Teenager awarded €10,000 over kick to her jaw
A 14-year-old soccer international, alleged to have kicked a shop security man in the testicles, has been awarded €10,000 damages for assault against the owner of the store.
Patrick Okorie told the Circuit Civil Court that Kirsty Hogan had kicked him "in the balls" when he attempted to shut her and "a gang of her pals" out of the Spar shop on Cumberland Road, Dublin, two-and-a-half years ago.
Barrister John Nolan said Ms Hogan had been stopped by Mr Okorie while she was passing the Spar on her way to another shop. An incident had developed and she had been kicked in the jaw by Mr Okorie.
Ms Hogan, who was then aged 14, said Mr Okorie had stopped her outside the Spar and told her she was not getting in. She had refused to give him her phone number regarding an earlier incident and had told Mr Okorie she was just passing the Spar on her way to another shop.
She said he had then kicked her under her jaw and chin and he said: "That will teach you not to do that again."
She said she bled heavily and had gone home to her mother who had taken her to the guards and then the hospital.
When told that Mr Okorie would allege she had tried to kick him in the testicles Ms Hogan said: "No. That didn't happen."
Judge Joseph Mathews accepted the account of the incident given by Ms Hogan, of Railway Street, Dublin. He said that he believed in all reasonable probability Ms Hogan had been injured by a kick from Mr Okorie.
Judge Mathews said that he could not accept Mr Okorie's denial of assault and assertion that under no circumstances had he, or any part of his body, touched Ms Hogan.
"He has stood by his argument but I find no evidence to suggest he is worthy of belief," the judge said.
The court heard that during garda investigations following the October 2008 incident Mr Okorie had signed an 'adult caution' in Fitzgibbon Street garda station.
Judge Mathews said Inspector Gerard Donnelly had recommended the adult caution rather than prosecution in court and he had been satisfied Mr Okorie had understood what he had been signing. Mr Okorie had maintained at all times that any contact with Ms Hogan was wholly unintentional. He claimed he had signed the caution to avoid legal hassle.
The judge said that the defendant, Raymond Conboy, who traded as Spar Cumberland Road, and against whom the €10,000 damages award was made, had given a history of difficulties he had experienced from local children including Ms Hogan.
Mr Conboy and Mr Okorie in evidence described Ms Hogan as "a pack leader" and said they would charge into the shop as a group and grab sweets and even eggs which they would then throw at the shop.
The court heard Ms Hogan had played under-11 soccer for Ireland and has been selected to represent Sport Against Racism Ireland in the third annual Streetfootball world festival in Serbia in May