Tuesday 25 June 2019

Woman who didn't leave home for two years settles her €60k case

Theresa Cullen. Picture: Courtpix
Theresa Cullen. Picture: Courtpix

Ray Managh

A 64-year-old woman who lived for almost two years behind drawn blinds in her home following a robbery at work has settled a €60,000 damages claim for an undisclosed sum.

Theresa Cullen, formerly of Tamarisk Heights, Kilnamanagh, Tallaght, Dublin, told the Circuit Civil Court that when she worked as a cashier in a Topaz filling station she had been confronted by two robbers, one carrying a wheelbrace.

They had escaped with only a small amount of money.

Ms Cullen told barrister Andrew Walker, who appeared with McKeever Solicitors for Topaz Energy Limited, that she had since moved to a new home in Tralee, Co Kerry.

The court heard she froze when confronted by the robbers and was afterwards unable to leave her home alone for almost two years.

She had lived behind drawn blinds and would only go out when accompanied by one of her sons. Ms Cullen (above) had only once gone to counselling but, in a bid not to let the robbers win, had eventually taken up yoga to calm herself and help her recovery.

In her €60,000 damages claim for personal injury, Ms Cullen claimed she had developed post traumatic stress disorder and had to take anti-depressant medication while going through a very severe period of depression.

Barrister Kevin Callan, who appeared with Romaine Scally Solicitors for Ms Cullen, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane she had been a cashier at the Topaz filling station and convenience store on Belgard Road, Tallaght, on March 1, 2014 when the robbery took place.

He said a security guard had left the shop several minutes before Ms Cullen's 11pm shift ended and had left the premises vulnerable to attack.

"I couldn't leave the house for a long time and lived with the blinds drawn.

"I lost weight as I could not eat," Ms Cullen said.

Following her evidence, Mr Callan told the court her claim had been settled and could be struck out with an order for costs against Topaz Energy, Topaz House, Beech Hill, Clonskeagh, Dublin.

Ms Cullen also brought a claim against Ashjen Limited, which trades as At Risk Security Group, Oak Road, Dublin.

Following announcement of the settlement with Topaz, Judge Linnane struck out the proceedings against Ashjen Limited with no further order.

Irish Independent

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