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Saturday 23 February 2019

Hit-and-run teen wins case not to pay paralysed boy

AN uninsured hit-and-run driver yesterday won a legal battle to stop him paying compensation to the young Dublin boy he knocked down and paralysed.

Seven-year-old Daniel Hennessy from Ballymun has been paralysed from the waist down since he was hit by a stolen car near his grandmother's home in Rochdale, England in August 2002.

After ploughing into Daniel, who was then five, and leaving him for dead in the street, Sajid Hussain, now 18, was ordered to pay the boy £2,555 (?3,672).

But in two years he only paid £76 (?109), pleading he was too poor to pay more than £3 (?4.30) per week.

The Rochdale teenager then launched a legal battle arguing that magistrates did not have the power to make the compensation order.

And yesterday a judge at Rochdale Magistrates' Court agreed, ruling that Hussain should not have been told to pay compensation.

Last night, Daniel's grandfather Chris O'Connor described the decision as a "disgrace" and said they were now considering a civil action.

He added they were shocked by the outcome and said that Hussain had never expressed any remorse for the suffering he had inflicted.

Daniel's mother Deborah last night declined to comment on the decision, adding all she wanted to do was to get on with her life.

Explaining his decision to halt the compensation payout, District Judge James Prowse said that because Hussain was cleared of driving without due care or attention, he could not be blamed for Daniel's injuries.

"In this case, there has been a clear mistake. The court never had the jurisdiction to make a compensation order in relation to Daniel Hennessy's injuries, loss and damage," he said.

But the judge refused to make Daniel repay the £76 Hussain had already paid.

Last September, Hussain made an attempt to recover the money he had already paid out in compensation. Daniel's grandmother Bridget O'Connor said she would fight all the way to have the order quashed.

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