A CORK motorbike Garda, who thought he would lose consciousness when a drunken man tried to choke him with the strap of his helmet, has been awarded €13,000 compensation in the High Court.
Barrister David Griffin said that on the 28th April 2010, Garda Gary Lane, of Anglesea Garda Station, Cork, had been patrolling when he answered a radio call for a dispute on a street.
Garda Lane told a Garda Compensation hearing today that two other colleagues joined him to the scene where a man, who was intoxicated and had a can of alcohol in his pocket, was ‘quite agitated.’
Garda Lane said that when he tried to arrest him, the man became very aggressive and violent. He had pulled the strap underneath Garda Lane’s helmet and had shaken Garda Lane’s head violently.
The court was told that they had both fallen to the ground when the man twisted the strap and tried to choke Garda Lane, who was unable to breathe and felt he was losing consciousness. One of his colleagues had managed to put the assailant off.
Mr Justice George Birmingham heard that Garda Lane, who was in shock and felt pain in his neck and shoulders, was taken to South Infirmary Victoria Hospital in Cork, where X-rays revealed no fracture. He was prescribed painkillers.
Mr Griffin said Garda Lane had been out of work for several weeks. He had suffered neck pain for several months and had undergone multiple physiotherapy sessions.
The court heard that Garda Lane made a substantial recovery a few months after the incident but was still suffering neck pain while driving or cycling. Judge Birmingham awarded him €13,000 compensation.