Sunday 17 December 2017

Retired garda awarded €80,000 after being assaulted by man he tried to arrest

Joseph Treacy PIC: Courtpix
Joseph Treacy PIC: Courtpix

Saurya Cherfi

A retired Garda, who suffered excruciating pain after being repeatedly kicked in the testicles by a man he was trying to arrest, has been awarded almost € 80,000 compensation in the High Court.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton said Joseph Treacy, who lives in Co Tipperary, was seeking compensation in relation to three separate incidents.

Judge Barton said Mr Treacy had been the victim of three violent assaults between 2004 and 2007.

Treacy, who was stationed in Cashel Garda Station at the time, had told the court that on one occasion, he had so much blood and saliva spat on him by another man he had also been trying to arrest, that his uniform had to be burned.

He had told Judge Barton that in November 2007, he was kicked in his testicles when he arrested a man who had stolen a car from a woman after threatening her with a knife.

He and a colleague had struggled to arrest the man, who was dangerous and on a “binge of heroin injections.”  As he dragged and lifted him up to the patrol car he had been repeatedly kicked between his legs and in his groin.  He had been kicked in his testicles.

Treacy, a father of two, told his barrister Aidan Walsh SC that he felt immediate excruciating pain. The man had then managed to kick him in his face, back and right shoulder, and had threatened to kill him and his family. 

The court heard that Treacy had been off work for more than a year following the incident and had returned to light duties.

He claimed he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and had voluntarily retired two years ago as he did not feel mentally fit to go back to full duty. 

Judge Barton heard that the day before the kicking incident, Treacy and a colleague had tried to arrest another man, who was also very high on drugs and had been involved in a scuffle in Cahir, Co Tipperary, when he suddenly spat blood in his eyes nose and mouth.

Mr Walsh said Mr Treacy carried on with his duties that night and had managed to arrest the man and put him in the Garda patrol car, when blood was spat on his face again. He had felt degraded by what had happened

Treacy told the court his face, jacket and shirt had been saturated with blood which he washed off his face on returning to Cashel Garda Station.   His wife had been so shocked that she had his uniform burned the next morning.

Treacy claimed he had also suffered injuries in 2004 after he was kicked and punched in his face and body by another man. He sued the Minister for Finance for damages.

The State alleged Treacy’s injuries had been exacerbated by a pre-existing degenerative condition. It also claimed he had retired on a purely voluntary basis once he had reached 30 years of service with An Garda Síochána.

Judge Barton said he accepted the State’s position regarding Mr Treacy’s retirement. He awarded him €60,000 damages for his injuries, and €19,822 regarding his fees and expenses, a total of €79,822.

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