Monday 23 April 2018

Barman awarded €710k after sustaining traumatic brain injury in street assault

Stock picture
Stock picture

Tim Healy

A Dublin 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 an altercation with a group which involved horse play. He was later chased and fell to the ground banging his head as well as being kicked repeatedly around the head.

Today, 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 was asked  the matter be considered at a full oral hearing before a three member tribunal.

In its determination, that three member tribunal noted that having examined the Garda report of the case  the evidence showed that Mr Plunkett, while part of a group, verbally abused another group of people earlier on in the evening and this appeared to have been resolved by the shaking of hands between the two groups.

Later in the evening,  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, struck his head and was kicked by others 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.

It acknowledged 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.

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