Saturday 24 February 2018

Garda who suffered internal injuries after being kicked and punched while making arrest awarded €36k

Judge Barton said that despite two significant assaults the garda had, if anything, in her evidence downplayed the effect of her injuries arising from the February 2013 attack

The High Court, Dublin
The High Court, Dublin

Ray Managh

A garda, who suffered internal injuries when she was punched and kicked while making an arrest, was today awarded more than €36,000 compensation in the High Court.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton said that Garda Nicola Gorman had been kicked and punched in the ribs, chest and lower back and wrenched her neck when her hair was tugged violently by the man she was trying to restrain.

Judge Barton said that medical reports revealed that Garda Gorman (35) had suffered contusions to her kidneys and twice in tests following the attack blood had been detected in her urine.

Barrister Garrett Cooney, counsel for Ms Gorman, told the Garda Compensation Hearing that while stationed in Dundalk Garda Station she had served a warrant on a local man who had failed to turn up in court and had arrested him.

Mr Cooney, who appeared with Esther McGahon McGuinness Solicitors, said the man had been handcuffed and as he was being led towards the squad car had become extremely violent, kicking out at Garda Gorman and two of her colleagues.

“He became so violent we had to call for back-up and it took six more of my colleagues to get him into the car,” Garda Gorman told the court.

She said she had been kicked and punched several times as the assailant succeeded in landing blows to several areas of her torso.

Garda Gorman, now attached to Kilmainham Garda Station, Dublin, said that after having been brought to Dundalk station she had to take off his shoes for his own safety before he could be taken to a cell to which he had to be carried by several of her colleagues.

“He became violent again and kicked me several times in the back,” she told Mr Cooney.

Judge Barton, awarding Garda Gorman €36,000 in compensation against the Minister for Public Expenditure, said that despite two significant assaults Garda Gorman had, if anything, in her evidence downplayed the effect of her injuries arising from the February 2013 attack.

He said she had suffered injuries to her neck, ribs, chest and lower back and he was inferring from medical reports that she was now minimizing the effect of her injuries at the time.  She had been six weeks off work followed by six weeks on light duties and although she had almost fully recovered after 18 months she still occasionally suffered back pains.

“I am quite satisfied she has minimized the effect of her symptoms and had just wanted to get back again on the front line of duties,” Judge Barton said.

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