Garda gets €300,000 payout for station punch
A RETIRED garda has been awarded €300,000 in High Court damages after he was punched in the head as he released a man from a garda station.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine said James Lynn, who was stationed at Castlebar station in Co Mayo but who has since retired due to ill health, had lost the career he had fought so hard to get into.
The judge said as a result Mr Lynn had lost his status in society and his injuries affected him every day.
The case was brought under the Garda Compensation Act arising out of the assault on June 23, 2001.
The court heard he had been releasing a prisoner from the holding cells at the station to a day room when the man started complaining.
He then refused to leave the day room when he was told he was free to go and Gda Lynn escorted him to the foyer. As the man stepped out onto the porch he suddenly turned around and punched the garda in the left eye and forehead area.
Making the award, Ms Justice Irvine said the garda was left feeling dazed and the area around his eye was swollen and bruised for a number of weeks. He also suffered headaches associated with post-traumatic stress. The judge said Mr Lynn still suffers from anxiety.
She said she was satisfied he was not a malingerer and was a conscientious member of the force and would not have been likely to have given up his career. A section of the €301,242 award related to loss of earnings to date and in the future.
The court also heard that Gda Lynn had received compensation in relation to two separate assault incidents during his duty.