Sunday 23 September 2018

Barman awarded €710,000 after kick in the head during assault

Stock picture: Getty
Stock picture: Getty

Tim Healy

A barman who sustained a traumatic brain injury in a street assault has been awarded €710,000 by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal.

Stephen Plunkett suffered injuries almost 12 years ago after a fight in which he was chased, fell to the ground and was kicked repeatedly in the head.

Yesterday, the High Court approved the tribunal award to Mr Plunkett (32), from Blackrock, Dublin, over the assault at Torquay Road, Foxrock, Dublin, on August 21, 2006.

Eoin McCullough SC told the court a sole member of the tribunal had assessed that Mr Plunkett was 50pc responsible and an award of €634,000 was reduced to €317,000.

An appeal was brought to the High Court which asked that the matter be considered again before a three-member tribunal.

Chase

In its determination, that tribunal noted the Garda report evidence which showed that Mr Plunkett, while part of a group, had verbally abused another group of people earlier that evening.

It appeared this dispute had been resolved by the shaking of hands between the two groups.

Later on Mr Plunkett, in "horse play", appeared to strike one of the other group on the back of the head with a light bamboo-type stick and the group gave chase.

Mr Plunkett fell to the ground, where he struck his head and was kicked while on the ground.

The tribunal accepted Mr Plunkett was the victim of an assault and that he suffered his injuries as a result of a criminal act.

He should therefore be admitted to the compensation scheme.

While the tribunal stressed it was in no way of the view Mr Plunkett deserved the serious assault, it could not ignore that the first physical assault which happened was perpetrated by him.

Deduction

The tribunal acknowledged that this was out of character for Mr Plunkett but it deemed he was partially responsible in the case and decided there should be a deduction of 40pc on the final award giving a total of €710,000.

Approving the award, Mr Justice Kevin Cross wished Mr Plunkett and his family well for the future.

Irish Independent

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