Race-goers head butted garda as she lay on ground
Two race-goers viciously head butted and punched and then kicked a garda in the back as she lay on the ground at the entrance to The Curragh Racecourse, Co Kildare, a judge heard today.
Garda Sergeant Alma Molloy, formerly of Ramsgrange, New Ross, Co Wexford, and now stationed in Kilkenny City, was awarded almost €90,000 damages by Ms Justice Mary Irvine in a High Court Garda Compensation hearing almost 10 years after the incident.
Barrister Colm P. Condon, S.C., counsel for Sgt. Molloy, told the court she had been called to assist colleagues restrain a man and a woman who were being hostile and aggressive and who appeared to be intoxicated.
Sgt Molloy, who had been promoted since the September 2002 assault, had attempted to assist another garda handcuff the woman. The woman had head butted Sgt Molloy and tried to bite her and stick her nails into her hands and arms.
Mr Condon said the woman had dug the heel of her boot into Sgt Molloy’s back after breaking free from a struggle on the ground. Both she and her male friend had repeatedly punched Sgt Molloy on the ground. The heel kick had caused a compression injury to one of her vertebrae.
Sgt Molloy, now a 36-year-old mother of two, said she still suffered back pain as a result of the injury for which she had two multiple sessions of physiotherapy as well as twice receiving njections into her back.
Her back pain had eased following pregnancies with her children, now aged three and five months, but she still regularly suffered back pain. She had been a keen athlete.
Sgt Molloy told Ms Cindy Carroll, counsel for the Minister for Finance, that she had pre-existing degeneration changes in her lower back before the assault. Ms Carroll said it was accepted that the attack on Sgt Molloy had been malicious.
Judge Irvine said Sgt Molloy still experienced chronic discomfort in her neck and low back, had given up running and had not gone back to playing football.
She awarded her €55,000 damages for pain to date and a further €27,000 for future suffering, along with €7,000 for medical and other expenses on top of her legal costs.