she asked again if she could be let in, a female bouncer suddenly attacked her, pulling her to the ground by her hair.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that Ms Bennett was punched and kicked on her body and face before another security guard separated them.

She told Mr O'Connell she had been helped up by people on the street before gardaí had arrived at the scene. She had gone to her GP a few days later, complaining of bruising on her face and body. Her wounds had left a permanent scar under her right eye.

Ms Bennett, of Glenary, Glencoo Park, Boreenmana Road in Cork, sued Triglen Holdings Ltd which trades as Krystle Nightclub, and P&B Security Services Ltd (now in liquidation), with a registered address at Newhall, Naas, Co Kildare.

The defendants had denied liability and claimed that Ms Bennett had been extremely and racially abusive towards the security staff, and had pushed female bouncer Dawn Cleary down the entrance stairs, calling her a bitch and a Polish lesbian.

Judge Groarke said that although it was his view that the bouncers had an obligation to refuse Ms Bennett entry because she was intoxicated, he was satisfied she had been viciously assaulted.

He said he could not believe a word bouncer Dawn Cleary had said in the witness box. She had also refused to co-operate with gardaí.

The judge awarded Ms Bennett €15,000 damages and adjourned the case to determine which of the two defendants was liable to pay the award.

Irish Independent

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