Garda who suffered broke nose gets €75k
A 34-year-old garda, who claimed she lost her ambition to become a sergeant because of post-traumatic stress disorder following an assault while on duty, has been awarded €75,000 damages in the High Court.
Garda Claire Sheehan, who suffered a broken nose during the assault, said during a Garda Compensation hearing that in March 2007 she had assisted colleagues in apprehending and escorting a young man, charged with theft, to Bridewell Garda Station in Cork, where she is stationed.
As she had been watching the man, she had seen him putting his hand in a trousers back pocket and, concerned that he may have a weapon, had approached him and asked what he was doing when he suddenly punched her in the face.
Garda Sheehan told her barrister, John Lucey SC, that she felt immediate pain in her head and her face which became swollen. She had been taken to hospital where X-rays revealed a fracture and a deviation of her nose.
She said she later underwent rhinoplasty surgery and had needed to wear a cast for a week. She told Mr Justice Bernard Barton she was very happy with the result.
Mr Lucey, who appeared with barrister Michael Murray, told the court that following the incident Garda Sheehan, a mother of two, suffered PTSD which had required therapy.
Garda Sheehan, who sued the State, said she had become hyper vigilant and irritable.
Judge Barton awarded her €75,000 damages along with her legal costs.